UND and Head Football Coach Bubba Schweigert announced the hiring of Eric Schmidt as defensive coordinator last Friday afternoon. The Mandan, ND native comes with Schweigert from Southern Illinois where both were members of the defensive staff under Head Coach Dale Lennon for the past 6 seasons. Schmidt recently also served as Special Teams coordinator in Carbondale.
A familiar name to UND Football, Schmidt was an All-American linebacker for the dominant defense that led UND to a playoff run and eventual National Championship in 2001. Following his playing days, Schmidt was named Head Coach at Crookston High School where he coached from 2002-2005. In 2006, he joined Dale Lennon at UND as linebackers coach for 2 seasons before heading to Southern Illinois, taking on the same role for the Salukis.
Obviously, UND will be running the 3-4 scheme that they have ran for the past 24 years. The 3-4 has evolved and morphed over the years under the direction of Schmidt and Schweigert at SIU. We are not quite sure what tweaks there will be to the scheme but it will look similar to last years version in alignment, etc.
Schmidt will be recruiting the state of North Dakota, as he did back in 2005-2006 for UND. The UND coaching staff will have instant familiarity with most of the ND high school coaches now that Coach Schweigert (Zeeland), Coach Rudolph (Stanley), and Schmidt (Mandan) are on staff and will be roaming the countryside. UND needs to get more ND kids, especially along the OL and DL.