EMPORIA (KSNT) – Emporia State is ready to sign the first multi-year employment contract in ESU Athletics history.

Emporia State and head football coach Garin Higgins have agreed to a letter of intent, as a basis for conditions for an employment contract. Higgins is secured through at least the 2025 season with the agreement, which is the longest term available with the Kansas Board of Regents.

“Coach Higgins has a proven record as football coach, but as I have come to know him over this past season, it became evident that he is someone who cares a great deal about his players and Emporia State, while managing all aspects of the program the right way,” Director of Athletics David Spafford said. 

In 2022, Higgins led the Hornets to their seventh post season appearance in the past ten years. He has a 148-86 record in 20 seasons as a head coach, and ranks second in career wins at ESU behind stadium namesake Fran Welch’s 115 wins.

“I am very thankful for President Hush and David Spafford and their commitment to this program and our entire staff,” Higgins said. “Coaching at my alma mater is a dream come true. Coaching in the MIAA, the best Division II conference in the country, is a true test. Our administration has seen what we have done over the past ten years and are committed to helping us continue in the future.”

Emporia State has also agreed to salary enhancements for the entire coaching staff, bringing them in-line within the market. It has also committed to several facility and scholarship improvements.