Director of Academic Success, Associate Head Coach
and Offensive Line Coach
Lou Stokes, who served for 18 seasons before taking a two-year break, returned to the football program six seasons ago to work with the offensive line and serve as the team's director of academic success and associate head coach. Stokes' coaching experience includes being the head coach at Ottawa-Glandorf and Bucyrus High Schools and a coordinator at Celina High School.
During his tenure at Bluffton which goes back to serving as an assistant for 15 years under legendary Head Coach Carlin Carpenter, Stokes has pushed and prodded 21 all-conference lineman, including 2013 senior Thomas Gingrich who was the first football player in Bluffton history to be named Academic All-America.
His work as Director of Academic Success has also been crucial to the football program at Bluffton University. The Beavers have put together the highest team GPA in Bluffton history while also filling up the Dean's List with record numbers. All seniors in the program have graduated or are on track to graduate as a result of the Academic Success Plan at Bluffton.
He was a standout offensive lineman for Bluffton in the early 1970's. In 1972 he helped lead the Beavers to a conference championship and was named first team All-NAIA District 22. Stokes was inducted into the Bluffton University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010 for his work on the gridiron, both as a player and a coach. Among his many honors away from the field, Coach Stokes is a Vietnam Veteran who earned a Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
Coach Stokes lives in Ottawa with his wife, Melanie.