Matt Strzalkowski (Left) and Jonathan Coddington (Right) have been named full-time football assistants to Coach Schumacher's
Tue, Mar. 14, 2017 - [Football] - Viewed 545 times
(Ann Arbor, MI) The full-time Concordia University football coaching staff is now complete. Head Coach Joshua Schumacher and the program have announced the promotion of Jonathan Coddington and Matt Strzalkowski, both of whom worked on previous head coach Lonnie Pries' staff. Coddington served as a graduate assistant the past two season while Strzalkowski has been a part-time assistant since graduating from Concordia.
"We hired Coach Coddington and Coach Straz because these men firmly believe and live out our mission statement while also displaying a deep passion for the game of football," said Schumacher.
Strzalkowski has been given the title of Co-Defensive Coordinator, working closely with head coach Joshua Schumacher who will remain the Defensive Coordinator. "Straz brings an attention to detail and energy that will continue to improve our defense," said Schumacher
Coddington will continue to focus his attention on the offensive unit as the Quarterback's Coach while also adding administrative duties as the recruiting coordinator. "I know Jonathan will thrive as our quarterbacks' coach and recruiting coordinator, said Schumacher. His knowledge of the passing game will only add to our potent 'pound the rock' offensive attack."
In the time of Schumacher's promotion to head coach upon the completion of last season, football's associate head coach Chance Childers also transitioned to an important university position as director of enrollment, leading to a second coaching vacancy on the Cardinals football staff.
During the 2016 season, the Cardinals set a school record with 7 wins and received their first national ranking at #23 in the NAIA Coaches Poll.
When looking at the trajectory of the Concordia football program the last four years under Pries, there is no doubt stability was a key factor in Schumacher's decision.
"While going through the interview process it was clear that we had several great candidates already on our staff," said Schumacher. "Our previous success is the result of great leadership from players and coaches, and both are entrenched in the mission of our program. We believed it was in the best interest of the program to promote from within; these two men have become excellent coaches with established relationships."
Schumacher believes their history within the program and unique skill sets combined are a perfect fit for what the team needs right now.
Prior to coming to Concordia, Coddington was on staff at Anderson University as the Quarterback's Coach, the same position he played for the Ravens until graduating in 2014. Coddington earned a bachelor's degree in physical education and health and will be receiving his master's degree in Student Personnel Administration from CUAA in May 2017. Coddington is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and was prepped at Sycamore High School.
"I am very excited for the opportunity to continue to work at Concordia University with the football program," said Coddington. "The past two years have been a great experience working as a graduate assistant. I am extremely thankful to Lonnie Pries and Coach Schumacher for giving me an opportunity to learn and grow under their leadership."
Strzalkowski has been a Cardinal ever since graduating from Brighton High School in 2010. Strzalkowski enrolled at Concordia in the fall and was a member of Concordia's first football team where he played all four years as safety and defensive back. From 2011-2013 Strzalkowski recorded 3 interceptions which currently ranks as the 4th most in a career. In 2015, he graduated with a bachelor's degree in Sport and Entertainment Business.
"I am very excited about the future of Concordia's football program and investing in young men to become stronger Christians, quality students, and better football players," said Strzalkowski. "I am very passionate about the game of football and helping players achieve success for the rest of their lives through football."
Despite all the changes among leadership and the coaching staff this off-season, one priority has remained consistent; the program's mission. Coach Schumacher continues to instill that Concordia football means more than winning games on Saturday afternoons. The missional purpose of developing men, students, Christians, and athletes was initiated by Lonnie Pries and continues today.
"Being a part of the Concordia football program means you are entering a relationship of commitment," said Schumacher. "We are not a perfect program, but our young men know that we expect their best effort and they can expect the same from their teammates and coaches. We promise to hold each other to extremely high standards of discipline and character. We have experienced how this process leads to success, and we promise to remain grounded in our faith and our principles."