The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 9, 2013

SBU hires Schuler as football coach

From staff reports

BOLIVAR, Mo. — Craig Schuler, assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Lindenwood for the last nine years, has been named head football coach at Southwest Baptist.

He was introduced Tuesday afternoon at a press conference in the Meyer Wellness Center.

“I am very excited for the opportunity,” Schuler said in a press release. “I have been looking for somewhere like SBU in terms of the community and how it is a faith-based institution.

“The challenge is to see if what we accomplished at Lindenwood can be translated to SBU in regards of what we do with the kids and the way we try and develop them on and off the field. I feel this is going to be a great fit.”

“I am thrilled that Craig Schuler will be our next football coach,” said Mike Pitts, SBU athletics director. “He has impressed us with his abilityi to recruit quality student-athletes.

“As the architect of Lindenwood’s offense last season, Coach Schuler averaged more than 32 points per game against MIAA opponents in Lindenwood’s first year in our conference. But even more important than what happens on the field, Coach Schuler has the kind of character that will influence more than 100 young men to be leaders and examples in the classroom, in our local churches and in the community.”

Schuler will be starting his 25th year as a football coach and his 23rd year at the collegiate level. He also served as an assistant at Benedictine and Avila.

Lindenwood’s offense averaged 45 points per game since the start of the 2009 season, and the Lions won Heart of America Conference titles in 2004, 2007 and 2009.

Lindenwood went 8-4 last season and 7-4 in its first year in the MIAA. The Lions lost to Winona State 41-21 in the Mineral Water Bowl in Excelsior Springs, Mo.

Schuler replaces Keith Allen, whose contract was not renewed after guiding the Bearcats to a 27-39 record over six seasons.