Hanover College has named Steve Baudendistel the head coach of its football program. He assumes the reins of the squad from Joe Austin, who has accepted the same position at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.
A member of Hanover's staff for the past nine seasons, Baudendistel guided the Panthers' defensive backs for seven seasons, was linebackers coach for two seasons and worked as the program's special teams coordinator for three seasons. He has coached two all-Americans, one conference most valuable player and a national interceptions leader.
In addition, he also oversees the athletic department's strength and conditioning efforts.
"I am excited to have Steve as our new head coach," said Hanover President Sue DeWine. "His energy and enthusiasm, along with his knowledge of the program and appreciation for its tradition, made him the logical choice to lead our team."
A 2001 Hanover graduate, Baudendistel played wide receiver for the Panthers from 1997-2000. The squad posted a 37-7 record during the span, including three Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championships and three trips to the NCAA III national playoffs.
"I am extremely grateful to President DeWine and Athletic Director Lynn Hall for the opportunity," he said. "Being asked to lead the team that I once played for is a tremendous honor. Hanover is a top-notch academic institution with a proud tradition of athletic excellence. I am excited about the direction our football team is headed. We have a great nucleus of returning players and I look forward to bringing in a new class of Panthers this fall."
In addition to his effort on the field, he also has served as Hanover's recruiting coordinator for the past six seasons. His efforts have brought more than 200 athletes into the program in the last four years.
Baudendistel, who earned a master's degree in sports administration from Ball State University, returned to his alma mater after one season as receivers coach at Anderson University (Ind.).
"I am excited for Steve," said former Hanover Head Coach Wayne Perry. "He has been very loyal, extremely hard-working and knows Hanover and its community as well as anyone."
Baudendistel will make his head-coaching debut when Hanover kicks off the 2012 campaign Saturday, Sept. 1, on the road against Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois. The Panthers' home-opener will be Saturday, Sept. 8, against Wabash College at L.S. Ayres Field.