Jace Schillinger begins his third season as the offensive coordinator and tight ends coach at Dickinson State University in 2016, and his sixth overall for the Blue Hawks. Under Schillinger the Blue Hawks finished #16 in the NAIA in rushing yards/game at 230 yards/game.
The Blue Hawks offense continues to steadily improve from 221.2 yards/game in 2013 to 372.9 yards/game in 2015. That is the most yards the Blue Hawks have averaged offensively in over a decade. The Blue Hawks return 93% of its offensive yards and 89% of its offensive scoring from the 2015 team.
Junior running back Tray Boone finished 3rd in the NAIA in rushing yards/game (133 ypg). He also finished 5th in the NAIA in total rushing yards at 1,330. That number was the 5th best in DSU history. Boone was named the North Star Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year.
Schillinger has 11 years of coaching experience at the college and high school levels. He has had stops at Billings Central Catholic High School (MT), Park High School (MT), University of North Dakota (ND), and Baker High School (MT).
Schillinger spent two seasons as the running backs coach at the University of North Dakota (Div 1-FCS) (2009 & 2010). While at UND he coached two Great West All-Conference running backs, Mitch Sutton (2009) and Josh Murray (2010). Sutton rushed for almost 700 yards his freshman year while also receiving the “Freshman of the Year” for the Great West Conference.
In 2015 Schillinger served as the Blue Hawk Track & Field Head Coach. He coached the men’s and women’s teams to North Star Conference Championships. It was the first for the women in 34 years. While also receiving three Coach of the Year Awards.
A 2005 graduate of Dickinson State with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health & Physical Education with a minor in coaching. Schillinger played tailback for the Blue Hawks and helped them win three-consecutive DAC-10 championships from 2002-2004. In 2005 he was also named the DSU Outstanding Physical Education Student of the Year.
Schillinger was a two-time NAIA All-American running back and an All-Dakota Athletic Conference first team selection. In 2004, he was the recipient of the NAIA Champions of Character Award and was also chosen as the DAC-10 Conference Football Athlete of the Year. He was named team captain in 2003 & 2004. He currently holds twelve school records, including the school’s all-time leader in rushing yards (4,149), all-purpose yards (4,719), and touchdowns scored (53). In 2014 he was inducted into the Blue Hawk Hall of Fame.
Schillinger is no stranger to coaching, as his two uncles, father, and brother were all coaches as well. His uncle, Don Schillinger, is the winningest coach in Montana History while compiling a record of 318-53 including 6 state championships. His father, Jim, was a long-time coach at Baker High School coaching football, basketball, and track for 28 seasons. His brother, Shann, played four seasons of professional football for the Atlanta Falcons and Tennessee Titans. He is now an assistant coach at the University of Montana.
The Baker, Montana native graduated from Baker High School in 2000. He was a member of the 1999 and 2000 football and basketball championship teams.
He lives in Dickinson, he and his wife (Amie) have three children Lola, Grady, and Vaida. Amie is employed at CHI-St. Joseph’s Women’s Clinic as a Physician Assistant.