Schweigert Named Big Sky Coach of the Year

Courtesy UND Athletics

After leading his team to a share of the league football title and a Division I program record nine victories, North Dakota’s Bubba Schweigert was named the Big Sky Coach of the Year on Wednesday. Schweigert was selected for the honor by his league peers, who also picked 11 Fighting Hawks for the All-Big Sky Conference teams that were announced a day earlier.

In just his third season back at UND, Schweigert has guided the Fighting Hawks to two-win improvements in each of his three seasons, capping that stretch with the program’s first Football Championship Subdivision playoff bid and No. 7 overall seed in the upcoming tournament.

After starting the season 0-2, UND rallied from a 20-point deficit at home against South Dakota in game No. 3 to start what would turn into a nine-game winning streak. That nine-game unbeaten streak is the longest for the program since the 2005 UND team opened that season with nine-straight wins.

Schweigert, who was the defensive coordinator at UND in his previous stint, has seen that unit become one of the tops in the conference leading all league teams in rush defense during all three of his seasons as the head coach. This year’s unit featured the Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year in Cole Reyes and also led the league in scoring defense (21.5 ppg). 

Only fifth-seeded Sam Houston State, who is the lone unbeaten team in the FCS, has a longer winning streak entering the playoffs.

UND will take on the winner of the first-round matchup between North Carolina A&T (9-2) and Richmond (8-3) that will take place this Saturday at 1 p.m. CT on ESPN3. The Fighting Hawks’ first FCS playoff game will kickoff at the Alerus Center on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 5 p.m. CT.

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