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Ex-Kyoto Univ. American football team coach looks to take over at tainted Nihon Univ.

Yaichi Mizuno (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- Former Kyoto University American football head coach Yaichi Mizuno is among those who have applied for the top coaching position at Nihon University's American football club, which was recently at the center of a dangerous tackle scandal, university sources said.

Nihon University had publicly sought candidates for the club's head coach and other coaching positions ahead of a June 28 deadline, and 69 individuals, including seven foreign nationals, filed applications for the positions, according to the sources. The move follows the resignation of head coach Masato Uchida over the dirty tackle incident in May, which injured a quarterback with the Kwansei Gakuin University team.

Mizuno, 78, who has led the Kyoto University team to win the Rice Bowl national championship game four times, submitted his application to Nihon University with the recommendation of a former Nihon University American football player and others, the sources said.

Nihon University authorities view Mizuno as a leading candidate but will carefully consider whether his physical strength will allow him to fulfill his duty because of his advanced age.

The American football team at Nihon University has been suspended by the Kantoh Collegiate Football Association from all games during the ongoing season over the dangerous tackle incident.

The university will set up a selection committee to choose the coaching team for the club in preparation for the team's participation in league games from the fall.

Mizuno, a graduate of Kyoto University, assumed the helm of his alma mater's American football club in 1974.

In 1983, he led his team to win the Mainichi Koshien Bowl student team championship, halting the attempt of Nihon University, a private institution, to win a sixth straight championship. It was the first time that a national university team had won the Koshien Bowl. He subsequently led his team to win the Koshien Bowl five more times before stepping down in 2011.

Mizuno went on lead Otemon Gakuin University's American football team and currently serves as a senior adviser to Rikkyo University's American football club.

(Japanese original by Tadashi Murakami, Tokyo Sports News Department)

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