Prior to the arrival of Mike Feminis in 1999, Saint Xavier University Football had won just eight games in its six-year history. Over the last 16 seasons, the Cougars have amassed a 144-50 record, won the 2011 NAIA Football National Championship, captured the Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Mideast League title outright in 2009 & 2010, shared the MSFA title six of the last 13 seasons and qualified for the NAIA postseason nine times since 2002. The 2011 NAIA national championship was the first national title for the University in any sport in its 42-year history.
To say that Feminis knows how to turn a program around would be a huge understatement. The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) named him the 2011 NAIA National Coach of the Year, while American Football Monthly (AFM) and Schutt Sports honored him as NAIA Coach of the Year in both 2006 and 2010.
Feminis has also made a name for himself in the MSFA earning the 2009, 2010 and 2012 Mideast League Coach of the Year award as well as 2005 Midwest League Coach of the Year. In 2009, he was dubbed the AFCA-NAIA Regional Coach of the Year after guiding SXU to its first undefeated regular season (11-0) and advancing to the NAIA semifinals twice in four years (2006 & 2009). Feminis followed that with a second perfect regular season (11-0) in 2010 and again advanced his Cougars to the national semifinals.
Under Feminis, winning is the norm as SXU has established itself as one of the premier small college football programs in the country. Since 2000, the Cougars have won more games (140) than any of the 35 college football institutions in Illinois and rank second among the 87 NAIA football institutions. In 2015, SXU shoots for its ninth playoff berth in the last 11 years after making its sixth trip to the national semifinals in 2014.
Prior to SXU, Feminis coached at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Ill. He served as linebacker coach (1990-93) before becoming defensive coordinator (1994-98). As a player at USF from 1986-89, Feminis started every game of his career (41) and was a four-time NAIA All-District 20 selection at linebacker. In 1989, he was the NAIA Defensive Player of the Year by USA Today and earned NAIA All-American First Team honors. Feminis holds numerous USF records, including most tackles in a game (29) and career (469). He was inducted into the USF Athletics Hall of Fame (1996) as well as his high school Marian Catholic (2000) in Chicago Heights.
Feminis earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism/communications from St. Francis in 1990 and a master’s in physical education/athletic administration from the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) in 1993. He served as president of the NAIA Coaches Association from 2007-08 and been on the NAIA Raters Committee since 2000.
Feminis resides in Plainfield with his wife, Meredith, and daughters, Gianna, Francesca and Sophia.