Mike Keen

Mike Keen
Mike Keen

Head Fishing Coach


Direct Office Phone: 423-775-7111

Office: Athletics Office


Mike Keen is entering his seventh season as Head Coach of the Bryan Anglers. Keen saw his first action in the Bryan College Athletic Department during the 2014-15 season when he took on the challenge of starting the Lions’ Fishing program. As the Head Coach, Keen and the team have seen unprecedented success despite being such a young program. Keen tapped into the local talent, pieced together a talented roster, and then took the collegiate fishing scene by storm.

During the 2019-2020 season, the Bryan Angler duo of Bailey Fain and Preston Kendrick were crowned National Champions after winning the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship. The Lions as a team were consistent competitors all season, with a duo finishing in the Top 5 in six of the eight tournaments they fished in.

In his fourth year, Keen stepped into his dual role as Head Fishing Coach and Assistant Athletic Director. In August 2018, the school didn’t have to look far for their new Director of Athletics when Keen transitioned to AD, assuming charge of Bryan Athletics while continuing his role as leader of the fishing program.

With the highly coveted Cabela’s School of the Year title a primary goal from the get-go, the Lions set a surprising bar for themselves in the inaugural season with an 18th place finish but were able to better it in 2015-16 by cracking the top-10 and battling for 6th place. In just their 3rd year, the Bryan Fishing Team earned their place in the record books by being crowned 2017 Cabela’s School of the Year by outlasting every collegiate fishing team in the country, showing consistency on the water and securing a top-10 finish in every tournament throughout the year except two, with one being 13th and the other being the Cabela’s National Championship.

Another focus of Keen’s was to use the fishing program as a means to gain visibility for the college, which is exactly what they did after fishing eight major tournaments during their first campaign.

As the team grew, they figured out that the key to success was true consistency throughout the entirety of a season. The only way that this was achieved was by avoiding selfish play and trusting in teamwork. “We were consistently in the top 10-20 percent in each tournament we fished,” said Keen. “It’s impossible to lift just a single angler when in every tournament somebody different steps up and puts us where we need to be.”

The Lions did more traveling in 2015-16, spanning from Crescent Lake, Fla. to Lake Dardanelle in Ark., which helped the team tremendously as it allowed Bryan to fish additional tournaments in the three major trails: Cabela’s, BASS, and FLW.

The team took a giant leap forward when entering the 2016-17 season, as the group saw their timid appearance fade and confidence lifted in a major way. “We were no longer the new kids on the block, but we belong,” explained Keen. “In the beginning, we were solely proud to be there, and now we are still proud of the chance to compete, but we expect to do well. Seeing that carry over into the next year while adding to our already impressive group of anglers is an exciting to thing to have happen.”

Once the Lions were honored as Cabela’s School of the Year, they turned their attention to bringing home a national championship. Having qualified four teams to fish for the crown at the 2017 Carhartt Bassmaster College National Championship, presented by Bass Pro Shops, Bryan took to Lake Bemidji in Bemidji, Minnesota with high expectations adding to their already historical year. It was the unstoppable force of Jake Lee and Jacob Foutz who took an early lead and never looked back, roaring their way to first and victory at the Bassmaster College National Championship. The banner year easily earned Bryan the reputation of being a collegiate fishing powerhouse. The story didn’t end there, as the Lions continued making history when the first National Champion had an individual advance and win the Classic Bracket, and to make it even better… once Foutz went on to win the Classic Bracket, it marked the first time since the bracket’s creation that a college freshman had won and qualified for the Bassmaster Classic (also referred to as the “Super Bowl” of professional bass fishing).

The Lions’ finish the following was nothing short of excellent despite no national championship or school of the year trophies. In 2017-18, Bryan logged a top-10 finish in the running for Cabela’s School of the Year, the team of Nathan Bell and Cole Sands was the runner-up in the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship, Bell and Sands won the Chickamauga Tournament (marking the second straight year the Lions won on Chickamauga), three boats placed in the top-20 on Cherokee, and totaled 13 qualified teams in the three separate national championships.

Bryan’s Anglers just wrapped up a 2018-19 campaign that resulted in a 6th-place finish in the running for Cabela’s School of the Year. Sands continued his winning ways, as he and Bailey Fain won the Carhartt Bassmaster College Classic. Sands and his partner Conner Dimauro also led the Lions to a 2nd place finish in the Bassmaster National Championship. Other notables were four Bryan boats posting a top-30 finish on Smith Lake, two boats within the top-10 on Lake Dardanelle, four boats scoring a top-10 finish on Norris Lake, a 6th place finish at Lake Seminole,  and 12 boats in total qualifying for this year’s three different national championships.

Before joining the Bryan staff, Keen operated a local insurance agency for 34 years. After retirement in 2012, the opportunity presented itself to organize the collegiate fishing team at Bryan College.

Mike resides in Dayton, Tenn. with his wife Rissa, who is a kindergarten teacher at Frazier Elementary. Mike and Rissa have three children: Gabe, a Bryan graduate who teaches History at Campbell County High School, Marissa an attorney at law in Nashville, and Micayla who just graduated from Bryan in May of this year. They also have two grandchildren, Grady and Lydia.

Athletics Office
721 Bryan Drive
Dayton, TN 37321
Summers Gymnasium, Box #7813

Office Phone: 423-775-7472