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Football Coaching Staff
Chris Mussman
Head Coach
Coach Info:
Position: Head Coach
Alma Mater: Iowa State
Graduating Year: 1990
Phone: 701.777.4191
Email: christopher.mussman@athletics.und.edu

 

The 2013 season will be the sixth for head coach Chris Mussman as he leads the North Dakota footbal into its second campaign as a Big Sky member.  

Year one in the Big Sky was a roller coaster of a season in which Mussman and his squad  finished 5-6 and 3-5 in league play after facing arguably the toughest schedule in the conference. The highlights included a win on the road at Sacramento State in the team's Big Sky debut on Sept. 22 and a thrilling 40-34 victory over perennial Big Sky power Montana at home on Oct. 20. 

There were also individual program firsts under Mussman's direction as junior wide receiver Greg Hardin was named the first Division I All-American in UND history (Sports Network Third Team). Redshirt freshman Jameer Jackson was named a Freshman All-American by College Sports Journal. 

Hardin and company also racked up several national accolades, including being named the College Football Performance Awards Elite FCS Wide Receiver. Hardin, who was also a first team All-Big Sky selection, earned CFPA national weekly honors three different times and fifth-year senior quarterbacks Braden Hanson and Marcus Hendrickson were also honored with national weekly honors.

Mussman's fourth season in the Red River Valley was the best of his head coaching tenure. His squad won seven of its last eight games, including four straight at the end to register a five-game turnaround from the 2010 season. He was named the Great West Coach of the Year by both his peers and the league's media and was also a finalist for the FCS Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year and Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award.

Mussman received his first Gatorade bath as a head coach after a thrilling 38-37 victory over South Dakota that earned the Sioux a share of the final GWC football regular season title. UND rallied from a 20-point, fourth-quarter deficit to knock off the rival Coyotes. Sioux players accounted for a league-high 12 GWC Player of the Week accolades, including sophomore Jake Miller, who became the first player in league history to earn three consecutive weekly honors.

Miller was also one of three players to earn first team All-GWC honors, while six others earned second team accolades. Academically, the Sioux placed 11 players on the All-GWC Academic Team and junior offensive lineman Emmett Lynch was named to the Capital One Academic All-District Seven Team.

Lynch was also part of an offensive line unit that Mussman took over coaching prior to the season. The O-line allowed the fewest sacks among GWC teams in 2011 and also paved the way for Miller to rank second among league rushers in yardage and rushing touchdowns.

Mussman's third season was one of ups and downs for a young Sioux squad that reeled off all three of its wins at the Alerus Center. The UND offense averaged 45 points in those victories, outscoring its foes by an average of 30 points.

A pair of seniors earned first team All-Great West accolades for their play on the field. Linebacker Ryan Kasowski earned a spot on the coaches' team, while Joel Schwenzfeier landed a spot on the media's team. Seven players earned Great West weekly honors, while 10 more Sioux found their names on the league's all-academic team.

Among the highlights during Mussman's second season in 2009 were UND's highly-anticipated road opener against its first BCS opponent (Texas Tech) since 1976, a 31-17 home victory over then 16th-ranked Cal Poly, the opportunity to play for the team's first NCAA DI conference title, and a season-ending, down-to-the-wire, one-point win over Central Arkansas.

The Sioux finished the campaign with a 6-5 mark, which was the program's seventh straight winning season, and as the runner-up to UC Davis in the Great West standings.

For their efforts on the field, nine Sioux received GWC Player of the Week honors, including sophomore Broc Bellmore, who was one of six players to be recognized more than once. Redshirt freshman Mitch Sutton was named Great West Rookie of the Year and was selected to the all-conference first team. Sutton was joined on the all-conference roster by junior Ryan Kasowski (first team), sophomore Ismael Bamba (second team), senior Kyle Bondy (second team), junior Ty Boyle (second team), sophomore Dominique Hawkins (second team), senior Brandon Hellevang (second team), junior Kris Ankenbauer (honorable mention), and redshirt freshman Ross Brenneman (honorable mention).

While the on field achievements were easily recognizable, coach Mussman and his staff continually urged their student-athletes to strive for success in the classroom as well.

