Schultz Joins Illinois Football Staff
Jan. 6, 2009
University of Illinois Head Football Coach Ron Zook announced today the hiring of TCU offensive coordinator Mike Schultz as the new offensive coordinator for the Fighting Illini.
"I am very excited to have Mike join our staff," Zook said. "To add someone with his level of experience is a testament to the University of Illinois program. Mike is a proven coach and coordinator and will be able to lead and continue to grow this offense. Mike has a great reputation in the coaching community for developing players and producing offensive numbers, something that is very evident with his record at TCU. His philosophies are in line with the direction of the Illini program."
Schultz recently completed his 11th season directing the Horned Frogs' multiple offense. He served as both offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the past two seasons after coaching the running backs for his first nine years at TCU.
"I am very excited and really look forward to being a part of the Illini Family," said Schultz. "The biggest attraction to this job was the opportunity to work with Ron Zook. I have heard such great things about how he treats people and handles his players. It has been a dream of mine to coach in the Big Ten, a conference I consider to be very exciting. I know about the players Illinois has coming back and am thrilled about the chance to work with them."
The 2008 season saw TCU set single-season school records for points scored (420) and touchdowns (54). The Frogs led the nation in time of possession (35:05) and were 13th nationally in team rushing (215.7 yards per game) despite not having a player among the top-100 individually. The 215.7 yards per game rushing is the highest total at TCU since 2000.
The Frogs were second in the Mountain West Conference in total offense (417.1 yards per game) and third in scoring offense (35.0 points per game). TCU's average of 417.1 yards per game was its best mark since 2004 (430.7). TCU totaled at least 410 yards of offense in eight of 12 games.
In 2007, Schultz helped mentor Frog signal caller Andy Dalton to Freshman All-America honors. Dalton set single-season TCU records for pass completions (222) and attempts (371) while placing second in yards (2,459) and fourth in completion percentage (59.8).
Four of the five highest-scoring teams in TCU history came under Schultz's direction. Four of the top-five single-season touchdown totals by TCU came in the last five years. Two of TCU's top-three games in total offense also were under Schultz. The Frogs had a school-record 782 yards versus Houston in 2003 and a 694-yard effort at San Diego State in 2007 to rank third.
During Schultz's tenure, the TCU running game was consistently ranked among the best in the nation. The 2006 team ranked ninth in rushing (194.6 yards per game) and 17th in total offense (408.5 ypg.). During his time as running backs coach, Schultz made a habit of developing young players at the position.
Prior to Aaron Brown receiving 2005 Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year honors as a true freshman, Lonta Hobbs and Robert Merrill became the only two freshmen in TCU history to rush for 1,000 yards. The duo accomplished the feat in back-to-back seasons (Hobbs 2002, Merrill 2003).
Schultz tutored a 1,000-yard rusher five times at TCU - with Basil Mitchell, LaDainian Tomlinson (twice), Hobbs and Merrill each earning that distinction. Prior to Schultz's arrival, TCU had boasted just four 1,000-yard rushers in more than 100 years of college football.
Under the direction of Schultz, Tomlinson was a two-time NCAA rushing champ, leading the country with 1,850 yards in 1999 and a school record 2,158 in 2000. He earned All-America honors, was a Heisman Trophy finalist and the winner of the Doak Walker National Running Back Award. With Tomlinson leading the way, the 2000 Frogs ranked fourth in the nation, averaging 275.6 rushing yards per game. Tomlinson parlayed his success into a top-five draft pick and a standout NFL career, which includes 2006 MVP honors.
In 2003, TCU was one of just six schools to average over 200 yards rushing and 200 passing per game. The following year, the Frogs ranked among the nation's top-20 teams in scoring, total offense and passing offense. The 362 points scored tied for the second-highest total in school history, while the 48 touchdowns were just one shy of the school record set in 2005. TCU also recorded three of the top-11 passing games in school history during the 2004 campaign.
Schultz served six seasons at New Mexico, the first four as the assistant head coach and secondary coach and the final two as the assistant head coach and running backs coach.
The Houston native began his coaching career at his alma mater, Sam Houston State, in 1979. Schultz then assisted at UTEP and Kansas State. His next stops were with Fred Akers' staff at Texas for one season (1985) and three years at Round Rock (Texas) Westwood High School as an assistant.
Born: Jan. 3, 1958