The University of Delaware announced Monday that head football coach K.C. Keeler was relieved of his duties and the school will begin a nationwide search for a successor.

“We appreciate the efforts and accomplishments of Coach Keeler in leading the Blue Hens football program,” UD Director of Athletics and Recreation Services Eric Ziady said. “The 86 wins and the 2003 national championship will forever be etched in the hearts and minds of the Blue Hen faithful, and I thank Coach for his commitment to his alma mater.

Keeler, a Blue Hens linebacker from 1978-80, was head coach at NCAA Division III Rowan University for nine seasons before being named UD coach in 2002, replacing Harold R. “Tubby” Raymond, who retired after 36 seasons at the helm.

In 11 seasons at UD, Keeler posted a record of 86-52 with an NCAA Division I-AA national championship in 2003. The Blue Hens were runners-up in two additional national championship appear-ances in 2007 and 2010.

The Blue Hens failed to advance to the post-season four of the last five seasons and posted a combined record of just 12-10 over the past two campaigns, missing out on an NCAA Football Championship Subdivision tournament berth both years.