RAPID CITY -South Dakota School of Mines is pleased to announce the hiring of first-ever Hardrocker men's soccer assistant coach Luke Schweitzer for the 2012 season.
Schweitzer comes to SD Mines after serving as the graduate assistant men's soccer coach at Misericordia University in Northeast Pennsylvania for two years.
"The addition of coach Schweitzer to the new soccer program is a huge plus," said Hardrocker Athletics Director Dick Kaiser. "Luke brings invaluable experience, expertise and energy to the first-year program. We are excited to get this season underway and having an assistant with outstanding credentials will be a tremendous asset to coach Burger."
While at Misericordia, Schweitzer spent his time as the only assistant to the head coach. His responsibilities included assisting in all components of team and individual player development, monitoring the academic success of student-athletes, developing and administering practice plans, fundraising, community outreach, team strength and conditioning, game day preparation and year-round recruiting of strong academic and talented soccer players.
"I'm excited to have Luke join our staff. He brings a youthful enthusiasm and passion for the game that will draw student-athletes and the community toward our program," said Hardrocker men's head soccer coach Joe Burger. "Luke is an outstanding young coach that grew up in great soccer culture in Chicago (Ill.) and has grown immensely during his student assistant and graduate assistant coaching stints."
In 2011, Schweitzer helped lead the Misericordia program to a third conference championship in its four years of membership, earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. In addition to coaching soccer, Luke earned his Master of Science degree in Organizational Management.
"I am excited for the opportunity that South Dakota School of Mines has provided me," Schweitzer said. "I am eager to begin serving as coach Burger's assistant and help to achieve his goals and vision for the soccer program. I believe in coach Burger's philosophy and the potential this program has to be successful."
Prior to Misericordia, Schweitzer graduated from Loras College located in Dubuque, Iowa, (2010) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sports Management. Schweitzer spent four years as a member of the men's Duhawk soccer program --- two years playing and two years serving as a student-assistant coach.
As an assistant coach for Loras, Schweitzer helped secure a second-straight NCAA Final Four appearance in 2008 and Sweet 16 appearance in 2009. From 2007-2010, Schweitzer dedicated his time coaching at Dubuque Hempstead High School (Iowa) for four years. He spent his first year as the assistant varsity coach before being named the head coach in 2008.
Schweitzer brings more than just his experience to working with NCAA student-athletes; he holds his NSCAA "National Diploma" and "Regional Goalkeeping Diploma", as well as his "D" National Licenses through the USSF. Later this year, he will continue his professional development by taking the USSF National "C" Licensing course. Furthermore, he is very driven to be successful on and off the soccer field, energetic, passionate about individual development and obtains a difference making work ethic.
"I think Luke will complement me greatly and his strengths will add to our program," Burger said. "I'm excited to work with Luke and help him grow as coach. He has a bright future as a coach and I am lucky to get someone of his caliber."
In addition to being the assistant men's soccer coach, Schweitzer will be responsible for assisting Sports Information Director Brad Blume. Schweitzer will be responsible for assisting Blume in all facets necessary to improve the success of the Hardrocker Athletics Department.
"I am really looking forward to having Luke join the Sports Information Office. As an NCAA Div. II institution, Luke brings a level of energy needed to help promote all Hardrocker Athletic programs as well as SD Mines," Blume said.
"I'm excited to be here and I look forward to making a difference on campus and within the Rapid City community," Schweitzer added.