In the summer of 2012, Joe Loth was named the 12th Head Football Coach at Western Connecticut State University.
After inheriting a football program marred in a 21-game losing streak they were able to finish 8-2 overall in his second season. Western enjoyed its first winning season (8-2) since 2005 and first post-season appearance since 2001, a 48-35 ECAC Northeast Bowl victory against Salve Regina. In 2014, it followed this up with its second consecutive winning season (7-4) and a second-straight ECAC Bowl appearance against nationally ranked St. John Fisher.
In 2013, Western averaged a school-record 43.8 points a game while allowing just 20 points to its opponents. Highlighting the Colonials' campaign was the effort from senior running back Octavias McKoy who broke nearly every WCSU rushing and scoring record in his final season.
In a 55-35 victory over Worcester State University in October, McKoy ran into the national limelight after rushing for a then-NCAA-all-divisions rushing record of 455 yards. Loth and McKoy spent nearly two weeks making appearances on ESPN, The YES Network and numerous national, regional and local electronic and print media outlets.
In 2014, the Colonial offense once again led the MASCAC in scoring at 35.6 points a game while surrendering just 23.9 yards on defense.
Along with the running game's improvement came a vastly improved offensive line, the maturation of junior signal caller Will Arndt and the development of a potent defense by Loth and his coaching staff.
Loth began his football career as a graduate assistant at Southern Methodist University (1991-92). He served as defensive coordinator at NCAA Division III schools: Western Connecticut State University (1993-96) and Capital University (1997-98). Loth a season as defensive secondary coach at the University of Rhode Island (1999) before accepting his first head coaching job at Kean University in February 2000.
A 1991 graduate of Otterbein University, Loth returned to his alma mater as Head Football Coach in 2003, taking over a program that had just one winning season in the previous 23 years; the team was mired in an eight-game losing streak. Prior to his appointment at the greater Columbus area university, he served as Head Football Coach at Kean University. The Painesville, Ohio, native has taken part in rebuilding programs throughout his 20-year coaching career. He took over in Union, NJ after the Cougars endured a 14-game losing streak prior to his arrival.
“I am extremely excited in the opportunity of becoming the new Head Football Coach at Western Connecticut,” said Loth on Monday. “The formula for winning at all levels of college football does not change. It is recruiting, retention, developing the student-athlete and running sound football schemes. We will relentlessly pursue excellence in all four of these areas at Western and in its move from the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) to the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC).”
Loth holds the best winning percentage among football coaches with tenures of three or more seasons at Otterbein. The Cardinals set a school record for wins in 2008, going 9-2 overall and advancing into the NCAA Division III Football Championship for the first time in school history. Otterbein finished second in the Ohio Athletic Conference with an 8-1 record, with its lone conference loss coming at the hands of Mount Union, who went on to win the national championship. That season, Loth was named “OAC Football Coach of the Year” for the second time in his career as well as “Ohio Coach of the Year”.
“Western really feels like home to me,” added Loth. “I have already been contacted by a number of the former alumni who seem excited to get someone with deep ties with the program as the Head Coach.”
Loth has worked as a guest coach in the Canadian Football League, coaching wide receivers at Winnipeg in 2010-12 and Saskatchewan in 2009 for Paul LaPolice, who was an assistant on the Colonials staff back with Loth in 1994. LaPolice is the Blue Bombers Head Coach and served as the Roughriders Offensive Coordinator.
Loth was a four-year letterman and three-year starter at defensive back as an undergraduate at Otterbein. He earned second team All-OAC honors his senior year in 1990 and held the Otterbein career record of 13 interceptions until 2012. He received his bachelor’s degree in Business.
“Coach Loth has provided incredible leadership during his time at Otterbein, creating a solid program foundation leading to competitive and academic success,” stated Otterbein University Director of Athletics Dawn Stewart. “He is an excellent ambassador for Division III athletics and will be missed by the Otterbein community. We are excited for Joe and his family for this personal and professional transition.”
In 2006, Loth was inducted into the Riverside High School Hall of Fame in Painesville, Ohio.
Loth and his wife, Keri, who graduated from Western Connecticut State University, have two sons, Zachary, 15, and Tyler, 13.