Craig Rundle, '74, Albion College's longest serving football coach, announced his plans to retire at the end of the 2018 season.
President Mauri Ditzler and Athletic Director Matt Arend have appointed Dustin Beurer, '05, the Britons assistant head coach and offensive coordinator since 2013 and a member of the coaching staff since 2008, to the head coaching position when the Britons season ends.
"I can't express enough how grateful I am to have had the chance to work with Craig Rundle," Arend said. "Since arriving as athletic director in 2011, it has been an honor and a privilege to watch Coach Rundle mentor and lead his teams to three of his seven MIAA conference championships.
"He has a tremendous understanding for the game, yet never stopped being a student of the game," Arend added. "He was focused on challenging his players, helping them grow as men, and making sure they had the tools necessary to be successful members of our society after their four years at Albion College. On behalf of the entire college, I thank him for his years of hard work and dedication. We will miss Craig and his wife Ann and wish them nothing but the best."
Now in his 22nd season at Albion, Rundle has compiled a 120-92 record with seven Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship and five trips to the NCAA Division III Playoffs. He became Albion's all-time winningest football coach on Nov. 8, 2014 when the Britons defeated MIAA rival Alma College, 35-13, on the road.
During Rundle's tenure, nine Britons have been selected for MIAA MVP awards while Britons have achieved all-MIAA first team status 103 times. Chris Greenwood, the MIAA Defensive MVP in 2011, was a fifth round pick by the Detroit Lions in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Rundle also produced a NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient in Neil Johnson, '98.
With 22 seasons, Rundle will depart matching Dale Sprankel, who split time coaching at Adrian and Albion from 1923-46, as the second-longest serving head football coach in MIAA history. His first win against an MIAA rival this season will be his 85th, second-most in league history. And his seven MIAA championships are second-most in league history, trailing only Albion's Pete Schmidt and Hope's Ray Smith who claimed nine apiece.
Rundle's overall collegiate mark of 178-138-1 includes a perfect 10-0 mark in 1988 at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, California. He entered the 2018 season ranked 12th among active NCAA Division III head coaches in terms of victories.
The Lansing native and his wife Ann have two sons, Travis and Troy. Travis, who achieved all-MIAA first team status after quarterbacking the Britons to the 2001 MIAA title, is the head coach at Sewanee. Troy, a two-time all-MIAA first team tight end, is working for the Veterans Administration Benefits Division Regional Office in Phoenix, Ariz.
Beurer, who returned to Albion in the winter of 2008 after a two-year stint at Morehead State University, becomes the fourth Albion alum to direct the Britons football fortunes since 1969.
He was an offensive lineman for the Britons before injuries forced him into a coaching role. Beurer was a member of the 2001 squad that claimed the MIAA championship, and he served as tight ends and assistant offensive line coach on the 2005 MIAA title squad that advanced to the NCAA Division III playoffs. Tight end Troy Rundle achieved first team all-conference, all-region and honorable mention All-America honors during that season along with four offensive linemen receiving all-conference honors.
Beurer proved to be a great teacher in 2011 as Albion earned the MIAA championship despite piecing together an offensive front riddled by injuries. Beurer's crew was rewarded by placing Chris Ogston and Eric Woods on the all-MIAA first team. Ogston was also voted to the all-North Region third team by the D3football.com website.
Clinton Orr became Albion's all-time leading rusher during the 2012 season. He finished his career with 3,912 yards.
Albion implemented an uptempo spread system for the 2013 season and the Britons ran it to perfection, resulting in another MIAA championship. Albion averaged a league-best 425 yards per game against its six MIAA rivals. Three of Beurer's offensive linemen were all-MIAA picks. Jon Ackley and Ogston were voted to the first team and Dalton Nagle was placed on the second team.
Albion's offense was remarkable in 2015, ranking among the Division III leaders averaging nearly 560 yards and 47 points per game. It took a collective effort for the Britons to achieve the impressive metrics, with a pair of 1,000-yard running backs (Mike Czarnecki and Colin Parks) for the first time in school history while quarterback Dominic Bona threw for 2,976 yard and a school-record 34 touchdowns. Center Andrew DiFranco and left tackle Nate Peters gained all-MIAA first team status, while right tackle Chris Wilson was an all-MIAA second team pick.
A native of Deerfield, Mich., Beurer was a standout center/guard at Deerfield High School.
Beurer and his wife, Kate, '06, reside in Albion with their son, JT. The family is expecting another son to be born in January.
"There is no question that Dustin Beurer is ready to take over as the head coach for our football program," Arend said. "Since his return in 2008, all of us on campus have seen him grow as a mentor, teacher, and coach. He is a proven recruiter with strong ties to high school programs in Michigan and the surrounding states. Every year he has been at Albion College he has taken on more responsibility with in the day-to-day operations of the football program and within the athletic department. He clearly understands what it means to be a Briton football player and respects the legacy of those alums that have worn the purple and gold in generations prior to him. I am excited to see Albion College football add to its 36 MIAA Conference Championships under his leadership."
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