La Crosse brings alum back from Platteville

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Mike Schmidt is an award-winning former assistant coach.
UW-La Crosse athletics photo by Michael Lieurance

UW-La Crosse has named Mike Schmidt as head football coach in school history. A native of Menomonie, Wis., Schmidt served as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at UW-Platteville since April 2015. 

“To say I am honored would be an understatement,” said Schmidt, who is just the 13th head coach in program history. “I want to thank Chancellor Gow, Dr. Paula Knudson, the search and screen committee, and especially Kim Blum for this opportunity of a lifetime. Being named the head football coach at UWL is a humbling responsibility and we are thrilled for the challenge. UWL football will be back as the pinnacle of NCAA Division III football.”

Schmidt coached Andrew Robinson while at UW-Platteville, the 2015 WIAC Defensive Player of the Year and a D3football.com third team All-America selection at defensive end. Robinson was named a finalist for the 2015 Cliff Harris Award, an award presented to the top defensive player represented in the nation’s small colleges.

UW-Platteville ranked second in the WIAC in passing defense (191.7 yards per game) in 2015 while finishing third in total defense (329.7) and fourth in rushing defense (138.0). The Pioneers were also third in scoring defense (21.7 points per game).

“Mike has the energy, enthusiasm, and attitude to motivate young men to play football,” said Blum. “His dynamic personality draws you in. He has a passion for the game of football, and a passion for UWL football that is unparalleled.”

Prior to arriving at UW-Platteville, Schmidt was the defensive coordinator and coached the linebackers and defensive backs at the University of Dubuque from 2011-14. He also served as the recruiting coordinator from 2009-14.

Named the 2013 American Football Coaches Association NCAA Division III Assistant Coach of the Year, Schmidt coached running backs (2009-10), defensive backs (2009) and offensive line (2010) at Dubuque. He served as a graduate assistant coach at Minnesota State University Mankato in 2008, coaching the defensive line.

A 2008 graduate of UW-La Crosse, Schmidt was four-year football and baseball letter winner for the Eagles. He served as a two-sport team captain in 2007-08 while earning his bachelor’s degree in marketing. Named a 2007 All-WIAC honorable mention as an all-purpose back, Schmidt recorded two rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown. He was a 2008 all-conference honorable mention selection in baseball after hitting .340 and leading the Eagles in home runs (6) and RBI (38). Schmidt was also named to the 2008 All-WIAC all-sportsmanship team in baseball.

“Mike’s character is based on trust and honesty and how he can utilize his talents to help players grow into their futures selves,” added Blum. “He is a very talented football coach with a great football mind. Mike is wise beyond his years in the X’s and O’s of football, a true testament to his work ethic.”

A 2003 graduate of Menomonie High School, Schmidt was a member of the state football championship team his senior season in 2002 under Joe LaBuda while earning first team all-state honors.

Schmidt is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Missional Christianity degree at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. Schmidt and his wife, Morgan, have two sons, Sonny (4) and Scout (2). 

Dec. 14: All times Eastern
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at Mount Union 28, Johns Hopkins 20
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