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UND names Chris Mussman head football coach
Courtesy: UND Athletics Media Relations
Release: 01/04/2008
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Chris Mussman, here with co-acting Athletic Director Steve Brekke, was named the 25th head coach in UND football history.
Courtesy: UND Athletics Media Relations

GRAND FORKS, N.D. University of North Dakota co-acting athletic directors Betty Ralston and Steve Brekke announced today that Chris Mussman has been named UND’s head football coach.

The 39-year old Mussman, who has spent the last nine years on UND’s football coaching staff, has 17 years of college football coaching experience. He takes over a football program that while he has been a member of its coaching staff has gone 90-24 (.789), won a national championship, won five conference titles and made seven NCAA playoff appearances.

Mussman has been UND’s assistant head football coach for the last four seasons and its offensive coordinator for the last seven seasons. He is the 25th head coach in UND football history.

“Even though Chris had other options, his choice was to be UND’s next head football coach and prepare our program for Division I,” Ralston said. “His experience and dedication to UND will continue our tradition of academic and athletic success.”

“This is an exciting day for the future of UND football,” Brekke said. “We are confident that Chris Mussman is the person to lead our football program from the Division II to the Division I level. As a member of the UND football coaching staff for the last nine years, Chris has been a part of and understands the strong tradition of UND football. His experience and familiarity with our football team, the University, its alums and the community make him the right person to lead the program as we build on its long tradition of excellence and move into an exciting new era of UND athletics.”

A native of Owatonna, Minn., Mussman recently completed his ninth season as a member of the UND coaching staff and seventh as UND’s offensive coordinator. He was promoted to assistant head coach after the 2003 season.

“I’m humbled to have this opportunity to lead the Fighting Sioux football team,” Mussman said. “The past nine seasons have taught me the proud history and tradition of this football program. We look forward to working with the football family from past and present as we move towards Division I.”

Mussman was the Sioux offensive line coach for his first two years at UND, and he has continued those duties while taking over the offense as coordinator.

Last season Mussman directed one of the most explosive offensive units in the history of UND football, ast the Fighting Sioux set school records for total yards (5,924), total touchdowns (60) and regular season points per game (40.7). Senior wide receiver Weston Dressler set a UND single-season record for receiving yardage and was named a Harlon Hill Trophy finalist, while two of Mussman’s offensive linemen, juniors Mitch Braegelmann and Brian Troen, earned several postseason awards between the two of them.

UND finished the 2007 season as the North Central Conference’s top-ranked offense in scoring, total offense, total first downs, 3rd-down conversions and time of possession.

UND’s offensive record books are littered with accomplishments achieved under Mussman’s watch, including the top three single-season passing yardage performances, top seven completion percentage performances and seven of the top eight marks for single-season receptions.

In 2006, UND quarterback Reed Manke completed a school-record 68.7 percent of his passes including a whopping 70.2 percent during the regular season while Dressler became the school’s all-time receptions leader and running back Ryan Chappell broke program records for freshman rushing yards and touchdowns.

As a team, the Sioux finished in the top three of virtually every offensive category in the NCC. In 2005, Dan Grossman became UND’s all-time reception leader and combined with running back Chris Beatty to give the Sioux their second 1,000-yard receiver/running back duo ever, a feat Dressler and Chappell would repeat in each of the next two years.

In 2003, Mussman coached the first 1,000-yard rushing and receiving duo in UND history in running back Adam Roland and receiver Willis Stattelman.

Since assuming offensive coordinator duties in 2000, Mussman has coached 32 All-NCC Players on offense, including the two-time (2007, 2006) NCC Most Valuable Receiver in Dressler.

Under Mussman, eight UND offensive linemen have earned first team all-conference honors, four received first team All-America honors, and Ben Olson (2003) and Chris Kuper (2004, 2005) were honored as the North Central Conference’s most valuable offensive lineman.

Kuper and Chad Mustard, another former Mussman pupil, currently play for the NFL’s Denver Broncos.

Prior to coming to UND, Mussman spent the previous eight seasons on the staff at Minnesota State University, Mankato. In 1996 Mussman was promoted to assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at MSU after starting as the Mavericks’ offensive line and tight end coach.

Under Mussman, the 1996 MSU offense led the NCC in total offense.

In addition to coaching at both UND and MSU, Mussman has also served as an instructor for UND’s Physical Education and Exercise Science department and MSU’s Health and Human Performance department.

Mussman holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Iowa State and a master’s degree in sports management from Minnesota State. He was a four-year letterwinner and starter at Iowa State, serving as a 1990 team captain for the Cyclones.

Mussman and his wife, Shelley, have two sons: Jacob (11) and Jackson (9).

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