This year is Head Coach Chuck Morrell’s seventh at the helm of the Oredigger football program and as a head football coach. He starts the 2017 season with a 35-31 overall record.
Coach Morrell guided the Orediggers to a second straight 10-2 overall record and back-to-back Frontier Conference title last season. The Orediggers won a school record 10-straight games breaking the previous mark set in 1970. Coach Morrell guided the team to a NAIA Football Championship Series (FCS) first round victory against Dickinson State and second appearance in the FCS Quarterfinal in the last two seasons. The Orediggers landed 13 student-athletes on the Frontier All-Conference team, a career high for Morrell. Among the All-Conference selections were Offensive Player of the Year Nolan Saraceni and Defensive Player of the Year Gunnar Kayser. Both Saraceni and Kayser were named to the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) All-America Team.
The Orediggers led the Frontier Conference in large number of statistical categories including scoring offense, pass efficiency, total defense, rushing defense, passing defense and sacks.
Coach Morrell was named the Frontier Conference Coach of the Year and the AFCA Regional Coach of the Year.
Montana Tech has been ranked in the last 23 NAIA Coaches Top 25 Polls. The Orediggers have not dropped below No. 15 since last season and finished 2016 at No. 6 in the postseason poll.
While holding the reigns at Tech, Coach Morrell has produced four All-Americans, 20 first team All-Conference selections and 25 second team nods. Saraceni received his second All-America team honor this past season. In addition to Saraceni and Kayser, linebacker David Meis was selected second team All-America in 2014. Linebacker Ryan Jones was signed by the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent after the 2013 season.
In 2012, Morrell earned his first Frontier Conference Coach of the Year award and was also named the AFCA Regional Coach of the Year after leading the Orediggers to their first Frontier Conference title since 2004. That same year Morrell led the Orediggers on an eight-game win streak and a berth into the NAIA Football Championship Series for the first time since 2005. Initially unranked, the team also reached No. 7 in the polls that year.
Morrell arrived at Tech from the University of South Dakota, where he served as the defensive coordinator in 2009. Prior to his stint at USD, Morrell coached at the University of Sioux Falls from 1998-2009, where he served as the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach.
During his time at Sioux Falls, the Cougars played in five NAIA national championship games, winning three titles (2006, 2008, 2009). From 2006-2009, the Cougars were the most dominant program in the NAIA, with a record of 56-1 and their only loss in that span was in the 2007 national title game.
As a player at Sioux Falls, he was the leading tackler on the 1996 NAIA Division II national championship team. Coach Morrell, who produced 44 All-Conference and 11 All-American defensive players at Sioux Falls, has released numerous DVDs on his "uptempo 3-4 defense." He was recently inducted into the Cougar Hall of Fame.
Coach Morrell, who is a native of Bon Homme, South Dakota, lives in Butte with his wife Jen, and two daughters, Selene and Aleia.
Doug Schleeman enters his 20th year on the Oredigger coaching staff and was appointed Assistant Head Coach after being named the NAIA Assistant Coach of the Year following the 2010 campaign.
Schleeman played collegiately at Peru State College in Nebraska, where he was a four-year letterman and an All-Conference performer at center. He helped lead his team to the school's first-ever playoff appearance in his senior season. Following his playing career, Schleeman assisted in coaching Peru's offensive line before making his first move to Montana. From 1990-1992, he was the head coach at Shields Valley High School in Clyde Park, MT. In his three years at the helm, the Rebels made two State playoff appearances, and Schleeman served on the Class C All-Star game coaching staff both years.
Following his tenure at Shields, Schleeman returned to the college ranks and to his home state of Nebraska as an assistant at Chadron State College for two years, where he earned his Master's degree in secondary education. He then took over as head coach at Kemmerer High School in Kemmerer, WY, where he coached until 1996 when he joined the staff at Tech.
Coach Schleeman is a native of Culbertson, NE, and resides in Butte with his wife, Tara - who is part of the Occupational Safety and Health faculty - and their three children: Kenna, Kade, and Koda. Doug also has two older children; Nicole and Drew.
Coach Campbell was named the Associate Head Coach after the 2017 season. Campbell has been the Defensive Coordinator since 2013 and worked alongside Head Coach Chuck Morrell dating back to the 2010 season at the University of South Dakota. This year is the eighth at Montana Tech for Campbell.
