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University of New Mexico Lobos athletics

Kane Keirnan


Offensive Graduate Assistant


  • Was part of the coaching staff that guided Football Championship Subdivision school Illinois State to a No. 17 national ranking at the end of the 2011 regular season.
  • Assisted Illinois State tight ends coach Jim Williams in the mentoring of current Chicago Bears TE Brandon Venson and 2012 preseason All-America fullback Jordan Neukirch.

Kane Keirnan begins his second season at UNM, working as a graduate assistant coach on offense. Specifically, Keirnan will interact with the Lobo wide receivers and tight ends.

He comes to UNM from a two-year apprenticeship at Illinois State. Keirnan was an offensive student assistant for head coach Brock Spack and offensive coordinator Luke Huard, working with the tight ends and H-backs.

In 2011, the Redbirds showed a 52.4-yard improvement in the running game, from 131 rushing yards per game in 2010 to 183.4 yards per game in 2011. The offense ranked No. 3 in the nation in fewest sacks allowed, and the team finished the regular season ranked 17th.

Keirnan worked with former Lobo WRs coach Taylor Stubblefield at Illinois State in 2010 and again at UNM in 2012. In 2010, the Redbirds ranked second in the Missouri Valley Conference and 15th in the nation with a 258.4 passing-yards-per-game average. ISU’s 321 total points in 2010 was the 10th-best annual total in school history.

Keirnan signed a scholarship with Illinois State as an H-Back in 2008, but three ankle surgeries between the years 2008 and 2009 ended his playing career. Spack asked Keirnan to remain involved in the program as a student assistant.

He was a 2008 graduate of Glenbard West High School (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), earning all-State, all-Area, All-Conference and Academic All-Conference honors in 2006 and 2007.

Before that, Keirnan spent two years at Montini Catholic High School in Lombard, Ill. As a freshman quarterback in 2004, Keirnan took part in the school’s first-ever state championship.

Keirnan’s family consists of parents Kane and Heather, sisters Samantha and Abigail, and his dog, Buddy.

The Keirnan File

Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
Birthdate: Sept. 20, 1989
Family: Father, Kane; mother, Heather; sisters, Samantha and Abigail
Education: Illinois State, ’12
Playing Experience: Illinois State 2008-09.

Coaching Experience:
2012-present New Mexico (Graduate Assistant)
2010-11 Illinois State (Offensive Student Assistant)