Loras has tabbed Paul Mierkiewicz, a 1989 alumnus of the school, as the 25th head coach of the Duhawks.
Mierkiewicz, who will start Dec. 20, has been the head coach at Hastings, an NAIA school in Hastings, Neb., since 2001 and a member of their staff since 1998. At Hastings, Mierkiewicz served as the offensive coordinator and assistant to the athletics director (1998-2001) prior to his 10-year run as head coach. Under Mierkiewicz’s direction as head coach, the Broncos went 65-41. His 65 wins are the third most in the Bronco history.
Mierkiewicz graduated from Loras with a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1989 and master’s in athletic administration in 1995. He served on Loras’ coaching staff from 1992-98 and was the offensive coordinator for the final five seasons of that stretch.
“This is such a great opportunity for my family and me,” Mierkiewicz said on Thursday.
Regarding his return to the Rock Bowl sidelines, Mierkiewicz was both reflective and looking forward to 2011.
“Loras College is a wonderful place with tremendous people and tremendous student-athletes, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel like a bit of a homecoming for me.” Mierkiewicz added. “And (the city of) Dubuque just continues to show what a great place it is to live and work. I can’t wait to get started.”
“There’s no doubt in my mind that there are a number of good things already in place with the Duhawk football team. We’re going to build on those things every day to get where we want to be.”
Athletic director Bob Quinn expressed his thoughts on Mierkiewicz’s hiring on Thursday as well.
“Paul has a very clear vision for what he sees as the future of Loras College football, and that vision will serve our student-athletes very well,” Quinn said. “I’m confident he will serve the young men on our football roster and the Loras community very well as he works towards achieving the goals we’ve discussed. His understanding of Duhawk football past and present gives him the unique ability to lead our program.”
Mierkiewicz is a native of Morton Grove, Ill. He and his wife Heather have two daughters, Jensen and Abigail. His time spent in the Catholic education system includes both his time at Loras and at Notre Dame High School (Niles, Ill.). He will begin his duties with the Duhawks on Monday, Dec. 20.
"Our plans are to move forward in the recruiting process right away and continue the momentum we’ve established so far this off season,” Mierkiewicz noted. “I’m excited to get back in the Rock Bowl during the spring semester and begin preparing for the 2011 season.”