|Position:||Assistant Coach - Outside Linebackers|
|Alma Mater:||North Dakota|
Joel Schwenzfeier will embark on his sixth season as an assistant coach at his alma mater in 2018. After working with the running backs during the 2013 season, Schwenzfeier transitioned back to the side of the ball where he starred for UND. He worked with the outside linebackers the previous four seasons, but will coach the Fighting Hawks' safeties this season.
Schwenzfeier's outside linebackers have been a key part of a defensive unit that led the Big Sky in rush defense in three of the past four seasons and ranked near the top in several other categories. In 2017, junior Tanner Palmborg collected All-Big Sky third team honors after totaling 43 tackles and sharing the team lead with 8.5 tackles for loss.
In 2016, senior Brian Labat continued his successes on and off the field, earning All-Big Sky accolades on the field and CoSIDA Academic All-District honors for his work in the classroom. He led the team once again with 8.0 tackles for loss and added two sacks and two interceptions.
In 2015, Schwenzfeier's position group helped UND once again rank among the tops in the Big Sky in defense, holding the top spot in rush defense (100.3 ypg) and second spot in total defense (2nd; 359.9 ypg). Labat was named second team All-Big Sky after racking up 9.0 tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks. Sophomore Jake Disterhaupt shared the team lead with 4.0 sacks in his first season as a starter.
In his first year working with the outside linebackers, his unit accounted for 38 of the team's 111 tackles for loss, which ranked sixth nationally in the Football Championship Subdivision in 2015. The defense also ranked a top the Big Sky in total defense and rush defense.
Labat led that group with a team-high 12.0 TFL's, while junior Dayo Idowu had 9.0 and was named ROOT SPORTS Big Sky Player of the Week for his efforts in the win over Stony Brook.
Schwenzfeier made 37 career starts and played in all 44 games at strong safety during a four-year career that spanned from 2007-10. He finished his career with 10 interceptions and tied a UND single-game record with three in the 2009 season-opener at Texas Tech.
Schwenzfeier was named to the media's All-Great West first team following his senior season in 2010. He had three interceptions in that season, including taking one back for a 100-yard touchdown return.
He earned his bacehlor's degree in business economics from UND in 2011.
-- Go UND --