Two players received ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America honors and four were named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District team. Hellevang and senior Andrew Miller were selected to the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star team and both were finalists for the ninth annual FCS ADA postgraduate scholarship. Miller becomes the first Fighting Sioux player to receive the award. He also received an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship.

During his first season as the head coach of the Fighting Sioux, Mussman guided the tradition-rich program to a 6-4 record as the University of North Dakota made its NCAA Division I Football Championship debut.

The Sioux registered their first victory as a DI program on Sept. 18 when they defeated the Idaho State Bengals, 38-35, in Pocatello, Idaho. They went on to finish 2-3 against DI opponents. UND was undefeated (4-0) against non-DI schools with a records of 3-0 and 1-0 against DII and DIII opponents, respectively.

Mussman also led North Dakota to a 1-2 record in its first season as member of the Great West Conference alongside Cal Poly, South Dakota, Southern Utah, and UC Davis.

The Sioux finished at the top of the GWC in several team categories, but most notably, they produced the league's most productive running back (Josh Murray) and kick returner (Dominique Hawkins).

The 2008 squad was not only recognized for its efforts on the field, but in the classroom as well. Four student-athletes were honored as academic all-Americans and league-high nine were selected to the Great West all-conference team. UND also topped the GWC as 16 players received fall all-academic honors.

Mussman became the 25th head coach in UND football history when he was introduced at a press conference on Jan. 4, 2008, after nine seasons on the Sioux coaching staff, including the last four as assistant head coach and the last seven as offensive coordinator.

Mussman possesses nearly two decades of collegiate coaching experience. During his nine seasons as an assistant on the UND staff, the Sioux went 90-24 (.789), won a Division II national championship in 2001, won five North Central Conference titles and made five NCAA Division II postseason appearances.

In 2007, Mussman directed arguably the most explosive offensive unit in the history of Fighting Sioux football. UND set school records for total yards (5,924), total touchdowns (60) and regular season scoring average (40.7 points per game).

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

Individually, 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, garnered several postseason awards between the two of them.

Additionally, junior quarterback Danny Freund set UND regular season records for passing yards (2,573) and touchdowns (24), while sophomore running back Ryan Chappell shattered the team's single-game rushing record with 306 yards against Central Washington on Sept. 15.

Offensive prominence was a staple of Sioux football during Mussman's time as offensive coordinator. 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. Also, six of the top 10 highest-rated passers in UND history were tutored by Mussman.

During his seven years as UND's offensive coordinator, Mussman coached 32 All-NCC players on offense, including the two-time (2007, 2006) NCC Most Valuable Receiver in Dressler.

Since Mussman joined the UND coaching staff as offensive line coach in 1999, eight Sioux offensive linemen have earned first team all-conference honors, four have received first team All-America honors and Ben Olson (2003) and Chris Kuper (2004, 2005) were honored as the NCC's Most Valuable Offensive Linemen.

Kuper currently plays for the NFL's Denver Broncos, while Dressler now plays for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.

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 serving as the Mavericks' offensive line and tight ends coach. Under Mussman, the 1996 Mavericks led the NCC in total offense.

In addition to coaching at 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 MSU. He was a four-year letterwinner and starting offensive lineman at Iowa State, serving as a team captain in 1990.

Mussman and his wife, Shelley, have two sons: Jacob (15) and Jackson (13).

Chris Mussman's Coaching Record at UND:

Year

GWC/Big Sky*

 Win%

 Finish

Overall

 Win%

2008

1-2-0

.333

3rd

 6-4-0

.600

2009

2-2-0

.500

2nd

6-5-0

.545

2010 0-4-0 .000 4th 3-8-0 .273
2011 3-1-0 .750 T-1st 8-3-0 .727
2012 3-5-0* .375 T-8th 5-6-0 .455

Totals

9-14-0

.391

 

28-26-0

.519

Years at UND: 14 (sixth as head coach)

2011 Great West Coach of the Year
(GWC Coaches, GWC Media and College Sports Madness)
2011 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Finalist (FCS)
2011 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Finalist (FCS)