Football head coach retires


Dane Sheehan

Head Coach of the UW-Whitewater football team Kevin Bullis walks off the field smiling, after the Warhawks defeated St. John’s (MINN.) to advance to the 2019 Division III Football National Championship.

Nick Walczak, Men’s Sports Journalist

The UW-Whitewater community was shaken when head football coach Kevin Bullis announced his retirement after 15 seasons with the team. Assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Jace Rindahl has been named interim head coach.

“It has been an honor and pleasure coaching and teaching in the Warhawk football program and UW-Whitewater,” said Bullis in a statement. “I will greatly miss the students and staff, Kathy and I have lived truly amazing coaching lives and it is time for us to live life.”

Coach Bullis joined the Warhawk football staff in 2008 as an assistant before taking over as head coach of the football team after the completion of the 2014 season. Bullis was the 21st head coach in program history and just the fourth in the last 60 years. In his eight years as head coach, Bullis led the team to an overall record of 78-13 including a 45-5 record in the WIAC play. Winning just over 85% of his games, Bullis has the second-best win percentage in the history of the WIAC, second to legendary Warhawks coach Lance Leipold. 

Bullis has coached more than 35 All-Americans, six WIAC players of the year, and has helped almost 120 student-athletes win all-conference awards at Whitewater. He was also voted WIAC coach of the year in 2016, 2018, and 2021. In April of 2022 he was inducted into the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Bullis coached Whitewater to the Division III playoffs six out of his seven seasons and won at least a share of the WIAC title five times. He helped the team earn national championship runner-up in 2019 and semifinalist in 2015, 2018, and 2021. In his fifteen years on staff, Bullis and his Warhawks reached the DIII national championship seven times, won it five times, and won 11 conference championships.

“Kevin is a great coach and an even better person,” said athletic director Ryan Callahan in a statement. “The life lessons he taught his student-athletes, coaches and colleagues will continue to be felt for years to come. I’m forever grateful for my time with Coach Bullis and excited for him and his family on his retirement.”

The national search for Whitewater’s next football head coach will likely begin early 2023. With Whitewater being such a prominent landing spot, it will be interesting to see who will take over next.