Former IPFW assistant Schmidlin hired as Lees-McRae head coach

Lees-McRae will have a permanent head coach as it begins postseason play this weekend.

After having its head coach leave in the middle of the season, Lees-McRae on Tuesday officially named former Cardinal Stritch head coach and IPFW assistant coach Dave Schmidlin as the team’s new head coach.


Schmidlin has almost 20 years coaching college volleyball, including coaching Cardinal Stritch for three season and leading the team to the NAIA national semifinals in 2010. In addition, Schmidlin served as an assistant coach at IPFW under Hall of Fame coach Arnie Ball for 10 season and helped guide the Mastodons two Final Four appearances.

“We are excited to add a coach with experience and success in developing young talent with Schmidlin coming to be a part of our team,” Lees-McRae athletics director Craig McPhail said in a statement. “His knowledge of the game of volleyball, vast connections, record of success, and teaching abilities will allow us to continue the great tradition of volleyball at Lees-McRae.”

Schmidlin will serve as the head coach for both the men’s and women’s volleyball teams at Lees-McRae.

The Bobcats have played a majority of this season without a permanent head coach. Former head coach James Goodridge left the college in early February to become an assistant coach for the Buffalo women’s volleyball team.

First-year assistant coach Cassie Crumal after the resignation was promoted to the interim head coach and led Lees-McRae to a winning record and berth in the Conference Carolinas Tournament. The Bobcats have also clinched a home match for the conference tournament quarterfinals on Saturday.

Crumal will remain at Lees-McRae serving as the co-head coach with Schmidlin.

Schmidlin along with his college men’s volleyball experience has been a women’s volleyball coach for Oakland University and the NAIA school Saint Francis.

“I am truly excited to be named the men’s and women’s volleyball coach at Lees-McRae College,” Schmidlin said in a statement. “As I did my research and went through the interview process, it became apparent that this is a place that cares about its students and wants to see them succeed.”

Lees-McRae before playing in the conference tournament will conclude its regular season with a home match against King on Tuesday and a road match against Penn State on Friday.