Lindenwood Lions football
2023 Lindenwood Lions football team
First season1990 (1990)
Head coachJed Stugart
5th season, 33–24 (.579)
StadiumHarlen C. Hunter Stadium
(capacity: 7,450)
Year built1976
Field surfaceEnviroturf
LocationSt. Charles, Missouri
NCAA divisionDivision I FCS
All-time record155–162–2 (.489)
Bowl record5–7 (.417)
Conference titles3
Consensus All-Americans4[1]
ColorsBlack and gold[2]
Marching bandGolden Lion Marching Band
OutfitterUnder Armour
WebsiteOfficial website

The Lindenwood Lions football team represents Lindenwood University in football. Lindenwood is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC). The Lions were provisional members of the NCAA Division I FCS for the 2022 season before becoming an active member during the 2023–2024 academic year.[3]

Lindenwood was previously a member of the NAIA and played in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) from 1996 to 2010. The Lions play in Harlen C. Hunter Stadium on the campus of Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, which has a seating capacity of 7,450.


See also: List of Lindenwood Lions football seasons

Early history and NAIA years

Lindenwood University football began in 1990 under head coach David Schroeder. LU competed as an independent for the first four seasons. The program's first win came in the first ever football for the university on September 8, 1990, when the Lions defeated Dana College.[4] The Lions finished the inaugural season with a record of 6–4.[4]

Despite a 3–5–0 start to the first half of the 1991 season, a program highlight came on October 12, 1991, when Lindenwood tied 17–17 on the road in Birmingham, Alabama with NCAA Division III Alabama-Birmingham before the UAB program upgraded to NCAA Division I.[4] Following that game, the Lions lost the following game to Benedictine College but finished the season with a three-game win streak to finish the season 5–4–1.[4] During the next several years of the football program, bright spots began to emerge, a couple of the original players from the first team ever at the school were named to the All American team. Hoyt Gregory made all American in 1992 and two players from the original football class Steve Pinkerton and Jim Paddock were signed and drafted into professional football. This gave the program the status that it could recruit and maintain top level athletes.

Jeff Driskill became the second coach in program history in 1992.[4] In 1994 Lindenwood became one of the founding members of the Mid-States Football Association along with five schools from Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. After three 2-win seasons Dan Kratzer took over the program and lead the Lions to a 4–7–0 season in 1995.

In 1996 the program became a member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference.[5] The Lions recorded back-to-back 4–6–0 seasons in 1996 and 1997. In 1998 the program saw drastic improvement when Kratzer lead the lions to an 8–2–0 regular season.[5] Including a 34–33 win against NCAA Division I-AA Butler.[5] The win marked the first and only win over an NCAA DI-AA opponent, as LU lost 16–27 to Butler in 1997 and 6–27 to Valparaiso University in 2002.[5][6] The 1996 also marked the first time Lindenwood football received a bid to the NAIA Playoffs before losing in the first round 10–12 to Southwestern College.[5] In 2000 Kratzer lead the Lions to their first of two bowl appearances, when the Lions received a bid to the Wheat Bowl – NAIA Kickoff Classic against Concordia University (Nebraska).[6]

Rick Gorzynski became the fourth coach in program history in 2001 and after three sub .500 season in which the Lions recorded two 3–8–0 seasons and a 1–10–0 season, Patrick Ross became the fifth football coach in Lindenwood history.[6] Ross quickly turned the program around from a 3–8–0 season in 2003 to an 11–1–0 season in his first as LU head coach in 2004.[6] The Lions also won their first HAAC Championship after an 11–0–0 regular season, the only loss, a 19–20 loss in the opening round of the NAIA Playoffs to Hastings College.[6]

Quarterback, David Ortega, dives toward the goal line in a game against Kansas Wesleyan.

Under Ross the Lions recorded their first playoff win in program history in the 2008 when the Lions defeated Lambuth University 65–48.[7] That same season Lindenwood advanced to the NAIA Semifinal Game with a quarterfinal 34–31 win over Morningside College.[7] Lindenwood would eventually be defeated by the defending NAIA national championsCarroll College in the semifinal game 37–38.[7]

In 2009, Ross lead to become the HAAC Champions for the third-straight season. The Lions entered the 2009 NAIA Playoffs and won 42–14 over Langston University. In the second-round game Lindenwood defeated Ottawa University (KS) to reach the semifinal game where LU again faced Carroll College.

