Finlandia has named Travis Wiltzius interim head coach of the university's football program. Wiltzius, a native of Escanaba, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, has been with the team since its first season in 2015. He has served as offensive line coach, recruiting coordinator and in the spring of 2017 added assistant head coach to his title.
It's the second coaching change of the offseason for Finlandia, and it comes at a key point for the Lions football program. The program has had trouble retaining its student-athletes, with just five juniors and four sophomores on the roster following its third season.
Tim Driscoll left the program in early November and was replaced by Robert Boss. But Boss is no longer employed by the university. The program played just six games last season, and two of them were against club teams. Finlandia was 1-3 this past season, 5-17 in three seasons.
Finlandia will join the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association next year as an associate member in football.
Wiltzius began his coaching career at Central Michigan. He started as an undergraduate student offensive intern, moved to offensive quality control and in 2014 offensive graduate assistant coach. The Chippewas played in two bowl games and won the 2012 Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl while Wiltzius was involved. Wiltzius helped coach three All-Mid-American Conference first team selections, including the 2013 NFL first overall pick, Eric Fisher.