TITLE: Head Coach
"Yes, we will run the ball. We will run with it after we catch it."
With that quote from his 1999 introductory press conference, UW-Platteville Coach Mike Emendorfer ushered in a new, exciting era of Pioneer football.
For the last 12 seasons as the UW-Platteville head coach, the Pioneers have took assault on the record book setting 39 school marks and 10 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference records. In the process while featuring an offense that has had three games with more than 70 pass attempts and an attack that set the individual single-game rushing record when Mike Genslinger ran for 285 yards against UW-River Falls in 2006.
The veteran coach has also implemented a "Pillars of the Program" that focuses on developing life skills that will carry far beyond the playing days. In 2009, the coach presented his program's overall plan to the Chancellor's Cabinet, earning wide praise for things such as commitment to community service and academics. He brought back former Pioneers for the first football career day, as the alumni met with the current team to talk about obtaining jobs and how being a Pioneer football player helped in their careers.
Emendorfer earned the WIAC Coach of the Year Award for 2004, a season in which the Pioneers achieved their first winning record since
1992. The Pioneers finished 6-4, beating top-20 teams Augustana, UW-Whitewater and UW-Eau Claire. Emendorfer also took his team out to Pennsylvania, where the Pioneers beat Thiel 40-14. Along the way, the team toured Notre Dame and its stadium as well as the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The travels have not been limited to the United States, as the Pioneers toured parts of Europe and played games in Germany in both 2003 and 2007.
In 1999, his very first year, the Pioneers snapped a 24-game WIAC losing streak with a stunning 27-14 win over UW-La Crosse. The Pioneers more than lived up to their “Thrill is in the Air” motto, as they passed for 2,651 yards and 20 touchdowns, in stark contrast from their former Wing-T running attack.
UW-Platteville fans embraced their exciting brand of ball as well, with attendance jumping by an average of 904 fans per game from the previous year.
The Pioneers have produced some memorable moments over the years, such as beating WIAC favorite UW-Stout 34-31 in overtime on Homecoming 2002 and topping NCAA Division I Drake 21-20 in 2003 and by 33-23 in 2004. UW-Platteville won two games on the final play in 2004, defeating Augustana 25-23 on a last-second field goal and UW-Eau Claire 20-17, when Emendorfer by-passed a chip shot field goal and went for the win with a successful one-yard touchdown plunge. In 2006, the Pioneers overcame a 20-3 deficit to defeat UW-Stout 31-27 during a nationally televised game by Fox Sports Net. The 2007 season featured a 16-6 win over NAIA power St. Ambrose and a 37-34 last-second win over UW-La Crosse, also televised by FSN Wisconsin. The 2008 campaign featured back-to-back conference shutout wins for the first time since 1950, as the Pioneers beat UW-River Falls 7-0 and UW-Oshkosh 28-0 on successive weekends. The 2010 season saw the Pioneers post a win over No. 17 UW-Eau Claire and the first victory at UW-La Crosse since 1980 as 12 members earned all-WIAC recognition.
Emendorfer came to UW-Platteville from Hanover (Ind.) College, where he had been the offensive coordinator for eight years. During that time, Hanover won three conference titles, produced two NCAA III playoff berths and led the nation in passing four times. The Pioneers repeated that success in 2001 by leading all of NCAA Division III in passing yardage with 358.8 yards per game.
Emendorfer previously served as the offensive coordinator at Quincy University and the passing coordinator at Grinnell College before going to Hanover. He and his wife, Lisa, have two children, son Logan, and daughter Rachel.
TITLE: Assistant Head Coach | Defensive Backs | Special Teams
Ulz Daeuber, the longest-serving assistant on the staff, was promoted to assistant head coach in 2008. He also works with the Pioneers' defensive backs and coordinates the special teams units. Daueber joined the UW-Platteville staff in 1999 after coaching in his native Germany. He coached the linebackers for the German national team that went on to win the Wilson European Junior Championships. He was defensive coordinator for the adult team, Schwaebisch Hall Unicorns.
Daeuber came to the Untied States as a foreign exchange student at Monrovia (Ind.) High School, where he played offensive guard and defensive end. Daeuber has two masterís degrees from University of Heidelberg and another from UW-Platteville.
He and his wife, Anuschka Neuwald, have one son, Rafiqu Neuwald.
TITLE: Defensive Coordinator | Inside Linebackers
Rob Erickson is in his fourth season as the defensive coordinator after re-joining the staff in 2008. Under his tutelage, eight teams have been held under double figures and recorded back-to-back league shutouts for the first time since 1950 when the Pioneers shutout UW-River Falls, 7-0 and UW-Oshkosh, 28-0.
