Former University of Idaho player Kiel (pronounced Kyle) McDonald enters his fourth season as coach of running backs for the Eagles.
The Eagles averaged 79.0 rushing yards per game the year before McDonald came to Eastern, but has increased that average every season since. The Eagles averaged 123.1 in the 2012 season, then followed that with by ranking 41st in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision with an 183.7 average in 2013. Eastern averaged 185.2 to rank 39th in 2014.
His running backs in 2014 featured a quartet of players who received the majority of carries – including seniors Quincy Forte and Mario Brown. Forte earned second team All-Big Sky Conference honors with 910 yards and nine touchdowns, and Brown earned honorable mention with 585 yards and four scores.
Eastern averaged 5.3 yards per rushing attempt in 2013 (4.7 in 2014) after averaging just 3.7 in 2012 and 3.0 in 2011. The 5.3 mark was the school’s best since 2001 when the Eagles averaged 6.4 after Jesse Chatman finished the year with 2,096 yards and 7.4 yards per rush. On his way to a total of 1,208 yards and 11 touchdowns to earn third team All-Big Sky honors, Forte averaged 6.7 yards per rush. Forte averaged just 4.7 as a sophomore and 5.0 as a freshman. Brown averaged 6.3 per carry and contributed 482 yards and four scores in 2013.
Prior to coming to EWU, McDonald was a graduate assistant coach for Dennis Erickson at Arizona State University in 2011. He was an offensive quality control coach for the Sun Devils, who played in the Maaco Bowl in Las Vegas, Nev.
Prior to that, McDonald was an intern working with the secondary in 2010 for the San Francisco 49ers, and was defensive backs coach and strength coach that same year for San Jose City College. He also previously worked as strength coach at Marshall Performance and Fitness in San Jose.
After playing the 2005 season for EWU’s fellow Big Sky Conference member Sacramento State, McDonald played as a cornerback for Erickson in the 2006 season at Idaho. He had 31 tackles (two for loss), one interception and five passes broken up as Idaho finished 4-8.
While at Sacramento State, he played in 10 games in the 2005 season. A Big Sky All-Academic selection, McDonald finished his junior season at Sac State with 17 tackles, one interception and four passes broken up before graduating with honors (Cum Laude) in the spring of 2006.
He also played at Sacramento City College, earning honorable mention All-NorCal Conference honors as a sophomore. He graduated from Thomas B. Doherty HS in Colorado Springs, Colo., in 2001, lettering in football, hockey, baseball and track. He was a first team all-league selection in track as a senior, with a time of 10.6 in the 100 meters.
McDonald was born on April 22, 1983.