Alma, Mich. - After a pair of off-season departures from the football coaching staff, Head Coach Greg Pscodna announced today (Friday, March 18) the hiring of Andrew Strobel as an assistant coach for the Alma College football team as well as some assignment changes for current members of his coaching staff.
Strobel, who will be the team's co-defensive coordinator and work with the defensive secondary, comes to Alma after spending the 2015 campaign as an assistant coach and special teams coordinator at Alfred State College in Alfred, N.Y. While he was with the Pioneers, Strobel was responsible for leading the defensive backfield as well as serving as the team's video coordinator.
"Andrew has had a couple of jobs where he has been the special teams coordinator and was very involved with the defense in his last job," Pscodna said. 'He is a well-rounded secondary coach and brings a new style of defense for us that we will implement this year."
Prior to the post at Alfred State, Strobel served as the assistant coach and special teams coordinator at East Stroudsburg University in East Stroudsburg, Pa. for the 2014 season. In his one year at ESU he improved all phases of special teams and coached First Team All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference punter Jordan Bair. Cornerback Teron Dobbs was also honored with Second Team All-PSAC recognition.
"I am extremely excited for this opportunity to join not only the Alma College family but the football staff as well," Strobel said. "It is a great honor to work for an institution with such a stellar academic history. It is my belief that Alma College gives student-athletes the best environment to grow both academically and athletically."
Strobel was an assistant coach for four years (2010-2014) at Culver-Stockton, an NAIA institution in Canton, Mo. He was defensive coordinator in 2013 after joining the staff as defensive backs coach in 2010. He also served as special teams coordinator from 2010-12, strength and conditioning coach in 2011 and was the program's academic coordinator. Culver-Stockton had seven defensive backs receive All-Conference recognition during his four seasons. He also coached two defenses that were ranked in the top 15 in the NAIA in fewest passing yards allowed.
In addition to his coaching experience, Strobel spent the summer of 2008 serving as a football operations intern in the Arena Football 2 League.
Strobel was a four-year member of the football program (2006-09) at Northern Michigan University, earning his Bachelor's degree in entertainment and sport promotion with a minor in marketing in 2009. A three-time member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Fall All-Academic Team, Strobel was named the Wildcats' Freshman of the Year in 2007 and had more than 120 career tackles.
A native of Petoskey, Mich., Strobel holds a Master's degree in Athletic Administration from Concordia University in Irvine, Calif., where he graduated with a 4.0 grade-point average. Strobel and his wife, Carrie, have two children - a daughter Payton (3) and son Michael (2).
Pscodna also announced new assignments for some members of his football staff as the Scots get ready to open their spring football practice session, which starts on Tuesday, March 22.
RJ Chidester, who has been a part of the Alma College football staff for the past four seasons, will become the Scots' co-defensive coordinator after serving as the co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach since 2012. Chidester has been on the offensive side of the ball during each of his eight seasons as a collegiate coach, but played linebacker during his college career at Defiance College.
"Chidester has a very strong defensive background from college and played defense, and he wanted to come over and stabilize our defensive side of the ball. I see those two guys (Chidester and Strobel) working together very well to create a sound defense for us in 2016."
Danny Wernick has been promoted to a full-time assistant coach and will serve as the team's passing game coordinator. Last season, Wernick worked with the quarterbacks on a part-time basis.
Drew Burton, who will be the offensive coordinator, will add the responsibility as the athletic department's assistant strength coach. The strength and conditioning position was vacated when James Lang, a 2009 graduate of Alma College, took a position with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as an assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Rajin' Cajuns football and baseball teams. Lang spent seven seasons as a member of the Scots' football coaching staff.
"I feel very good about our staff right now," Pscodna added. "Change is sometimes good. I think we've got some new energy with some new coaches with new philosophies and ideas. We are always trying to learn and get better and I've definitely seen that since these guys have started and the kids are excited about it."
Alma opens the 2016 season on Saturday, Sept. 3, when its hosts Saint Vincent College (Pa.) at 1:00 p.m. at Bahlke Field. The Scots finished with a 5-5 record in 2015, marking the program's best record since 2009.