UD’s Schmidt Named AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year

Nov 27, 2013

WACO, Texas -  The American Football Coaches Association is proud to announce its 2013 Assistant Coach of the Year winners. NCAA Division III Assistant Coach of the Year is, University of Dubuque’s Michael Schmidt.

Schmidt has spent six years as an assistant coach, with the last five seasons as defensive coordinator at Dubuque. Schmidt serves as a board member of the Eastern Iowa Big Brothers Big Sisters organization and has staffed over 20 football players into the In-School Mentorship Program that meets weekly with at-risk students in the schools. He is a member of the Wendt Character Initiative Advisory Board at UD, which is a program designed to promote, monitor, teach and measure character on campus. Schmidt is a member who helps organize and structure the initiative to teach the virtues of honesty, fairness, truthfulness and the Golden Rule into our classrooms.

Through a Bi-Annual Campus Coat and Shoe Drive, he organizes, collects and helps distributes lightly used coats and shoes to people in need in the greater Dubuque community. He is enrolled as a full-time seminary student, which allows many different service activities and mission trips throughout the Midwest, including Urban Ministry, Native American Ministry and area Youth Ministry. He continues to serve the AFCA as a member of the Convention Services Committee. 

“A very, well deserved honor for him,” commented head coach Stan Zweifel. “What he contributes to our program on and off the field is immeasurable. Schmidt is exceptional in the community, on the campus and as a mentor for the student-athletes. He’s one of the most outstanding young coaches I have ever worked with in football. It’s a tremendous honor for the University of Dubuque and our team.”

Schmidt joined the University of Dubuque football program in 2008. Since coming to UD, he has been a versatile member of the Spartans staff. He served as the defensive backs coach in 2009 and the offensive line coach in 2010 before moving back to the defensive side as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach in 2011 and 2012.

Schmidt came to the University of Dubuque after a stint as a graduate assistant at Minnesota State University-Mankato in 2008. While at MSU, he worked as the defensive line coach. The Mavericks finished with a 9-3 season, an NSIC-South Division Championship, and a berth in the NCAA Division II Football Championships. Coach Schmidt coached one All-American and all four starting members of the Defensive Line were NSIC All-Conference selections.

He is a graduate of UW-La Crosse where he was a fullback on the football team and an outfielder/first baseman for the baseball team. At UW-L he was an eight-time letter winner, (four in football and four in baseball) and a three-time all-conference team member while majoring in finance and marketing.

Schmidt is a native of Menomonie, Wis., where he graduated from Menomonie High School and played for legendary Wisconsin high school coach Joe LaBuda. He helped guide his team to an undefeated season and a state championship and was a unanimous first team all-state selection in football his senior season.

Mike, his wife Morgan, and their two sons Sonny and Scout reside in Bellevue, Iowa. 

One assistant coach from the five divisions of college football has been selected for their dedication to their teams and communities. Each year, staff representatives from NCAA and NAIA football-playing schools are asked to nominate an assistant for consideration. From those nominations, a winner is selected by the AFCA Public Relations Committee. The winners of this award were selected from Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III and the NAIA.

The Assistant Coach of the Year award was first presented in 1997 and was created to honor assistant coaches who excel in community service, commitment to the student-athlete, on-field coaching success and AFCA professional organization involvement.  

The 2013 honorees are as follows:

Football Bowl Subdivision–Chad Morris, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach, Clemson University

Football Championship Subdivision–John Banaszak, Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line/Special Teams, Robert Morris University

Division II–Denares Waites, Safeties Coach/Special Teams, Carson-Newman University

Division III–Michael Schmidt, Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach, University of Dubuque

NAIA–Jim Hogan, Offensive Line/Strength Coach, Carroll College

“Once again, five outstanding assistant coaches have been selected for their dedication, not only to their teams, but to their communities,” said Executive Director Grant Teaff. “Often times, the head coach receives much of the credit for his team’s success, but any head coach is only as good as his assistants. Much of an assistant coach’s work is done behind the scenes. It is our pleasure to bring it to the forefront.”

The criteria for the award is not limited to on-field coaching ability or the success of the team and players that these assistant coaches work with. Service to the community through charitable work and other volunteer activities, participation in AFCA activities and events, participation in other professional organizations and impact on student-athletes are all taken into account in the selection process.

Winners of the Assistant Coach of the Year Award will receive a plaque to commemorate the award. They will be honored at the President’s Kickoff Luncheon, Monday, January 13 at the 2014 AFCA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The AFCA was founded in 1922 and currently has more than 11,000 members around the world, ranging from the high school level to the professional ranks. According to its constitution, the AFCA was formed, in part, to “maintain the highest possible standards in football and the coaching profession” and to “provide a forum for the discussion and study of all matters pertaining to football and coaching.”

Finalists for 2013 Division III Assistant Coach of the Year:

Louis Stokes, Bluffton

Michael Schmidt, Dubuque

Ahmaad Smith, Hampden-Sydney


Assistant Coach of the Year Notes

84 assistant coaches from 65 different schools have been honored by the AFCA since the inception of the award in 1997 ... Campbellsville (NAIA),  Carson-Newman (Div. II) and Hampton (FCS) lead all schools with three winners each ... Campbellsville’s three winners came in three straight years (1997-Samuel Wickliffe, 1998-Eric Graves, 1999-Haywood Riner) ...  Carson-Newman won its three awards in 2003 (Mike Turner), 2009 (David Needs) and 2013 (Denares Waites) ... Hampton won its three awards in 1997 (Alonzo Lee), 1998 (John Wright) and 2003 (Donovan Rose) ... Air Force, Benedictine (Kan.), Bethel (Minn.), Carroll (Mont.), Central (Iowa), Morningside, Mount Union, Northwest Missouri State, Wabash  and Winona State have had two winners each ... A total of 42 assistant coaches from five divisions were nominated in 2013.