Matt Theobald returns to his alma mater, as he was announced as the head coach of the Hanover College football program prior to the start of the 2016 season. The 2020 campaign will be his fifth at the helm for the Panthers.
In his first season at Hanover, Theobald guided the Panthers to their most wins in the past three seasons, going 4-6. The Panthers also recorded a 4-4 mark in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, giving the team its first conference winning percentage of .500 or better since 2013. The Blue and Red finished in a tie for fifth in the HCAC, improving two spots from the team’s projected finish in the coaches’ preseason poll.
Theobald carried the success into the 2018 season where he guided the program to a 7-4 record, 7-1 HCAC and a share of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference title. The Blue and Red earned an NCAA Division III Tournament birth for the first time in the past 15 years.
The 2019 campaign saw Theobald guide the Panthers to their second consecutive NCAA Division III Tournament birth as they claimed the HCAC title outright. They finished the regular season at 9-2 overall while posting a perfect 7-0 HCAC mark, the best record by any Panther team since the development of the HCAC. He also saw 18 Panthers claim All-HCAC honors including the Offensive Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year accolades. Theobald and his staff also landed the Conference Coach of the Year honor for the second consecutive season.
Following his initial season with the squad, Theobald once again guided HC to a 4-6 overall and 4-4 HCAC mark in 2017. Despite the similar record, the Blue and Red did see improvements in most statistical categories in Year Two, with 10 players receiving recognition from the HCAC. Kyle Treber, who was one of the nation's top tacklers, was tabbed Rookier of the Year, while Treber's defensive companion, Zach Dauer, joined him on the first team.
Over his first two seasons with HC, Theobald's squads have seemingly created a magic number of 30. When the Panthers have produced at least 30 points on the scoreboard, the team is 7-1, including a 4-1 mark in 2017. The 2017 campaign saw the Blue and Red average just over 30 points and 400 yards per game, while also tallying 35 points per game in conference play.
Prior to taking over at Hanover, Theobald spent 13 seasons at Franklin. While he was with the Grizzlies, Theobald guided one of the nation’s top-ranked offenses from 2013-2015. He also spent time as the team’s defensive coordinator prior to his run with the offensive unit.
During his tenure at Franklin, he helped produce three HCAC defensive and three HCAC offensive most valuable player award recipients.
A 1996 Hanover graduate, Theobald was a four-year letterman as a defensive back with the Panthers’ football squad. He helped the program earn back-to-back Indiana Collegiate Athletic Conference titles in 1994 and 1995. He also started in the secondary for the team’s NCAA Division III playoff debut in 1995.
After earning a political science degree, Theobald served on Hanover’s coaching staff as a receivers coach, defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator from 1996-2000.
Theobald left the Panthers to help ignite a successful run at Waynesburg (Pa.) from 2000-2003. He served as the Yellow Jackets’ special teams coordinator, defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator.