|« Athlon Magazine's 2012 Preseason FCS Top 25 and Predictions||Big Sky Officially Welcomes New Members »|
North Dakota Extends Head Coach's Contract
New deal runs through 2015 season
As the University of North Dakota Athletics Department prepares to embark on a new chapter in its history by joining the Big Sky Conference, director of athletics Brian Faison announced today a three-year contract extension for head football coach Chris Mussman.
The extension will keep Mussman at the helm of UND football through the 2015 season, and also includes two options that could extend the deal through 2017.
“Coach Mussman did a terrific job this past year leading UND football to its first Division I conference title,” said Faison. “Over the past four years he has handled all of the many challenges of the Division I transition well, all while maintaining the pride and the team traditions that are so much a part of UND football. I look forward to working with Chris for years to come.”
Mussman and his team will take the momentum of an 8-3 campaign and a share of the Great West Conference title into the 2012 season, which will be the program’s first in the Big Sky Conference. The five-game turnaround was the third best in the history of the program and pushed Mussman’s overall record to 23-20.
The team capped a four-game winning streak and a share of the GWC title in dramatic fashion, rallying from 20 points down in the fourth quarter to stun South Dakota 38-37 in the regular season finale.
For his efforts in 2011, Mussman was named the GWC Coach of the Year and was one of three FCS finalists for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award and he was also a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award. The Sioux finished the season ranked No. 23 in the The Sports Network/Fathead.com poll, which marked the first time in its Division I history that UND was ranked in a final national poll.
Mussman’s players also enjoyed success in the classroom once again as 11 of his players were named to the GWC All-Academic team. Mussman has now seen 49 of his players receive that honor in his four-plus seasons at UND. Also in 2011, junior offensive lineman Emmett Lynch (Winstead, Minn.) was named to the Capital One Academic All-District Six Team and senior fullback Catlin Solum (Fargo, N.D.) was named a member of the College Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society.
UND will open the 2012 season at the Alerus Center on Thursday, Aug. 30 with a tilt against South Dakota School of Mines. The team will play its inaugural Big Sky Conference game on the road at Sacramento State on Saturday, Sept. 22.
By University of North Dakota Media Relations