Mannausau moves from UND associate head football coach to Champions Club directorGRAND FORKS — Mike Mannausau came to the University of North Dakota in 1994 to play football. He later became an assistant coach for the Green and White — eventually rising to associate head coach and defensive coordinator.
By: Wayne Nelson, Forum News Service
GRAND FORKS — Mike Mannausau came to the University of North Dakota in 1994 to play football. He later became an assistant coach for the Green and White — eventually rising to associate head coach and defensive coordinator.
Recently, however, he was attracted to a job outside of UND football — one that Mannausau believed could help him give back to a university that provided him so much.
As a result, Mannausau on Monday was hired as UND’s assistant athletics director in charge of the Champions Club.
He takes over the position formerly held by Josh Morton, who recently left to take a similar job at Michigan State.
“UND has done so much for me,” Mannausau said. “This is an opportunity for me to do more for UND than I can in my current role. I love coaching but I love UND more.”
The UND Champions Club is a primary source of private financial support for UND athletics. The UND Alumni Association and Foundation operates the Champions Club, which raised $2.23 million in cash gifts and commitments form 2,360 members in 2011-12.
It was the sixth straight annual fundraising record for the club.
Mannausau will begin his new duties next Monday.
A former linebacker for UND, Mannausau completed his ninth season on the UND staff in 2012. He also was the program’s defensive coordinator for the past seven seasons.
“The last few days have been pretty emotional but the biggest thing is that I’ll still be around athletics and I’ll still be associated with UND,” Mannausau said.
UND athletic director Brian Faison said Mannausau’s commitment to UND was a big factor in the hire.
“Since I arrived at the University of North Dakota, I have been impressed with the great ambassador that Mike is for UND athletics,” said Faison. “We’re excited that he will be bringing his passion for North Dakota and his unique combination of skill sets to this critical position for UND athletics.”
Mannausau’s departure leaves a vacancy on the UND football staff as spring ball is less than two months away.
UND coach Chris Mussman said a decision on the defensive coordinator position could be made as early as the end of this week.
“We’ll talk internally first and go from there,” Mussman said.
He said Mannausau is a perfect fit for the Champions Club position.
“It’s a great deal for Mike and a better deal for UND,” Mussman said. “He has a passion for UND football and for the university. He gets to use that passion for the benefit of all of us.
“It’s a great hire.”