CNU’s new head man brings energy, experience to Captains football

NEWPORT NEWS (WAVY) – Art Link and Matt Kelchner are two different people with two different personalities, but their common ground lies in the way they both coach a football team.

With plenty of energy.

Kelchner, the first head football coach in Christopher Newport University, built the program into a consistent winner over 16 seasons. Now an associated athletics director at the school, he helped bring in Link, the man chosen to lead the captains into the future.

“The first thing that grabs me is (Link) is a players’ coach,” said Kelchner, right after the school introduced Link on Saturday. “He’s worked in Division I at the highest level, Division II, and Division III. So, he’s got a variety of experience throughout college football.”

Prior to arriving at CNU, Link spent three seasons as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Lafayette College (Pennsylvania). He also coached linebackers at New Hampshire University, and just so happened to be on the sideline opposite Old Dominion when a certain sophomore quarterback by the name of Taylor Heinicke set an FCS record with 730 yards passing and five touchdown passes in a 64-61 win at SB Ballard Stadium.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for the speed they have here in the Tidewater area,” said Link, who like Kelchner, will wear his emotions on his sleeves come game days.

“I might meet them (the officials) out on the hashmark if I don’t get a flag,” said a smiling Link.