Concordia closes a season with national ranking for first time since 2001

By Jacob Knabel on Dec. 20, 2016 in Football

NAIA postseason football poll

SEWARD, Neb. – A mainstay in the NAIA coaches’ top 25 rankings this fall, the Concordia University football team can officially close the book on the 2016 season. For the first time since the 2001 GPAC championship campaign, the Bulldogs have ended a campaign with a spot in the national rankings. Concordia landed at No. 19 in the postseason poll released by the NAIA on Tuesday (Dec. 20).

Behind first team All-American defensive end Trey Barnes, the 2016 Bulldogs finished 7-3 overall for the highest winning percentage for the program since the 2001 campaign. In addition, Concordia went undefeated at home (5-0) for the first time since 2000. This year’s squad appeared in nine of the 12 national polls released by the NAIA (see below). They vaulted as high as 16th.

The 2016 season marked the eighth and final as head coach for Vance Winter, who announced his resignation on Oct. 31 (he then coached the final two games of 2016). The highest ranking achieved during Winter’s eight-year tenure was 14th following a 6-0 start to the 2013 season. Concordia has found itself ranked in the national poll 17 times during Winter’s reign. The year prior to Winter’s promotion to head coach, the Bulldogs won just one game.

The program will move forward with Patrick Daberkow as head coach. He was officially named the 10th head coach in school history on Dec. 9. Daberkow spent seven seasons as the defensive coordinator under Winter. Daberkow has been a member of the football staff for 10 years following four years as a player for head coach Courtney Meyer’s Bulldogs.

The 2017 season will kick off Sept. 2 at Kansas Wesleyan University as part of the KCAC/GPAC Challenge. The complete varsity schedule can be viewed HERE.

2016 Concordia rankings
Aug. 8 – RV
Sept. 12 – 20th
Sept. 19 – 16th
Sept. 26 – 21st
Oct. 3 – RV
Oct. 10 – 24th
Oct. 17 – NR
Oct. 24 – 21st
Oct. 31 – 21st
Nov. 7 – 21st
Nov. 13 – 18th
Dec. 20 – 19th