A 52-11 record. Five Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North Division titles. Three NCAA Division II playoff appearances. One overall NSIC championship. One perfect 11-0 regular season. An .825 winning percentage.
That, for starters, is what Curt Wiese has already accomplished since taking over as UMD's sixth head coach on Dec. 21, 2012. He's also helped produce 18 different All-Americans and 32 All-NSIC first team selections while his Bulldogs have earned NSIC All-Academic status 73 times. Among those were three CoSIDA Academic All-American first team honorees in wide receiver Jason Balts (2017) offensive lineman Andrew Pattock (2013) and defensive end Nick Thorpe (2017).
In addition, during Wiese's head coaching tenure UMD has racked up a victory total unsurpassed by all but five NCAA II clubs in the entire country and just two NCAA II coaches. Last fall, his 9-3 Bulldogs qualified for postseason play for the 10th time in as many years with an invitation to the Mineral Water Bowl. That came one year after UMD had reeled off 10 straight victories following a setback in the season opener and wound up going 10-2. Along the way the Bulldogs upped their home winning streak to a school-record 22 games, returned to the NCAA II playoffs after a brief, one-year absence, and occupied the No. 13 spot in the final AFCA II poll. Three seasons ago, UMD capped off a 9-3 season by defeating Fort Hayes State University 30-22 in the Mineral Water Bowl and in 2014 rolled up a 13-1 overall record (the third most wins in program history) and captured a share of its league-record 19th NSIC crown. That was on top of advancing to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA II playoffs and ending up at No. 3 spot in the final AFCA II poll. Wiese's rookie-go-around (2013) included an 11-2 mark in all games, an NCAA II playoff berth and a No. 8 final AFCA II poll ranking.
For his exemplary efforts in 2013, Wiese was selected the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award winner for Division II, a prestigious honor recognizing coaches for their responsibility, integrity, sportsmanship and excellence, on and off the field.
Wiese was elevated to the UMD head coaching position after spending the previous five years overseeing offenses that moved the football with as much proficiency as any in NCAA II ranks. During Wiese's successful run as the team’s offensive coordinator, the Bulldogs finished near the top of the NCAA II leader board four times in scoring (third in 2012 with a school-record 46.5 points per game average, fifth in 2008, sixth in 2010 and ninth in 2009) and in 2012 possessed the nation’s seventh best rushing attack (after ranking seventh, fourth, and third, respectively, in that department the previous three seasons). The 2012 Bulldogs were also the nation’s leader in third down conversions (54.8 percent). In addition, no less than 15 of his pupils landed some kind of All-American recognition, including a pair of Harlon Hill Award finalists -- quarterback Ted Schlafke (2008), the school’s career passing and total offense leader, and running back Isaac Odim (2009), UMD’s No. 1 all-time ground gainer and scorer and the holder of over one dozen school records. In addition, his starting offensive guard from 2009-12, Garth Heikkinen, became the school’s first recipient of the Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year of Award and earned a playing spot in the annual East-West Shrine Game in January 2013 while offensive tackle Jake Bscherer participated in the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings Training Camps later that year.
Since Wiese’s arrival at UMD in February 2008, the Bulldogs have generated both the second most victories (they are 114-18) and winning percentage (.863) in the nation while capturing two NCAA II national championships (2008 and 2010) seven NSIC titles (2008-12, 2014 and 2018) and 11 straight NSIC North Divison crowns (2008-18). They've also posted two perfect 15-0 seasons and four 11-0 regular seasons.
Wiese came to UMD following two years of employment as the head coach at NCAA Division III member Marietta College (Ohio). He compiled a 9-11 career overall record with the Pioneers, including a 6-4 mark in 2006. The Stoughton, Wis., native signed on with the Marietta football program in 2003 when he became the team’s offensive coordinator -- a duty he continued to maintain after he was elevated to head coach. In five years of directing the Marietta offense, Wiese helped churn out two All-Americans, 12 All-Ohio Athletic Conference selections and five Academic All-OAC honorees and was a finalist for the American Football Coaches Association Division III Assistant Coach of the Year Award in 2004.
Prior to his move to Marietta, Wiese worked as a graduate assistant at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, tutoring the tight ends for two years and the offensive line for one season. He entered the coaching arena a little over a dozen seasons ago on the heels of a four-year collegiate playing career. After three seasons at Minnesota State University-Mankato (1995-97), Wiese transferred to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where as a senior in 1998, he quarterbacked the Pointers to a share of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title.
Wiese, one of 10 head coaches from across the nation who were up for the 2016 Allstate Insurance Good Works Team, graduated from Minnesota State-Mankato in 2000 with a B.A. degree in technology education and received a Master’s degree in educational professional development from Wisconsin-Eau Claire two years later. He and his wife, Jenny, have three daughters -- Alexis, Makenna and Brooke -- and make their home in Hermantown. graduated from Minnesota State-Mankato in 2000 with a B.A. degree in technology education and received a Master’s degree in educational professional development from Wisconsin-Eau Claire two years later. He and his wife, Jenny, have three daughters -- Alexis, Makenna and Brooke -- and make their home in Hermantown.