WISE - - Officials at UVa-Wise announced the hiring of veteran coach Dino Kaklis to the position of defensive coordinator on Monday. A four-year letter winner at Purdue, Kaklis began his collegiate coaching career in 1999 at Maine Maritime Academy where he served as defensive coordinator.
Previously, Kaklis served as defensive coordinator and then head coach at Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennessee. While at Bethel, Kaklis coached 10 All-Americans was named Mid-South Conference West Division Coach of the Year four times and was the AFCA Regional Coach of the Year for NAIA in 2006 & 2007.
In 2006 Kaklis was named the NAIA Sportexe Coach of the Year. The coach left as Bethel’s all-time leader in wins with 60, his tenure was highlighted by an 8-3 season in 2011 that saw the Wildcats advance to the playoffs.
Most recently, he served as the defensive line coach at Eastern Illinois University where he landed four players on the all-conference team in his first season, including the league’s sack leader. In his second season, Eastern Illinois posted a 12-2 overall record and an 8-0 mark in Ohio Valley Conference play. The Panthers claimed the OVC title and advanced to the third round of the playoffs in 2013.
“We are very fortunate to have Coach Kaklis join our staff as defensive coordinator. His coaching credentials and experience are second to none”, head coach Dewy Lusk said. “Not only will he be a great mentor for our student-athletes, but will also be a great recruiter with all of his contacts. He has had much success in his 20 years of coaching, including his time as head coach at Bethel University. Coach Kaklis and his family will be a great addition to the Cavalier family and our community.”
Coach Kaklis graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in movement and sports science before obtaining a master’s degree in education from Bethel University.
The coach is married to Nicole Chicklo-Kaklis and the couple has two daughters, Isabella and Gabriella.