Noah Pauley embarks on his fifth season with the Bulldog coaching staff and third as their offensive coordinator.
Pauley, a Bulldog football alumnus, debuted in style two seasons ago, sitting at the control of a UMD offense that rolled up the second-most yards (536.7 per game) and sixth most points (45.1 per game -- the second highest figure in program history) of any NCAA II club in the country. His Bulldogs also ranked fourth nationally in third down conversion efficiency (52.2 percent), fourth in first downs (326), 13th in rushing yards (233.4 ypg) and 14th in passing yards (303.3 ypg). All eleven of his starters received some type of All-NSIC recognition that year and 10 did so last fall.
A native of Duluth, Pauley took over the offensive coordinator position at his alma mater on Feb. 8, 2016. He had spent three prior seasons as a member of the Bulldog coaching staff after closing out a rewarding collegiate playing career.
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 11 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 University 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 three 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 before 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 daughters Ada and Lena.
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 12 years while working under three different head coaches (Curt Wiese, Bob Nielson and Kyle "Bubba" Schweigert).
During his dozen years of service with the Bulldogs, Lue has had a hand in mentoring no less than 24 All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North Division and/or All-North Central Conference selections in Jason Anderson (first team in 2017), Nate Baier (first team in 2008 and second team in 2007), Peter Bateman (first team in 2014-16 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), Nolan Folkert (first team in 2016-17), 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 (honorable mention in 2017, first team in 2016 and 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 and honorable mention in 2015-16), Phillip Rutz (first team in 2014), Grant Schnobrich (first team in 2013 and second team in 2012), Trapper Ward (second team in 2017), Sam Whitney (first team in 2009 and honorable mention in 2008) and Willy Westerman (honorable mention in 2016). 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. Two years ago, Bateman collared his fourth All-NSIC citation, made four All-American teams and received the Bobby Bell College Impact Player of the Year Award from the Minnesota Chapter of the National Football Foundation -- the first offensive lineman to be so honored. Baier, Bateman, Cady, Lemke and Olson all secured All-American first team status during their respective senior seasons as well.
Lue, 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).
A native of Parsippany, N.J., Lue graduated from Rowan U. in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He and his wife, Dr. Marsha Francis, make their home in Duluth.
Graduate Assistant Coach (Running Backs)
Sam King is in his second season of graduate assistant coaching duty and working with the UMD running backs.
Before making his way to Duluth, King was the offensive quality control coach for two years at the University of North Dakota where he worked under head coach Kyle "Bubba" Schweigert (who served as UMD's head coach from 2004-07) and the his 2016 Big Sky Conference Fighting Hawks.
Born and raised in Grand Forks, N.D., (and a Central High School alumnus), King was a four-time football letterman (2011-14) at Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference rival Bemidji State University where bided his time as a reserve quarterback and -- during his farewell collegiate season -- the Beavers' primary placekicking holder. He graduated from Bemidji State in 2015 with a B.S. degree in physical education.
King is currently enrolled in UMD's Master of Education program. He and his wife, Chelsea, make their home in Duluth.
Intern Assistant Coach (Tight Ends)
A couple of years removed from closing the books on his UMD football career, Isaac Vesel returns to his alma mater this fall to serve as a intern assistant coach in charge of the team's tight ends.
A native of La Crescent, Minn., Vesel spent the 2017 season with the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater football staff (assistant defensive line coach). He started two years at nose tackle and defensive end for the Bulldogs, including as a junior in 2015 when he collared All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North Division honorable mention recognition.
A two-time NSIC All-Academic Team pick and member of the 2017 National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society, Vesel graduated from UMD in 2017 with a B.S. degree in physical education.