Editor's Note: Tiffin University is inducting new members into its athletic hall of fame this weekend. This week the section will run stories about each of the inductees.
The high point for Tiffin University football in the 1990s is indisputable. Tiffin's two NAIA playoff qualifying teams in 1993 and 1994 established a new level of success for the program, and many players from those teams have already been inducted to the Tiffin University Hall of Fame.
Add K.C. Tener to the list.
Tener, who played from 1993-96, played in the trenches on the defensive line during Tiffin's playoff run. He earned NAIA All-American honors while also earning two All-Conference citations during his career.
"Obviously beating Findlay (in 1993) and earning a spot in the NAIA National Football Playoffs for the first time in our history were the highlights of my career," said Tener. "It was nice being named to the All-American team as a senior. But it wasn't easy. The hardest part was the time commitment learning to fit everything into the regimented structure that is required to be successful."
Players that play up front on either side of the line often get overlooked despite the fact they are physically the most punished over the course of the season. But Tener's tenacity on the line left its mark. His intensity on the line is reflected in his ranking amongst the Dragons' career leaders in assisted tackles with 117 and his single-game high of 23 tackles in a game in 1996, the third-highest single game mark in school history.
Tener was quick to recognize the coaches and teammates that helped him achieve success.
"Coaches Cam Cruickshank, Bob Wolfe, and Bob "Moby" Meyer were the three coaches that directly helped me the most," said Tener. "My closest teammates during that period were Derek Thomas, Mike Schumacher, Craig Derr, Tim Weitzel, Dean Ziegler, and Marce Gliha."
"I owe a lot of my success to my girlfriend - now wife - for keeping me on task and motivated to graduate on time, and my family for seeing my potential and holding me accountable to my achievements," said Tener. "During my time at Tiffin, I learned a lot about myself. I learned the value of time, and saw what hard work was about. I learned that through commitment and dedication, combined with the importance of finishing what I started, anything was possible."
He earned a Bachelor's degree in Human Resources and currently serves as an advertising consultant. He resides in Gainesville, Florida.