"We are extremely excited to have Kyle take over our football program," said Nielson, who was 38-18 (for a .667 winning percentage -- the best figure in the 71-year history of UMD football) in five seasons with the Bulldogs and coached UMD to its first 11-0 regular season finish ever in 2002 and an inaugural appearance in the NCAA II playoffs. "Kyle is a proven winner with a tremendous amount of coaching experience and is the type of individual we need to move us forward into the North Central Conference."
Schweigert completed his 15th season as a Fighting Sioux assistant coach earlier this month when North Dakota fell 10-3 to Grand Valley State University in the NCAA II championship game. Over the past 14 years he has been in charge of the Fighting Sioux defensive secondary and, in 1997, was appointed the team's defensive coordinator. Two years ago, Schweigert added the title of assistant head coach.
During Schweigert's tenure, North Dakota earned NCAA II playoff berths
on eight occasions, making it to the semifinal round four times and the
title game twice (in 2001 when the Fighting Sioux won the national championship
and this past December). This past season, North Dakota paced the NCC
in total defense and fewest first downs allowed. In addition, four Fighting
defenders landed All-NCC first team honors in 2003, including sophomore Digger Anderson, who was also chosen the NCC's Most Valuable Linebacker.
The recipient of the American Football Coaches Association NCAA II Assistant Coach of the Year Award in 2000, Schweigert was employed for four years (1985-88) as the defensive coordinator at Jamestown College (ND) before joining the North Dakota staff. He served as the school's admission counselor during that time and also was the Jimmies' head baseball coach.
"It's a privilege to be named the head coach at the University of Minnesota Duluth," said Schweigert, whose appointment begins Dec. 31. "I'm looking forward to being part of UMD's transition into the NCC which I feel is the premier NCAA II conference in the country."
Schweigert, 41 (he was born on 9/15/62), graduated from Jamestown College in 1985 with a B.A. degree in business administration and earned his Master's degree in physical education from North Dakota in 1995. While an undergraduate student at Jamestown College, Schweigert posted a 3.89 cumulative grade point average and was a College Fellow in both business administration and health, physical education and recreation. This past fall, he was bestowed with Jamestown College's Rollie Greeno Award for Outstanding Commitment in the Field of Education and Coaching.
A native of Zeeland, ND, Schweigert and his wife, Laura, have one son, Alexander, who was born on June 13, 2003.