Lindenwood defeated the Carroll Fighting Saints 42–35 to reach the NAIA Football National Championship for the team's first and only appearance. LU became the NAIA national runner-up in 2009 after a 22–25 loss to University of Sioux Falls Cougars[8] and came into the 2010 season ranked #2 in the nation in 2010 NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Spring Poll.[9][10]

In June 2010 LU applied to join the NCAA Division II Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA), as part of the conference's expansion from 12 to 16 members for 2012.[11] Lindenwood was approved for membership into the MIAA on September 24, 2010, with the affiliation taking place in 2012–2013 school year.[12][13]

Under Ross the Lions set a school offensive record with a 90–19 week 7 win over Culver-Stockton. Lindenwood also moved from fifth to first in average offensive points in all of college football with a 56.5 scoring average.[14] In the NAIA, Saint Xavier ranked second with 52.6[15] and the only NCAA program scoring over 50 is Oregon with 54.3.[16] In that win Lindenwood set school offensive records with 721 yards of total offense, second in program history, record 376 rushing yards, and record 8 rushing touchdowns.[17]

Despite only losing one close game in the regular season to MidAmerica Nazarene University 20–26 on September 25, 2010, Lindenwood Football suffered a 38–46 loss at home in the first round of the NAIA Football Championship Series to the University of Saint Francis.[18] LU finished the 2010 season 9–2 overall, ranked 1st in scoring with an average of 52.5 points per game and 1st in total offensive yards with an average of 551.5 yards per game.[19] Senior quarterback Philip Staback finished the season ranked 1st in pass efficiency and total passing yards per game.[20]

Recent history, move to the NCAA

MIAA logo in Lindenwood's colors

As part of the transition to Division II, the 2010 schedule would be the last NAIA schedule played by Lions Football, as it was announced the Lions will play an independent schedule of NCAA Division I FCS, Division II, and NAIA schools.[19][21] Lindenwood opened the 2011 on the road at Northern Colorado when kicker, James Neal kicked a 21-yard fieldgoal as time expired to win the game.[22] The win was the programs first over a Division I football team since Lindenwood defeated NCAA Division I-AA (now FCS) Butler 34–33 in 1998. The team then returned the 2011 home opener that saw the Lions beat former conference and NAIA rival, Graceland 67–10.[23] The win marked the ninth straight home opener win and improved the program to a 16–6 all-time record on home openers.[24] In the third game of the season, saw Lindenwood play against its first Division II opponent; in which the Lions defeated Saint Joseph's (IN) 55–14.[25] After back-to-back losses, including 21st ranked Division I FCS South Dakota, Lindenwood rebounded with four straight wins.[23] The winning streak was the longest of the season and included a 41–35 win over perennial Division II power, Texas A&M–Kingsville.[23] The team finished the season splitting wins against two future MIAA rivals, when the team lost to Central Missouri 28–47 in the final home contest of the season; followed by a 48–14 win on the road to end the season at Central Oklahoma.[23]

Lindenwood Football players in a game against Washburn University.

Lindenwood played its first full NCAA Division II and MIAA schedule during the 2012 season. The Lions defeated Lincoln University 49–28 in its MIAA debut and followed with a 35–14 home-opening win in week two against Southwest Baptist.[26][27] The team lost to Central Missouri,[28] but followed the loss with a three-game win streak that included a come-from-behind win versus non-conference opponent, Glenville State.[29] The Lions then lost back-to-back games to ranked opponents, Emporia State and Washburn.[29]

Senior Day versus Missouri Southern marked a big turning point in the season for the Lions. Down 14–0 early, Lindenwood rallied with 31 unanswered points to take a 31–14 lead. Missouri Southern State scored late in the half but Lindenwood continued to pull away in the second half, adding 14 points while holding MSSU to just 9 in the second half.[30] The 45–30 win snapped the team's losing streak but the win was not without a big loss. Late in the game, Lindenwood freshman cornerback Sterling Thomas suffered a severe spinal cord injury.[31] The team rallied around Thomas' injury and finished the regular season with back-to-back wins, including a 44–33 win against the defending national champion, Pittsburg State.[32]

The Lions finished the regular season with an 8–3 overall record and 7–3 conference record. The team ranked fourth in the conference after being selected 8th in the preseason polls.[33] With the top-four finish, the Lions were selected to play in the Mineral Water Bowl to play Winona State.[34] In the team's first NCAA bowl game, the Lions kept the game close through the first quarter and a half but WSU scored 24 unanswered points to stretch their lead.[35] Both teams exchanged touchdowns in the fourth quarter to hand Lindenwood its fourth loss of the season and bring the Lions overall record to 8–4.[36]

