|Lonnie Pries' Cougars went
34-7 over the past four seasons. The last time Concordia even won
as many as seven games was 1987.
Concordia-Chicago athletics photo
Lonnie Pries has resigned his position as head coach of the Concordia-Chicago football team. The seven-year head coach of the program will leave to pursue another opportunity.
Pries led the Cougars to a 42-29 record, two Northern Athletics Conference championships and a Division III playoff appearance during his tenure. He returned to his alma mater in 2006 as the program was coming off two consecutive winless seasons. After leading the team to seasons of two, three and three wins from 2006-08, Pries' team recorded three consecutive 8-2 seasons and a share of the 2011 conference title.
Pries will become football coach and athletic director at Concordia-Ann Arbor, an NAIA school.
"It is extremely difficult for me to leave Concordia," said Pries. "The last seven years have been very special, not because of the wins but because of the coaches and players with whom I've had the privilege to work and interact on a daily basis. I will look back on these years at my alma mater as a blessing from the Lord."
This past season, Pries led the team to a perfect 10-0 regular season. The Cougars' 62-26 win over Maranatha Baptist Bible on Nov. 10 was the team's 16th consecutive win dating back to October of 2011 and was the longest winning streak at any of the three levels of NCAA football at that time. Concordia earned the automatic berth to the Division III playoffs, and a No. 2 seeding in the North Region allowed the Cougars to host the game. However, Bethel edged Concordia 24-23 in an exciting game that was not decided until the final seconds.
Other highlights of Pries' tenure at Concordia include a 2012 NATHC Coach of the Year honor and NATHC Co-Coach of the Year honors in 2009 and 2011. Two of Pries' players – quarterback Mike Marotta (2009) and running back Khyree Copeland (2010) were named Conference Offensive Players of the Year. A total of 46 single-game, season and career records have been broken or tied during Pries' seven years as head coach.
Pries is a 1993 Concordia (Ill.) alumnus and a 2011 inductee into the Cougar Athletics Hall of Fame. He played defensive end for the Cougars from 1989 to 1992, recording 192 solo tackles and 256 tackle assists. Pries earned secondâ€Âteam allâ€Âconference honors his first three years before winning the Illini-Badger Conference Defensive Lineman of the Year and honorable mention Champion Allâ€ÂAmerican honors in 1992. Pries was also a secondâ€Âteam national CoSIDA Academic Allâ€ÂAmerican that same year, one of eight in Concordia's history to earn national honors.
A search for the next football coach will begin immediately.