|Position:||Assistant Coach - Offensive Coordinator|
|Alma Mater:||Minot State|
Paul Rudolph will begin his fifth season as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at UND in 2018. This edition of Rudolph's offense will be spearheaded by a new signal caller after three-year starter Keaton Studsrud exhausted his eligibility in 2017, but his new signal caller will have the comfort of handing the ball off to a veteran backfield and firing passes to a veteran receiving corps.
Running backs John Santiago and Brad Oliveira were All-Big Sky honorees for the second consecutive season in 2017, while Santiago earned All-American accolades for the third consecutive year after averaging a Big Sky-best 6.0 yards per carry and leading the FCS with 1,780 all-purpose yards during the regular season. UND also put together its best passing numbers during Rudolph's tenure in 2017 with Studsrud and his back-ups combining for 2,352 yards and 12 touchdown passes. Junior Noah Wanzek (52) and classmate Travis Toivonen (30) are the team's top returning pass catchers and that duo has combined for 164 catches during their first two collegiate seasons, each taking a turn leading the Fighting Hawks in receptions since 2015.
After showing marked improvement from year one to year two, Rudolph's unit continued to progress into a well-rounded attack in 2016 that helped the Fighting Hawks win the Big Sky Championship and earn the program's first Division I FCS Playoff berth. The 355 total points (29.6 ppg) were the second most for the Fighting Hawks at the DI era.
En route to totalling nine wins, the offense put together another 2,500-yard ground attack, while elevating the passing game to new levels. Junior quarterback Keaton Studsrud was the engineer of those efforts as he passed for a career-high 2,027 yards and 14 touchdowns. In his two full seasons as UND's starting signal caller, Studsrud owns a 25:6 touchdown to interception ratio.
Santiago (983 rushing yards; first team) and Oliveira (897 rushing yards; third team) both earned All-Big Sky honors in 2016. Santiago also earned All-America honors for the second-straight season as an all-purpose performer.
The progress from Rudolph's first season at the helm in 2014 to the 2015 season on the offensive side of the ball was impressive. In reaching seven wins for the first time since the 2011 season, UND's offense amassed nearly 1,200 more yards, 118 more points, 1,248 more rushing yards than it did in 2014 and did so in one fewer game.
The ground game was the primary production cog as Santiago set UND Division I records with 1,459 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns en route to earning Associated Press and Stats Inc., All-America honors. In total, UND rushed for 2,645 yards and 23 rushing touchdowns, setting DI bench marks in both categories.
Santiago, who was named the Big Sky Co-Freshman of the Year, was one of five offensive players to earn All-Big Sky accolades. He landed on the first team with senior offensive lineman Sean Meehan, while Brandon Anderson (OL), Colton Boas (OL) and Zach Adler (FB) were all named to the second team.
Studsrud also made giant strides under Rudolph's tutelage in 2015. He finished the campaign with a 60-percent completion rate and threw 12 touchdowns, while only being picked off three times.
The first official hire made by second-year head coach Bubba Schweigert, Rudolph saw his 2014 offense find its footing late in the season. Senior running back Jer Garman earned All-Big Sky honorable mention honors after racking up 858 yards rushing and seven touchdowns. Garman was the catalyst behind the offense'se late-season success, racking up 730 yards and six touchdowns in the final five contests.
Fullback Dwayne Pecosky and tight end Zach Adler would also earn All-Big Sky honorable mention honors on the offensive side of the ball in 2014.
Rudolph brought 23 years of collegiate coaching experience to the program when he arrived in January of 2014, including 16 as a head coach. He won two conference titles and made two playoff appearances during stops as a head coach at Upper Iowa (1992-2000) and Minot State (2007-2013) and was a successful offensive coordinator at St. Cloud State in between those two stints.
Rudolph's last seven years as a head coach were spent in Minot where he helped lead the Beavers through a transition from the NAIA level to NCAA Division II status. He led MSU to a pair of DAC titles during his tenure in the Magic City and was named the DAC Coach of the Year in his first season in 2007. The Beavers earned a playoff berth in 2009, which was the school's first appearance since 2001.
A Stanley, N.D., native, the coaching veteran earned Schweigert's respect when the two squared off against each during their respective NCC tenures. Rudolph was the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at St. Cloud State from 2000-2006 when Schweigert was the defensive coordinator at UND and head coach at Minnesota-Duluth.
While with the Huskies, Rudolph's offense broke 26 single-season school records and 21 more single-game records. He helped lead SCSU to the NCAA Division II playoffs in 2004 and a 2002 North Central Conference title.
Before moving onto SCSU, Rudolph spent 10 seasons at Upper Iowa, including the last eight as the Peacocks head coach. He was named the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1992 when his team's offense ranked second nationally with 456.8 yards per game. Rudolph also served as the athletics director at Upper Iowa from 1996-2000.
Rudolph and his wife, Renae, have three children, Zachary, McKenzie and Creighton. Zachary, a former wide receiver, played underneath his father for four seasons at Minot State.
-- UND --