The search for a new head football coach did not take very long as the SRU athletic department announced Friday that current Rock associate head coach and defensive coordinator Shawn Lutz will take over the program.
Lutz, a native of Massillon, Ohio, has been a member of the Slippery Rock coaching staff for 20 seasons, first joining the crew in 1996 as a graduate assistant. He has served as the associate head coach for the past four seasons while being defensive coordinator for the past eight.
“We’re very pleased to announce that Shawn has accepted the head coaching position,” SRU athletic director Paul Lueken said in a press release issued by Rock athletic communication. “He has been a loyal and dedicated member of the Slippery Rock coaching staff for nearly 20 years and understands the culture and tradition of the program. His hire, along with retaining our entire 2015 staff, should show perspective student-athletes that we are committed to continuing The Rock football culture that has made our program one of the best in the nation.”
Lutz was in charge of a historically great Slippery Rock defense in 2015. Last season, the Rock defensive line allowed just 2.2 rushing yards per carry and 71.7 rushing yards per game. The low defensive rushing yards allowed were good enough to give The Rock the second best rushing defense in the entire country.
“I want to thank president Norton, athletic director Paul Lueken and the administration for putting their trust in me to lead this outstanding program,” Lutz said in the press release. “I also want to thank George Mihalik for everything he did over the last 28 years as head coach to build this program the right way.”
Lutz will officially take over the program on January 16.