Erickson, who played his collegiate football at UW-Platteville, served as the team captain in 1999. He led the Pioneers in interceptions in each of his last three seasons and was second in tackles in both 1997 and 1999. Erickson went on to coach at Stevens Point High School (2000-02), UW-Platteville (2002-03), UW-Stevens Point (2003-04), Iowa Wesleyan (2005) and Aurora (2005-08). He was the defensive coordinator at the last three stops. In 2007, he guided Aurora to a nationally ranked defensive with nine all-conference performers. The Spartans yielded 17 points and 280 yards per game. In two of his three seasons, Erickson led Aurora to first place in the Illini Badger Football Conference in forced turnovers. He finished his bachelor of science degree in history at UW-Stevens Point and earned his master’s at UWSP in general education in 2006.
He and his wife, Kelly, have three children, Maya, Jared and Kami.
TITLE: Offensive Line | Strength & Conditioning
Jason Wagner is in his fourth season as the offensive line coach for UW-Platteville. Wagner is from nearby Lancaster, where he went on to start at WIAC rival - UW-Stevens Point. While playing for the Pointers, they reached the NCAA playoffs as a senior in 2001.
He remained at UW-Stevens Point as an assistant until 2004, where he joined the coaching staff at Coe for a season. Wagner went on to join the coaching staff at Aurora, where he remained until joining the Pioneers in 2008. At all three spots, Wagner has served as the offensive line coach and strength and conditioning coordinator. He earned his bachelor's degree from UW-Stevens Point in health promotions/wellness and his master's degree from California University of Pennsylvania.
Wagner and his wife, Jen, have a son, Gabe.
TITLE: Offensive Coordinator | Quarterbacks
Ryan Munz is in his fourth season as the offensive coordinator at UW-Platteville. He was a four-year quarterback for the Pioneers who earned the prestigious George Chryst Award in 2006. He joined the staff in 2007 as an running backs coach. The Highland native earned his bachelor’s degree in business finance upon graduation and continued education to complete his masters degree in project management in 2008. In 2009, he traveled Germany to play quarterback for the Fursty Razorbacks. He is the son of Jim and Lynn Munz.
Phil Micech, a graduate of UW-Platteville, is the answer to a great trivia question, as he scored the first points in Arena Football League history, recording a safety. Before embarking on a professional career, he was a two-time all-WIAC defensive lineman for the Pioneers, in 1981 and 1982. Micech went on to sign a free-agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings. Micech coaches the defensive line at his alma mater.
Last year, he was named the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association WIAC Assistant Coach of the Year.
TITLE: Defensive Backs
PHONE NUMBER: 608.342.1884
Jared McGranahan makes the transition from the Pioneer running backs to the defensive backs in his second season as an assistant. He joined the football staff prior to spring practice in 2010. The Darlington native is also an assistant boys basketball coach at the high school. In 2009, he coached at Cuba City, helping the Cubans improve from 3-6 to a 6-3 mark and a share of the SWAL championship. The Cubans led the conference in rushing yards and scoring.
TITLE: Running Backs
Adam Hite is in his second season as an assistant coach with the Pioneers. Last fall, Hite worked with the Pioneers' offensive line along with Jason Wagner; this fall, he will be working with the running backs. The Elgin, Illinois native switched from defense to offense during his Pioneer career and ended up starting on the offensive line. He is working on his bachelor's degree in education at UW-Platteville.
TITLE: Outside Linebackers
PHONE NUMBER: 608.342.6163
Luke Hurst is in his first season as an assistant coach with the Pioneers, working with the outside linebackers. As a three-year letterwinner at Anderson University, he earned numerous honors including second team all-conference twice, two-time Special Teams MVP and two-time Defensive Back MVP. Prior to his senior season at Franklin College, he was selected to the D3 Senior Classic Preseason All-American Team.
He earned his bachelor's degree from Franklin College in history and is working on his master's degree at UW-Platteville.
Jon Bryson makes the transition from the trenches in the game to a member of the UW-Platteville coaching staff. For the last three years, Bryson was a member of the Pioneers' defensive line. Bryson is a graduate of nearby Darlington, where he was a three-time all-conference selection and named the SWAL 2 Lineman of the Year as a senior. He also was a two-time sectional qualifier in the shot put and two-year letterwinner in basketball. Bryson is currently working on his master's degree in project management.
Zach Hebl is in his first season as a student assistant coach after spending the 2010 season as a student manager. He has also been involved with coaching in the Mount Vernon Community School District, where he has been an assistant baseball coach for the last two years and spent two years as an assistant football coach. Hebl is working on his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at UW-Platteville, where he is also a member of the SAE Formula Team. Prior to working at Mount Vernon, he was an advance scout for two years at Solon, where they were state runner-up in 2006 and state champions in 2007.