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How one Division III school became the West Coast Cradle of Coaches

There were two coaching reunions last Saturday night at the Horseshoe. One you probably knew about, when current Ohio State head coach and former Utah head coach Urban Meyer squared off against former Utah defensive line coach and current Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen, and one you probably didn't. 

As Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman coached against Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, he was scheming to beat his former teammate. Both are graduates of Division III Cal Lutheran - Herman is a 1997 CLU grad, Aranda graduated two years later - and they're far from the only Kingsmen littered throughout the upper levels of coaching.

In fact, the school claims at least 10 graduates littered throughout the NFL and Division I ranks and dozens more throughout the lower levels of the game. Among those names are:

Former Detroit Lions head coach and current Dallas Cowboys defensive line coach Rod Marinelli

Former Long Beach State and New Mexico head coach and 20-year NFL assistant Mike Sheppard

Stanford special teams coach Pete Alamar

New York Jets tight ends coach Pete Hagen

27-year NFL scouting veteran Mike Hagen

Denver Broncos secondary coach Cory Undlin

Plus the aforementioned Aranda and Herman. Not bad for a school with an enrollment just north of 4,200. 

“They could put on a heck of a coaching clinic just with Cal Lu guys coming back and speaking,” Alamar told the Ventura County Star. “I think that would be a big attraction.”

The pipeline started under 27-year Cal Lutheran head coach and program patriarch Bob Shoup. A winning tradition certainly helps, too. You don't get named the second-best college program in all of California for nothing. 

“Cal Lutheran couldn’t have been a better environment for me when I got there because I really love this stuff and the guys were just great teachers,” Marinelli said. “They did things the right way and were all about teaching and helping men grow. It was such a special place, and it doesn’t surprise me how many guys come out of there and really want to teach that way as well.”

Read the full article here.