DuFrane named new Finlandia Football Head Coach

Courtesy: Finlandia University
Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 4:06 PM EST
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HANCOCK, Mich. (WLUC) - Mike DuFrane has been named head coach of the Finlandia University football team.  He is set to begin his duties on Mar. 10

DuFrane was the defensive and strength coordinator at St. Scholastica in 2019.  The Saints defense finished the season ranked among the top 10 in three NCAA Defensive categories; Fumble Recovery (1st), Turnovers (4th) and defensive touchdowns (9th).  DuFrane coached Eric Soderberg who was All-UMAC first team, broke school record for solo, assisted and total tackles in a season and was second in NCAA Division III in tackles (13.70 per game).

“I’m extremely excited to lead the Finlandia University football program,” said DuFrane.  “I want to thank President Johnson, Curtis Wittenberg (athletic director) and the rest of the search committee for believing in my vision for Lions Football. Finlandia presented a great opportunity to build a program that already had great facilities in place and a desire to win.  My family and I are extremely excited to get settled into the Hancock area.”

DuFrane started at defensive tackle at UW-Whitewater (2007-08).  In 2007, he was the team Defensive Newcomer of the Year and helped the Warhawks win the NCAA Division III National Championship.  Whitewater was the national runner-up in 2008.

DuFrane got his coaching start at UM-Morris (2009) where he was the defensive line coach and video coordinator.  He coached two All-UMAC selections, including 1st team selection Mitch Zimmer.

DuFrane had several positions at Carthage (2010-11, 13).  In 2010, he was the linebackers graduate assistant coach.  DuFrane was the defensive line coach and strength and conditioning coordinator from 2011, 13.  He coached five All-CCIW selections.

In 2012, DuFrane was the defensive line coach at Dubuque.  He coached Aaron Strong, an All- Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference selection.

DuFrane was part of the first coaching staff at Lyon College (2014-15).  He was the defensive coordinator and was also in charge of camps and fundraising.  DuFrane coached four All-Central States Football League selections.

DuFrane was the defensive and recruiting coordinator at Marietta (2016-18).  In 2018, the Pioneers had their best season 20 years.  DuFrane coached eight All-Ohio Athletic Conference selections.

“I’m proud to welcome Mike to Finlandia,” said athletic director Curtis Wittenberg “Mike’s credentials stood out among the candidates with his collegiate experience.  He has an established record of being an outstanding recruiter and I know he will attract excellent student-athletes to Finlandia University.  I believe Mike’s knowledge and experience will help Finlandia football to be successful as it heads into its first season in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC).”

DuFrane has a B.A. in Communications/Broadcast from UW-Whitewater and a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from Carthage.

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