Shenandoah University Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Doug Zipp introduced Scott Yoder as the department’s new head football coach as part of a press conference Thursday afternoon.
Yoder, who was selected from a field of more than 180 applicants, comes to Shenandoah after 12 seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Hobart (N.Y.) College.
Yoder graduated from Hobart in 2001 after playing both football and lacrosse for the Statesmen.
He is the third head coach since Shenandoah reinstated football in 2000.
For the last six years of his time at the Geneva, N.Y. school, Yoder was the defensive coordinator for the Liberty League power.
“I am very happy to welcome Scott and his family to Shenandoah University,” Zipp said.
“As we started this process of looking for a new coach, we wanted to find someone who had extensive Division III experience in a successful program.
“Scott fits that mold perfectly. Hobart has been a very successful program (winning league championships in 2003, 2004, 2008, 2011 and 2012) and we feel he is the best fit to restore our program to its championship roots.”
Started in 2000, the SU football program won 28 games in its first five seasons and shared USA South Conference titles in 2003 and 2004.
Since that time, the team has a total of 21 wins and just one winning season, a 6-4 mark in 2011, on its resume.
This past fall, the Hornets finished 1-9 overall and 0-7 in their first season in the ODAC.
At the same time, Yoder’s defense was helping the Statesmen to a 12-1 record, a Liberty League championship and an appearance in the NCAA quarterfinals. Hobart was then eliminated from the playoffs with a quarterfinal round loss to eventual national runner-up St. Thomas (Minn.).
Yoder’s squad opened the 2012 playoffs with a 38-20 victory over ODAC champion Washington & Lee. In that game, the Statesmen held the Generals to nearly 200 yards under their season offensive yardage on the way to the 18-point victory.
Hobart also led the Liberty League in total defense, allowing just 17.3 points and 241.0 yards per game. Four players were named first team All-Liberty League with two being unanimous selections and one, sophomore defensive end Tyre Coleman, named as the league’s Defensive Player of the Year.
The Statesmen ended the year with the fifth ranked defense in the nation and finished in the top 10 nationally in pass defense and sacks.
“We had a great season this past fall,” Yoder said. “When it came to an end, I took a step back and looked to see if there were any head coaching positions that jumped out at me.
“I saw that this job was open and after I called a friend to find out more about it, I became more intrigued.
“On my visit, I found that the potential was even greater than I had been told. I think Shenandoah is a place that can win at football on a consistent basis and I intend on building a championship-level program.”
Prior to his time on the defensive side of the ball, Yoder mentored a talented and deep corps of receivers, including two All-Liberty League selections in 2004. Under his direction, wideout Dan Suozzi broke the Hobart career records for receptions, yards, and receiving touchdowns.
A reliable target himself during his playing days, Yoder finished his career with 108 receptions for 1,361 yards. Following the 2000 season, he earned first-team accolades from the ECAC and the Liberty League.
The economics major was also a member of the Division I Hobart lacrosse team. Yoder helped guide the Statesmen to the 2000 Patriot League Championship and the program’s 23rd NCAA postseason appearance.
Yoder and his wife, Alyson, are the parents of two sons, William and Chase. A third child, a boy, is due in February.