Release courtesy of Benedictine University athletics communications
LISLE, Ill. --- It is with great pleasure that Benedictine University announces the appointment of Jim Schroeder to the position of head football coach.
Schroeder returns to Benedictine following four seasons as the head coach at Rockford University. Schroeder previously served as defensive coordinator at Benedictine from 2005-2014, earning a reputation as a strong recruiter and an excellent teacher, regularly boasting one of the top defenses in the conference.
"I would like to thank University President Charlie Gregory and director of athletics Mark McHorney for the opportunity to return to Benedictine," Schroeder said. "Returning to Benedictine feels a lot like going home for my family and I. We are thankful and excited to be part of the Benedictine family again. Benedictine is a special place filled with special people and my family and I couldn't be more excited to return."
While at Rockford, the program grew from a roster of 30 players to 70 in just one year. The 2018 roster featured a total of 99 players, the largest in program history. Rockford tallied wins over Concordia Wisconsin (24-0) and Lakeland (37-20) in 2018, the first wins over those two opponents in program history. Three additional contests were decided by a touchdown or less. Rockford tallied the most conference victories in program history in 2018. The 2018 team featured six all-conference players and an all-region choice.
Schroeder was a key part of building three NACC champion teams during his tenure at Benedictine as the team reached the NCAA Division III Playoffs in 2010, 2011 and 2014. The 2010 conference title marked the first conference championship since 1934 and saw the team appear in the NCAA Division III Playoffs for the first time in program history. Winning conference titles in 2010 and 2011, the program became the first school in conference history to win back-to-back titles and make consecutive appearances in the playoffs.
The Michigan native directed a top-three defense at Benedictine in the four major statistical categories in each of his final three years. Benedictine led the conference in pass defense in 2014 and in 2013 led the conference in scoring defense, total defense and rushing defense. Schroeder coached the NACC Defensive Player of the Year in three of his final four years with Benedictine. Additionally, Schroeder added the duty of recruiting coordinator in 2007, regularly attracting 45 or more athletes while expanding the recruiting area to Northern Indiana and Michigan.
"Jim (Schroeder) showed a strong desire to return to Benedictine throughout the process," director of athletics Mark McHorney said. "He is an outstanding coach and recruiter. He also has a great understanding of the University, NCAA Division III and the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference which will aid his transition."
Besides being a top defense in the conference, Benedictine also ranked among the best in the nation during Schroeder's tenure. The defense was ranked in the top-50 nationally in at least one category 11 times over the final six years at Benedictine. The team ranked 11th in the nation in passing defense and total defense in 2011 and 12th against the pass and 15th overall in 2014, his final year at Benedictine.
"The reason I chose coaching as a profession is to help young people reach their full potential on the field and in the classroom," Schroeder said. "I look forward to helping the student-athletes at Benedictine build the skills to be successful long after departing the program."
Other coaching stops for Schroeder include two years at Davidson, one year at Columbia and a year at Valparaiso, his alma mater.
Schroeder becomes the 30th head coach in program history.