Losing Mannausau

The UND Football program announced yesterday that Defensive Coordinator Mike Mannausau would be leaving to take on a position with the UND Foundation as Champions Club Director, effective immediately.

Mannausau has has 16 years invested in UND Football, with 5 of them being as a player from 1994-98 and 11 of them as a member of the coaching staff.  He started as a graduate assistant in 2001 and 2002, and later returned as a full-time assistant in 2004 and has been with the program ever since.  The International Falls, MN native has a reputation for having strong alumni ties and relations with football alums and is considered a conduit for former players to the UND program.  This obviously lends itself towards being helpful in his new position.  Mannausau takes over for recently departed Josh Morton, who left for a position at Michigan State.

What UND loses at Memorial Stadium as a football coach, it gains in a big way at the UND Foundation.  We believe Mannausau is a perfect fit for the position and will excel because of his loyalty, personality and popularity with alums in his new role.

There is plenty of talk and speculation on who will replace him as defensive coordintator for 2013 – a very important hire and position given the timing and state of the UND defense in 2012.  One obvious candidate in-house is linebackers coach and special teams coordinator Josh Kotelnicki, who has done very well in his variety of roles and responsibilities since his arrival at UND.  One outside candidate that is a natural fit would also be former UND player and coach Eric Schmidt, who coaches linebackers and is special teams coordinator for Dale Lennon at Southern Illinois.

One of the first items on Mannausau’s agenda will be to finish off the drive to get shovels in the ground for Indoor Practice Facility.  He will also be raising money for scholarships and other priority projects along the way.

Mike Mannausau has made a big impact on UND Football over the course of his 16 years of service, and for that we thank him for everything he has done.  However, he is just getting started on another phase of his service that can and no doubt will make an even bigger and lasting impression on the program.

7 Responses

  1. MoSiouxFan

    Nice writeup, and a befitting one, at that. Good luck, Mike; I know you’ll do an outstanding job in your new position.

    1. Nothing official from UND but several people have confirmed that it is a “target date” as long as everything works out. Could be later, who knows. But sounds like a late spring, early summer start.

  2. Southpaw

    I think the fundraising effort says a lot about the importance of UND sports other than hockey. That they have this much funding already tells me that there is high interest in seeing those sports succeed. Hopefully this translates into more top notch recruits and more fans in the stands.

    1. Well stated. The athletic department cares about the other sports as much as hockey and want them to succeed, obviously. Winning takes care of a lot of things. People complain alot about advertising and such for other sports but the AD can only do so much, the teams need to win and that gains fan interest.

      1. Geaux_sioux

        Will there be a write up on the IPF? Something like a refresher with the details of each phase and the cost of each as well as the upgrades that the school and sports programs will receive from its completion would be awesome. It’s been so long that I think a lot of people are starting to forget what is actually included in the IPF other than that it will be sweet.

  3. John

    Fantastic news if we can get shovels in the ground this summer. Once this is complete, our overall athletic facilities across all sports will probably rival most Mountain West Conference schools, and the quality of student athletes we will be able to recruit will increase dramatically.

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