Lennon returns to former school as public affairs director


By Brent Meske, @brentmeskeDE

Former Saluki football coach Dale Lennon was named public affairs director at University of Mary in Bismark, N.D., where he served as football coach from 1997 to 1999.

Lennon will begin his administrative role at University of Mary on Feb. 22 and he will be in charge of marketing strategies and community relations.

“I feel extremely fortunate to be returning to the University of Mary,” Lennon said in a university press release. “My family and I have maintained close relationships with the school throughout the years, and returning to the university and the Bismarck community has been a scenario that we always hoped would become a reality.”


In two seasons as the team’s coach, he led the Division II team to a combined 12-9 record, including an 8-3 season in 1998. The team won the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and made the NAIA Playoffs.

His stint in Bismark came between two runs with the North Dakota Fighting Hawks. Lennon served as defensive line coach in 1988 and 1989 and then defensive coordinator from 1990 to 1996.

Lennon returned to Grand Forks, N.D., in 1999 and served as the head coach until 2007. He led the Fighting Hawks to a 90-24 — including playoffs — record as coach and won the NCAA Division II National Championship in 2001.

He then came to SIU after North Dakota and led the Salukis to a 51-42 record in eight seasons. The Dawgs won the Missouri Valley Football Conference during his first two seasons, combining for a 20-5 record in those years.

Lennon has football connections with Athletic Director Roger Thomas and football coach Josh Kotelnicki at University of Mary. Thomas coached Lennon during the 1979 season at North Dakota, and Kotelnicki was a captain and linebacker for Lennon’s 2001 North Dakota team.

The former Saluki coach previously turned down a head coaching job at University of Wisconsin — Eau Clarie. 

Brent Meske can be reached at [email protected] or at 536-3333