The Oredigger defense produced four All-Conference selections including a third for defensive lineman Tyler Sanders and second for defensive back Andre Brown. Linebacker Connor Wines led the Frontier Conference in sacks with 10. The Diggers ranked first in the Frontier and 12th in the NAIA in opponent third down conversions. Tech ranked 20th in the nation in total sacks.
In 2016, the Montana Tech defense was once again dominant in the Frontier Conference Ranking first in five defensive categories and second in three. Nationally, Campbell’s defense was ranked in the top 25 in eight different categories: fifth in opponent completion percentage (.489), eighth in rushing TD’s allowed (10 allowed), tenth in total sacks (33 on the season), 11th in scoring defense (19.2 pts/game), 13th in rushing defense (124.5 yards/game), 15th in pass defense efficiency (109.3), 22nd in opponent third down conversion percentage and 24th in total defense. After the 2016 season, six defensive players were selected All-Conference led by senior safety Gunnar Kayser. Kayser was a finalist for the Cliff Harris Award as well as selected second team AFCA All-America and the Defensive Player of the Year for the Frontier Conference.
2015 was an exciting year for the Digger Defense as they finished ranked in the top 25 in seven different defensive categories. Campbell’s defenses were stifling on fourth downs and finished ranked first in the country in fourth down conversion percentage. The multiple style of defense that Campbell implemented allowed 13 different defenders to register sacks. The havoc causing defense registered 40 total sacks, ranking fourth nationally. The 2015 defense finished the season ranked 12th in scoring defense, 13th in opponent third down conversion percentage, 15th in total defense per game, 16th in total pass defense and 21st in rushing defense per game.
In Campbell’s first season as Defensive Coordinator, the Montana Tech Defense ranked 7th in the country in quarterback sacks, averaging 3.3 per game and 33 total on the season. At the end of the 2013 season, they were in the top three in the Frontier Conference in six different categories: scoring defense, total defense per game, pass defense per game, sacks, opponent first downs and opponent third down conversion.
In 2012, Montana Tech’s special teams unit turned in one of the best seasons in the programs history. Campbell’s punt squad led the Frontier Conference and ranked 11th in the nation as punter Travis Farewell was selected first team All-Conference averaging 39.8 yards per punt.
In Campbell’s six years directing the linebacker corps, he has coached at least one All-Conference performer in each season. He was also instrumental in developing and mentoring Montana Tech linebacker Ryan Jones who was signed by the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent after the 2013 NFL Draft. Under his leadership, Campbell has guided 6 linebackers to All-Conference, including David Meis who in 2015, was selected to the first team and was also named second team AFCA All-America.
Prior to Montana Tech, Campbell spent two seasons at the University of South Dakota coaching outside linebackers with a brief stint working with the running backs and fullbacks. Campbell was involved in coaching the special teams working with kickers and punters. In Campbell’s last season at USD, he was a member of the coaching staff that defeated the University of Minnesota in the school’s first ever win over a BCS opponent.
Campbell went to USD after a four-year playing career at Wayne State College. As a standout defensive back, Campbell played a key role in WSC’s first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division II playoffs in 2008. Campbell started all 12 games and had 37 tackles, three interceptions and four pass breakups to earn All-NSIC South Division honors. In 2007, Campbell had 18 assisted tackles, 22 assists and a team-high five interceptions. In his collegiate career, Campbell registered 50 solo tackles and 38 assists along with eight interceptions.
A certified strength and conditioning specialist through NSCA, Campbell earned his bachelor’s degree from Wayne State in 2008. Campbell earned his masters of arts in Exercise Science and Athletic Administration from the University of South Dakota.
Coach Campbell, a native of Vermillion, SD, lives in Butte with his wife, Brandi and two children Jaylon and Kiera.
Ryan Springer joined the Orediggers in 2018.
Originally from Eureka, California, Springer’s playing career took him to Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. While playing offensive line for the Bearcats, Springer was selected All-Conference in 2013 and 2014. Springer earned a degree in Exercise Science from Willamette in 2015.
Springer started his coaching career in 2015 coaching the offensive line for the Bearcats. In 2016, he was the offensive line Graduate Assistant at Fresno State University. Springer earned his Master’s Degree in Education from Fresno State in 2018.
Springer returned to Willamette as the Offensive Line Coach and Camp Coordinator in 2017.