Concordia University football coach resigns after historic season

Pries leaves to pursue another opportunity

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By Staff Archive

After leading the Concordia-Chicago football team to its best finish in the 87-year history of the program this fall season, Lonnie Pries recently resigned as head coach of the Cougars and accepted the athletic director and head football coach positions at Concordia Ann Arbor, Mich.

Pries, a 1993 alum of the college, coached Concordia to a perfect 10-0 regular season. In his seven years at the helm, he accumulated a coaching record of 42-29, along with two Northern Athletics Conference championships and a 2012 NCAA Division-III playoff appearance. The Cougars' 62-26 win over Maranatha Baptist Bible College last month was the team's 16th consecutive win dating back to October of 2011 and was the longest winning streak at any of the three levels of NCAA football at that time.     

Concordia earned the automatic berth to the NCAA Division-III playoffs, and a No. 2-ranking in the North Region allowed the Cougars to host the game. However, Bethel University of Minnesota edged Concordia 24-23 in the final seconds.

Other highlights under Pries' tenure at Concordia include a 2012 NAC Coach of the Year honor and NAC Co-Coach of the Year honors in 2009 and 2011. Two of Pries' players – quarterback Mike Marotta ('09) and running back Khyree Copeland ('10) were named Conference Offensive Players of the Year.

A total of 46 single-game, season and career records have been broken or tied during Pries' seven years as head coach.

"It is extremely difficult for me to leave Concordia (Chicago)," said Pries. "The last seven years have been very special, not because of the wins but because of the coaches and players with whom I've had the privilege to work and interact on a daily basis. I will look back on these years at my alma mater as a blessing from the Lord."

Concordia officials said that a search for the next football coach will begin immediately.

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