HOUGHTON, Mich. – Meeting the Pioneers for the first time in program history, Michigan Tech football is poised to kick off its 100th reunion season under the lights Thursday night at Kearly Stadium in Houghton. The Huskies have three Division II opponents ranked inside the nation’s top-25 at current, but will first be tasked with taking down the Pioneers, which play at the NCAA Division III level in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. 

FOR CONTEXT

  • The Huskies are led by Head Coach Steve Olson, who also handles the defensive line. He brings five years of experience at the helm and 2022-23 will be his 12th season overall at MTU. With a challenging schedule last fall, the Huskies lost only to top-10 ranked Grand Valley State, Division I St. Thomas, and eventual Division II National Champion Ferris State. Still, the six-win effort came up short for a regional bid. Tech finished third in the GLIAC with a 5-2 conference record.
  • The team’s top three quarterbacks on the depth chart return this season. Upperclassmen Will Marano (Dearborn, Mich.) and Emmett Boehler (James Twp., Mich.) anchor the run game, both Michigan natives. Opening gaps and providing protection up the middle is senior first team All-American center Hayden Huttula, along with senior left guard Louis Thom (Leonard, Mich.).

WATCH THE HUSKIES

  • Michigan Tech football in partnership with the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced a four-year media partnership with FloSports beginning this fall. FloSports became the exclusive platform for the conference and will broadcast over 900 games across 21 sports, including football, basketball, soccer, and volleyball at MTU.

TEACHER APPRECIATION NIGHT

  • Thursday’s game is Teacher Appreciation Night at Kearly Stadium. Local educators can buy a ticket and get one free by using the code HuskiesLoveTeachers at BuyHuskiesTickets.com. 

COMING BACK

  • Tech football graduated 16 seniors in 2021, including former All-American nose guard Nate Lajoie and is set to celebrate 23 seniors on Oct. 29 this season.
  • Eight Huskies were named All-GLIAC along with five honorable mentions. Eight of the 13 return in 2022.

KEY RETURNERS

  • No. 58 Hayden Huttula (Sr., C, Hartland, Mich.) – AFCA First Team All-American, GLIAC Commissioner’s Award, Team Offensive Lineman of the Year. Started all 10 games, team captain.
  • No. 3 Braxton Blackwell (Sr., DB, South Lyon, Mich.) – Second Team All-GLIAC, Second on team with 74.0 total tackles, including 32 solo, 1.5 sacks, team-high eight passes broken up.
  • No. 15 Michael Bates Jr. (Jr., DB, Dearborn, Mich. – Captured team-high four interceptions patrolling the middle of the field, 100 yard interception for a touchdown at Northwood, seventh in total tackles (44.0) with 2.5 TFL, five passes broken up.
  • No. 32 Drew Wyble (So., K, Marquette, Mich.) – Second Team All-GLIAC, Converted 9-11 field goals (82%) with season-long 35 yard game winner at Wayne St., 23-24 extra points (96%),
  • No. 9 Austin Schlicht (So., DE, Oxford, Mich.) – Honorable Mention All-GLIAC, Team freshman of the year. Tied for second in the GLIAC in sacks (8.0), two forced fumbles.
  • No. 8 Will Ark (Sr., QB, Green Bay, Wis.) – Honorable Mention All-GLIAC, Harold Meese Sportsmanship Award. Started all 10 games, 1,715 passing yards, 14 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, Rushing: 64 yards, two touchdowns. Averaged 37.3 yards per punt (19 total)

STATUS ON DEFENSE 

  • 2021 First Team All-GLIAC and Fred Baird Defensive Player of the Year Sam Kinne was injured and will not play this fall for the Huskies. The Huskies will need younger players to fill his role as starting defensive end.
  • One candidate is sophomore Austin Schlicht (Oxford, Mich.). Schlicht earned honorable mention All-GLIAC in his opening campaign and was voted team freshman of the year.
  • He tied for second in the conference with 8.0 sacks for 37 lost yards. He also forced two fumbles and posted 37.0 tackles.

