It's not very often that you see a head coach appointed to take over following a season that hasn't even begun yet.
That's the case at Mercyhurst (D-II - PA) though, as the program is entering the 2021 season knowing that it will be the final one for head coach Marty Schaetzle, who has decided to retire at season's end.
Schaetzle has spent 20 years in charge of the program and became the winningest head coach in program history back in 2010 when he won his 42nd game. Schaetzle has more than doubled that win total in the decade since, and heads into his sunset of his coaching career with the team with a mark of 93-105.
The program has decided to promote from within to build on the foundation Schaetzle has laid the past two decades.
Defensive coordinator Ryan Riemedio was announced last night as the man who will step into the head coaching role at the conclusion of the 2021 season. Riemedio started off as a graduate assistant on the offensive side of the ball in 2012 working with tight ends and fullbacks and assisting with the offensive line while also serving as the strength and conditioning coordinator.
He's steadily climbed the ladder at Mercyhurst since then. By 2014 he earned a promotion to defensive line coach. Then, heading into the 2016 season, he was selected to participate in the Bill Walsh Minority Fellowship Program with the Eagles, who went on to win the Super Bowl later that year.
In 2019, he again earned a promotion to assistant head coach, defensive coordinator, and moved to linebackers.
Director of athletics Brad Davis had the following positive things to share about the current and future leaders of the program in the school's release.
"When you lose an incredible leader like Marty, it is critical that his successor can build on the program's success and take it to another level. Ryan Riemedio is that person, leader and coach. The outpouring of support for Ryan from our alumni, student-athletes and coaches across the nation was impressive, but it is the strength of his internal and external relationships, his recruiting talents, and his coaching reputation that made him the obvious replacement. Ryan has the combination of skill and leadership to move our program forward and represent Mercyhurst proudly."
The program will take the field for its final season opener under Schaetzle this Saturday at home against Alderson Broaddus (D-II - WV).