Conference affiliations

Ohio Valley ConferenceGreat Lakes Valley ConferenceMid-America Intercollegiate Athletics AssociationNCAA Division II independent schoolsHeart of America Athletic ConferenceMid-States Football AssociationNAIA independent football schools


Main article: List of Lindenwood Lions head football coaches

The current head football coach at Lindenwood is Jed Stugart, who was hired on December 5, 2016. Patrick Ross, Lindenwood's 15th head coach, held the position from 2004 to 2016.[37] The program began in 1990 under David Schroeder and has accumulated an overall record of 134 wins, 121 losses, and 2 ties.(as of conclusion of the 2012 season)[38]

Coaching records

Coach First season Final season Record
David Schroeder 1990 1991 11–8–1 (.575)
Jeff Driskill 1992 1994 5–25–1 (.177)
Dan Kratzer 1995 2000 29–35 (.453)
Rick Gorzynski 2001 2003 7–27 (.206)
Patrick Ross 2004 2016 93–57 (.620)
Jed Stugart 2017 present 8–14 (.364)


Conference championships

Lindenwood has won a conference championship three times. As of 2015, all in the Heart of America Athletic Conference:[39]

Year Conference Coach Overall record Conference record
2004 Heart of America Athletic Conference Patrick Ross 11–1 10–0
2007 10–2 9–1
2009 13–1 10–0
Total conference championships 3

Playoff appearances

NCAA Division II

The Lions have made two appearances in the NCAA Division II playoffs, with a combined record of 1–2.

Year Round Opponent Result
2019 First round
Regional semifinals
Ouachita Baptist
NW Missouri State
W 41–38
L 7–63
2021 First round Grand Valley State L 3–20


The Lions made six appearances in the NAIA playoffs, with a combined record of 5–6.

Year Round Opponent Result
1998 First round Southwestern (KS) L 10–12
2004 First round Hastings L 19–20
2007 First round Saint Francis (IN) L 14–35
2008 First round
W 65–48
W 34–31
L 37–38
2009 First round
National Championship
Ottawa (KS)
Sioux Falls
W 49–14
W, 64–26
W 42–35
L 22–25
2010 First round Saint Francis (IN) L 38–46

Bowl games

Lindenwood has participated in three bowl games with an overall record of 0 wins and 3 losses. In 2000, the Lions went to the first bowl game in school history, the Wheat Bowl, against Concordia University (Nebraska) and lost 14–31.[6] 2006 saw Lindenwood return to the Wheat Bowl, this time against Northwestern Oklahoma State University. NWOSU defeated the Lions in a close game 14–13.[40] Most recently, the Lions were defeated 41–21 by Winona State in the 2012 Mineral Water Bowl.[36]

Date Result Bowl Opponent Score Head Coach
2000 Loss Wheat Bowl Concordia University (Nebraska) 14–31 Dan Kratzer
2006 Northwestern Oklahoma State University 13–14 Patrick Ross
2012 Mineral Water Bowl Winona State University 21–41

Future non-conference opponents

Announced schedules as of August 17, 2023.[41]

2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028
vs Wisconsin–Stevens Point at Kansas vs Missouri State at Eastern Michigan at Kansas
at Western Illinois at Missouri State at Miami (OH) vs Western Illinois
at Illinois State
vs Austin Peay

Notable players

See also: List of Lindenwood Lions in the NFL Draft


Eight players have garnered All-American honors:[1]