POSITION TO WATCH

  • Senior Michael Munderloh (Saint Louis, Mich.) steps into the Husky position (yes, you read it right. It is a hybrid replacing the traditional nickel) backed up by sophomore Hunter Buechel (Lake Mille, Wis.). The duo look to add a physical presence which can both rush and back into coverage. 

SOLID UNDER PRESSURE

  • Sophomore kicker Drew Wyble (Marquette, Mich.) proved himself under pressure last season as a true freshman when he split the uprights from 22 yards to help MTU best Wayne State on the road on the game’s final play in Detroit. Wyble was named second team All-GLIAC, having converted 9 of 11 field goal tries (82-percent) with a season-long 35-yard strike. He also connected on 23 of 24 extra points and landed 36 total punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.
  • Look for quarterback Will Ark to compliment Wyble again this season on special teams as a punter.

YOUNG RECEIVING CORPS

  • Two senior wide receivers, Hunter Richards and Jordan Janssen led the Huskies in receptions a year ago. This year, four sophomores are in the running to establish a deep threat, including Ethan Champney (Saginaw, Mich.), Mitchell Stanchina (Northfield, Minn.), Darius Willis (Warren, Mich), and Brandon Michalak (Macomb, Mich.).
  • Willis saw the most success as a freshman, with 30 receptions for 393 yards and an average of 13.1 receiving yards per game.
  • He also led all wide outs with five touchdown catches and was named honorable mention All-GLIAC.

WATCH FOR SHARP CORNERS

  • On paper, cornerback is a position where the Huskies stand out. Senior Kevin Lee (Warren, Mich.) finished with 37.0 tackles and three passes broken up in 2021, including two forced fumbles, and one interception.
  • The Huskies also bring back sophomores Jared Tarrance (Westland, Mich.) and Jacob Newman (South Lyon, Mich.).
  • Junior Michael Bates Jr. (Dearborn, Mich.)  patrols the middle at free safety after tying for the GLIAC lead with four interceptions, including two touchdowns.
  • He also broke up five passes (15th), made one fumble recovery, and finished with 44.0 tackles (seventh on team).

SCOUTING THE PIONEERS

  • A new era begins this season for the Pioneers. Ryan Munz was hired on Feb. 7 to replace retiring coach Mike Emendorfer. Emendorfer spent 23 years at UW-Platteville and leaves as the all-time winningest coach in program history. 
  • Munz spent 16 seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Pioneers and begins his 18th season overall after being named associate head coach in 2016. He was named Interim Head Coach in 2021. He also teaches in the Health & Human Performance Dept., and is the Community Service Liason for the Athletic Dept. 
  • Munz was a four-year quarterback for the Pioneers and won the prestigious George Chryst Award in 2006. 
  • UW-Platteville’s biggest rival is UW-Whitewater, and each season the two teams compete for the traveling Pick Axe trophy. 
  • UW-Platteville is a member of NCAA Division III in the WIAC. Of the ten opponents on the schedule this season, five finished 2021 ranked inside the nation’s top-25. 
  • The Pioneers recognized 18 seniors prior to their final home game against Wisconsin-Eau Claire last fall. 
  • 11 players received All-WIAC recognition, including senior quarterback Colin Schuetz, named second team All-WIAC. Schuetz led the WIAC in passing yards, completed 64-percent of his passes with 28 touchdowns.

OPENER AND HOME OPENER RECORDS

  • Through 99 season openers, Michigan Tech has registered a 49-45-4 record (.521 winning percentage). Northwood has been MTU’s most common opponent on opening day and the Huskies have won six of those 13 encounters.
  • MTU has recorded a 58-36-4 (.577 winning percentage) in home-opening contests.
  • It has been nearly five years since the Huskies hosted a home night game. The last time MTU played under the Kearly Stadium lights was September 30, 2017, in a Miner’s Cup victory over Northern Michigan 28-21.

