KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced the coaching staffs for both the NAIA East and NAIA West teams for the 2021 Senior Football Classic on Monday. The 2021 game will be held in Durham, N.C. at Durham County Stadium on December 17.

Fran Schwenk of the University of Saint Mary will be the running backs coach for the NAIA East squad. Mike Gardner of Tabor College will serve as the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach for the NAIA West team.

The NAIA East will be led by Jason Burianek, Missouri Baptist Head Coach. Burianek, a former player at University of Colorado, has been leading the Spartans since the team’s inception in 2014.

“I’m thrilled to get the opportunity to lead this team and help these young men showcase their talents in their senior year in the NAIA,” said Burianek. “After being a part of the inaugural event in 2019 and having one of my players in that game, I was honored to be asked to be the head coach this year and to coach the top seniors in the NAIA.”

Joining Burianek on the staff for the NAIA East will be several head and assistant coaches from around the NAIA.

NameCoaching PositionSchoolSchool Coaching PositionJason BurianekHead Coach/Defensive Coordinator/Defensive BacksMissouri BaptistHead CoachTim Reynolds Jr.Offensive Coordinator, QuarterbacksSt. Andrews (N.C.)Associate Head CoachJames MillerOffensive LineReinhardt (Ga.)Head CoachFran SchwenkRunning BacksSaint Mary (Kan.)Running BacksAndrew O’HaraDefensive LineConcordia (Mich.)Assistant CoachIsaac FisherWide ReceiversMissouri BaptistQuarterbacks CoachJack RussellLinebackersMissouri BaptistLinebackers/Strength Coach

The NAIA West will be led by Ryan Smith, SAGU (Texas) Head Coach. Smith, a former quarterback at SAGU, became the head coach for the Lions in 2018.

“It is a huge honor to represent my family, SAGU, and the entire NAIA as the head coach for the West team,” said Smith. “I really appreciate Lendsey and the rest of the NAIA for working so hard to make this happen. It is a great opportunity to expand our brand as the NAIA and continue to show the nation the talent we have at this level. It’s also extremely important to honor the seniors who have invested their time, finances, and their football career to this game at the NAIA level.”

Joining Smith on the staff of the NAIA West will also be a collection of talented coaches from around the ranks of the NAIA.

NameCoaching PositionSchoolSchool Coaching PositionRyan SmithHead Coach/Offensive Coordinator/QuarterbacksSAGU (Texas)Head Coach/OC/QB’sJohnathan CarrOffensive LineLangston (Okla.)Offensive Line CoachNicholas FleslandRunning BacksMayville State (N.D.)Running Backs CoachMike GardnerDefensive Coordinator/Defensive BacksTabor (Kan.)Head CoachTyler ChapaLinebackersWaldorf (Iowa)Defensive Backs CoachWill FinleyDefensive LineWaldorf (Iowa)Head CoachChase ParamoreWide ReceiversSAGU (Texas)Wide Recievers/Special Teams Coach

The 2021 NAIA Senior Football Classic will take place at 7:00 p.m. ET at Durham County Memorial Stadium in Durham, N.C. on Friday, December 17. The game will be the premiere event leading into the NAIA Football National Championship on Saturday, December 18.

Fans can tune-in to the Senior Football Classic on the NAIA Network at NAIANetwork.com for free.

See also:

–KCAC–