ABERDEEN, S.D. (WXOW) - Northern State University has a new head football coach-Mike Schmidt, former coach at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Schmidt was named coach at a news conference at the university located in Aberdeen, South Dakota on Monday afternoon.
Schmidt moves up to the Division II level in taking the coaching job with the Wolves.
Schmidt said his wife, Morgan, encouraged him to take the next step.
"It's hard. La Crosse is her home. La Crosse is where she's from, where he family lives and all of her siblings. Mom and Dad were right down the road with three little kids. For Morgan to take that jump to Aberdeen was really special. What really intrigued me about this position and being here is the culture that is here with these players, is the culture of excellence, is the culture of high academic success. I just told the team that's what put it over the top for me was seeing how tight this group is," Schmidt said.
He guided the UW-L Eagles to a 7-3 overall record and 5-2 conference record in 2019. During his four years at the university, he compiled a 27-13 record.
He's had winning seasons in the past three seasons.
Speaking at a news conference, he spoke of the culture of excellence in the student athletes and the school. "It's a program that's in a great spot. It's in a spot to take the next step."
"I am excited and honored to be the next head football coach at Northern State University. I can't wait to lead NSU Football as we take the next step in pursuit of greatness. Our family is thrilled to join the Aberdeen community," said Schmidt in a statement. "This is a great opportunity. I am thankful to work with Dr. Downs and Josh Moon as we build a premier NSIC program."
"Mike is an excellent coach, his records show that, but he's also shown an excellent track record of developing student athletes," said Director of Athletics Josh Moon. "We're excited to welcome him to Wolves Nation!"
Schmidt said it was a step in his career that he couldn't pass up.
"I would like to thank the players and coaches for making UW-La Crosse Football so special over the past four years," added Schmidt. "UW-La Crosse Football is once again a perennial contender in the WIAC. That's because of the work that the players and assistant coaches poured into this program. I am humbled and honored to have been their head coach. Thank you, Kim Blum, for taking a chance on a young coach and then letting me be myself. I am forever grateful for the opportunity that you gave me and the culture you let us create."