HUSKIES PICKED THIRD IN GLIAC PRESEASON POLL

  • 34 days prior to the start of the 2022 season, Michigan Tech football was selected to finish third at GLIAC Media Day in the annual preseason coaches’ poll with 24 votes. Defending Division II National Champion Ferris State was picked to stay at the top with five first place votes, followed by Grand Valley State, with a pair of first place votes. Goals for this season will undoubtedly include upsets over one or both of those squads and of course, a 12th straight Miner’s Cup win over rival Northern Michigan.
  • The 95th matchup against the Wildcats is slated for October 15 in Houghton. Rounding out the poll were Saginaw Valley State (22) Northern Michigan (14) Wayne State (12), and Davenport (8).
  • The Huskies were selected to take fifth place in the same poll last fall and exceeded expectations to take third on senior day against Saginaw Valley State.

KEY LOSSES

  • Nate Lajoie (Nose Guard, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.) – First Team All-GLIAC, Battled injuries in Sr. season but played all 10 games and made 29.0 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles, 2019 All-American (led conference with 8.5 sacks).
  • Jordan Janssen (WR, Kimberly, Wis.) – Ark’s primary target last season, made 44 receptions for 524 yards and four touchdowns, averaged 11.9 yards per catch.
  • Marvin Wright (LB, Lansing, Mich.) – Second Team All-GLIAC and Al Bovard Team Most Valuable Player, 73.0 tackles (3rd), blocked kick, 2.0 sacks. 2018 ranked 34th in DII with 9.8 tackles per game, 96 tackles as a freshman in 2017.
  • Hunter Richards (WR, Houghton, Mich.) – Honorable Mention All-GLIAC, Ted Kearly Award Winner, Made 20 receptions for 254 yards and three touchdowns, season-long 22-yard reception, played at Houghton High School.
  • John Paramski (Sam-LB, Newberry, Mich.) – Honorable Mention All-GLIAC, Led team with 78.0 total tackles, 10th in GLIAC tackles per game.

IF YOU’RE GOING

  • If you have mobile tickets for today’s game, before heading to the stadium, it is important to download your tickets to your mobile device in advance of game. This will ensure quick and easy access into the stadium in case you run into limited cellular service at and around Kearly Stadium.
  • Outside food and drinks are not permitted within Kearly Stadium. Concessions will be available for purchase. Concessions accepts both cash and card payments.
  • Parking is $5 cash per vehicle and $3 cash for Michigan Tech Students with a Student ID.
  • Every VIP ticket comes with preferred parking in Lot 24. When you go to park, show the parking attendants your VIP ticket and they will let you in to park. If you purchased parking in Lot 85, you will show the parking attendants at Lot 85 your parking pass, and they will let you in to park.
  • Visitor Guide
  • Mobile Ticket Guide
  • Concession Menu
  • Ticket Office Home

DIRECTIONS TO KEARLY STADIUM

  • From the South/ East: Enter Houghton via US-41. Turn left (south) at the first stoplight (MacInnes Drive). Continue on MacInnes Drive past the Student Development Complex. Stadium will be on the right. Main event parking is in Lot 24 (before stadium).
  • From the West: Enter Houghton via M26. Turn right on Sharon Avenue. Go about 1.5 miles down the road. Stadium will be on the left. Main event parking is in Lot 24 (past stadium). 
  • The Central Ticket Office at the Student Development Complex will be open before and during the game for any of your ticketing needs. If you need to pick up tickets at Will Call they will be located at the office within the Student Development Complex. If you have any issues with your tickets you may visit the ticket office for assistance or stop by one of the ticket booths at the entrances of the stadium.

HUSKY MERCHANDISE

  • Looking for new Huskies gear? Make sure to visit University Images located in the Student Development Complex for all your Michigan Tech merchandise and apparel need. University Images is open extended hours during sporting and other special events.
  • University Images Hours