NFL alumni

Former players as coaches


  1. ^ a b "Pierre Desir Named AFCA All-American". Lindenwood University. December 10, 2012. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  2. ^ Lindenwood University Brand Identity Guidelines (PDF). Retrieved December 27, 2022.
  3. ^ "Lindenwood University Announces It Will Apply For NCAA Membership". February 12, 2010. Retrieved August 6, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Lindenwood Yearly Results: 1990–1994". College Football Data Warehouse. 2010. Archived from the original on November 15, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Lindenwood Yearly Results: 1995–1999". College Football Data Warehouse. 2010. Archived from the original on November 15, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2011.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Lindenwood Yearly Results: 2000–2004". College Football Data Warehouse. 2010. Archived from the original on November 13, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2011.
  7. ^ a b c "Lindenwood Yearly Results: 2005–2009". College Football Data Warehouse. 2010. Archived from the original on December 11, 2011. Retrieved January 11, 2011.
  8. ^ "Sioux Falls repeats as NAIA champ". ESPN. December 19, 2010. Retrieved August 6, 2010.
  9. ^ "2010 NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Spring Poll". NAIA. April 19, 2010. Retrieved August 6, 2010.
  10. ^ Nelson, Kathleen (August 25, 2010). "Lindenwood facing great expectations". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  11. ^ Toppmeyer, Blake (July 6, 2010). "What a 16-member MIAA would mean". Maryville Daily Forum. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved August 6, 2010.
  12. ^ Robinson, Sam (September 24, 2010). "MIAA Officially Ups Membership To 16". News Press Now. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  13. ^ "MIAA Extends Invitations to Kearney, Lindenwood". MIAA. September 24, 2010. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  14. ^ "2010 Lindenwood Football Stats". NAIA. October 18, 2010. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
  15. ^ "2010 Saint Xavier Football Stats". NAIA. October 18, 2010. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
  16. ^ "2010 Oregon Ducks Football Stats". ESPN. October 18, 2010. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
  17. ^ "Lindenwood Sets Offensive Records In Homecoming Victory". Lindenwood University. October 16, 2010. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
  18. ^ Dannelly, Jason (November 20, 2010). "Saint Francis (Ind.) Shocks Lindenwood in NAIA Championship Series First round Upset". Victory Sports Network. Archived from the original on February 5, 2013. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
  19. ^ a b Robinson, Keith (August 17, 2011). "Lindenwood football looks forward to new challenge". KSDK. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  20. ^ "2010 Lindenwood Football Stats". NAIA. November 21, 2010. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
  21. ^ "Lindenwood Football Releases 2011 Schedule". Lindenwood University. January 11, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
  22. ^ Robinson, Keith (September 3, 2011). "Lindenwood defeats NCAA I FCS Northern Colorado". KSDK. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
  23. ^ a b c d "2011 Football Schedule". Lindenwood University. Retrieved November 27, 2011.
  24. ^ "Football Hosts Graceland in Home Opener on Saturday Evening". Lindenwood University. September 7, 2011. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
  25. ^ "Football Picks Up First Victory Over NCAA Division II Program". Lindenwood University. September 17, 2011. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
  26. ^ Stillman, Adam (September 1, 2012). "Lindenwood downs Lincoln". Jefferson City News Tribune. Archived from the original on January 30, 2013. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
  27. ^ "Football Wins Home Opener By 21 Over Southwest Baptist". Lindenwood University. September 7, 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
  28. ^ "College football: Central Missouri 35, Lindenwood 28". September 16, 2012. Archived from the original on February 1, 2013. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
  29. ^ a b "2012 Football Schedule". Lindenwood University. 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  30. ^ "Andrew Helmick Scores Four Touchdowns In Senior Day Victory". Lindenwood University. October 27, 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
  31. ^ AP Staff (November 1, 2012). "Mo. Player in critical condition with spine injury". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
  32. ^ "Lindenwood rallies around injured teammate". Fox Sports Midwest. November 2, 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
  33. ^ Slaughter, Josh (August 6, 2012). "Pittsburg State tops MIAA preseason football polls". MIAA. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
  34. ^ Eighinger, Steve (November 13, 2012). "Lindenwood Gets Winona State In Bowl Game". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
  35. ^ "Lions Fall to Winona State at Mineral Water Bowl". Lindenwood University. December 1, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  36. ^ a b Pollock, Bill (December 1, 2012). "Lindenwood loses in the Mineral Water Bowl". Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  37. ^ "Lindenwood University - Football Head Coach Patrick Ross Relieved Of Coaching Duties". 2016-11-15. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  38. ^ "Lindenwood University Football Coaching Records". College Football Data Warehouse. 2012. Archived from the original on August 7, 2014. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
  39. ^ "Lindenwood University Football Championship History". College Football Data Warehouse. 2011. Archived from the original on November 15, 2012. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
  40. ^ "NWOSU Wins Wheat Bowl. Defeats Lindenwood 14–13". NAIA. August 29, 2006. Retrieved July 21, 2011.
  41. ^ "Lindenwood Lions Football Future Schedules". Retrieved August 17, 2023.
  42. ^ "DeDe Dorsey Stats". ESPN. Retrieved July 21, 2011.
  43. ^ "Brian Schaefering #91 DE". NFL. 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2011.
  44. ^ Nolan Nawrocki (2015-07-21). "Pierre Desir Draft Profile". Retrieved 2015-08-05.
  45. ^ "David Beaty coach profile".