Noah Pauley, who spent three seasons as a member of the UMD coaching staff after closing out a rewarding Bulldog playing career, took over the offensive coordinator at his alma mater on Feb. 8, 2016.
Pauley, 27, replaced Dan Larson, who stepped down after three years at that position to become the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's head coach.
From 2013-14, Pauley was a graduate assistant coach, overseeing UMD's wide receivers, a unit that included All-American Aaron Roth and Zach Zweifel, the fourth leading all-time catch leader in Bulldog history. He joined the UMD coaching staff as a student assistant in the spring of 2011 -- a few months after he hung up his collegiate spikes. In 47 career outings, the former Duluth Central High School three-sport star hauled in 100 passes (a milestone only 10 other Bulldogs have ever reached) for 1,108 yards and nine touchdowns. He made his final catch as a Bulldog in UMD's NCAA II quarterfinal round victory over Augustana College on Dec. 4, 2010 – and suffered a season-ending clavicle injury that same afternoon, forcing him to take in the national championship game two weeks later from the sidelines. After cutting his collegiate teeth as a true freshman in 2007, Pauley proceeded to pace the Bulldogs in both punt and kick returns the following season when they captured their second NCAA II crown in two years. As a junior, Pauley brought back 16 of the team's 17 punts.
Pauley, who was the assistant dean of students and athletic director at Duluth's Edison's North Star Academy in prior to rejoining the Bulldog family, earned both a B.S. degree in criminology (2012) and a Master's degree in education (2014) from UMD. He and his wife, Hannah, reside in Duluth with their daughter, Ada, who was born this past June.
Assistant Coach (Offensive Line)
The play of UMD’s offensive interior falls under the domain of Peter Lue, who has skillfully handled that key responsibility the past 10 years while working under three different head coaches (Curt Wiese, Bob Nielson and Kyle "Bubba" Schweigert).
During his decade of service with the Bulldogs, Lue has had a hand in mentoring no less than 20 All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North Division and/or All-North Central Conference selections in Nate Baier (first team in 2008 and second team in 2007), Peter Bateman (first team in 2014-15 and second team in 2013), Jake Bscherer (first team in 2012), Mitch Cady (first team in 2008 and honorable mention in 2007), Cory Flesch (first team in 2011), Russell Foster (second team in 2006), Garth Heikkinen (first team in 2010-12 and honorable mention in 2009), Francis Herzog (honorable mention in 2011 and first team in 2010), Matt Juneau (second team in 2015), Eli Kelly (second team in 2011 and first team in 2010), Tobias Lemke (first team in 2008-09), Mark Knudsen (first team in 2006), Andrew Muer (first team in 2013-14), Tom Olson (first team in 2013 and honorable mention in 2011-12), Connor Randall (second team in 2014), Phillip Rutz (first team in 2014), Grant Schnobrich (first team in 2013 and second team in 2012) and Sam Whitney (first team in 2009 and honorable mention in 2008). Heikkinen, UMD’s first four-time All-Conference honoree, was the recipient of the 2012 Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year Award and earned All-American first or second team distinction from six different groups as a senior and four the previous year. Muer bettered that feat in 2014 by being selected to seven All-American teams and, like Heikkinen, was the recipient of UMD's Outstanding Senior Athlete Award. Baier, Cady, Lemke and Olson all secured All-American first team status during their respective senior seasons as well.
Lue, 44, who is in charge of UMD’s Big Dog and youth football camps and clinics and helps oversee the Bulldogs' extensive community service activities, served a four-year assistant coaching hitch (offensive line) at La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pa., and in 2005 was promoted to director of football operations at that NCAA I-AA institution. He enlisted with the Explorer staff in 2002, fresh off two seasons of duty as William Paterson University’s line coach and special teams coordinator. From 1996-1999, he was employed in that same capacity at Parsippany Hills (N.J.) High School. A defensive lineman at Rowan University (N.J.) from 1992-95, Lue and the Profs advanced to a pair of NCAA Division III championship game appearances (1993 and 1995).
Lue, a native of Parsippany, N.J., graduated from Rowan U. in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He and his wife, Dr. Marsha Francis, (they were married this past summer) make their home in Duluth.
Graduate Assistant Coach (Running Backs)
Jacob Essler signed on as a graduate assistant coach with the Bulldogs one year ago, having spent the previous fall (2014) working with the running backs -- including Sam Sura, the second-leading NCAA III rusher that season, at his alma mater, Saint John's University.
A native of New London, Minn., Essler lettered four years (the first three under legendary head coach John Gagliardi) with the football Johnnies and started at running back as a senior. The two-time All-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honorable mention pick also handled Saint John's kick and punt returning responsibilities in 2012 and 2013.
Essler received a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education from Saint John's in 2014 and is currently pursing a Master's of Education degree at UMD.
Graduate Assistant Coach (Tight Ends)
A new addition to the UMD coaching staff, C.J. Robertson took on a graduate assistant position this winter after spending the previous four years serving as an assistant coach Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, Ill.
A Neuqua Valley High School alumnus, Robertson oversaw the team's defensive linemen, linebackers and special teams. During Robertson's four-season stay, the Wildcats went 38-9 overall during his four-year stay and made it the the state semifinals in 2012 and the quarterfinals one year later.
He joined the coaching ranks shortly after putting the finishing touches on his collegiate playing career at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, where he was a three-year starting tight end (2009-11). Current UMD defensive coordinator Jon Steger was a Salukis assistant coach when Robertson was a sophomore and junior. That 2009 club advanced to the semfinal round of the NCAA FCS playoffs and ranked sixth in the final American Football Coaches Association poll.
Robertson, who is enrolled in UMD's Master's of Education program this fall, attained Bachlor of Science degrees in both marketing and management from Southern Illinois in 2012.