Pioneer Football League (PFL) Schedules, Coaching Changes and More

May 11, 2023 by Staff

There are no changes to the lineup of the 11 non-scholarship schools that comprise the Pioneer Football league. Every team is eligible for the conference's automatic qualifier bid, except St. Thomas. The Tommies actually won the title in 2022 but are not eligible for the FCS playoffs until 2025, so Davidson received the conference's AQ bid and was the only Pioneer League member to receive a playoff invite. The Wildcats were mauled 41-0 at Richmond in the opening round.

Here is the school membership for 2023:
Morehead State
St. Thomas (MN)
San Diego

NFL Draft

No Pioneer Football League players were drafted by an NFL team this past April, and none have been signed to an undrafted free agent conrtract.

Six PFL alumni were on NFL active rosters at the start of the 2022 NFL season

  • Donald Parham (Stetson) – L.A. Chargers
  • Adam Trautman (Dayton) – New Orleans
  • Jamal Agnew (San Diego) – Jacksonville
  • Ross Dwelley (San Diego) – San Francisco
  • Jason Myers (Marist) – Seattle
  • Eric Saubert (Drake) – Denver

Two more were listed on practice squad rosters.

  • Josh Johnson (San Diego) – Denver
  • Michael Bandy (San Diego) – L.A. Chargers

Coaching Changes

See the entire list of FCS head coaching changes.

Dayton - Rick Chamberlin announced his retirement on November 29. He was 104-48 over-all and 78-31 in the Pioneer League from 2008-2022. Western Michigan LB coach Trevor Andrews was announced as the new head coach on December 12. Andrews played DB at Dayton in the 90's.

San Diego - Dale Lindsey, the winningest coach in San Diego football history announced his retirement on March 22. He leaves with the fourth-best win percentage (72.7%) in FCS history with an over-all record of 80-30 over 10 seasons, including a 68-9 mark in PFL games. His teams won 7 PFL Championships and had 5 FCS Playoff appearances. Under Lindsey, the Toreros tied the FCS record with 39 straight conference wins between 2015 and 2021.

On April 19, San Diego announced reigning AFCA DII National Coach of the Year Brandon Moore as Lindsey's replacement. In his only season as head coach at Colorado School of Mines, he lead the Orediggers to their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division II Championship Game. He had spent 6 seasons building the Orediggers' defense. As a player, Moore was a linebacker on the 2001 FBS champion Oklahoma Sooners. Moore spent 7 years in the NFL, including 6 with the San Francisco 49ers. He appeared in 90 games and accumulated 249 career tackles.

2023 Schedule

PFL teams don't play any FBS schools, but face 15 prograns below the FCS level.

The toughest non-conference matchups are easy to spot.

  • Butler opens at Montana
  • Drake visits North Dakota on opening weekend and faces defending FCS national champion South Dakota State two weeks later in Minneapolis
  • St. Thomas goes to South Dakota on 9/9 and viists Harvard the following week
  • San Diego hosts Princeton on 9/16
  • Stetson goes to Montana State on 9/16

Similarly, the weakest non-conference games are also easy to spot.

  • Butler - After opening at Montana, the Bulldogs host NAIA member Taylor University of Upland, IN and D3 member Wabash of Crawfordsville, Indiana
  • Davidson hosts D2 Barton College, a Christian school in Wilson, NC. Two weeks later, the Wildcats host NAIA member St. Andrews of Laurinburg, NC
  • Dayton hosts D2 member Central State of Wilberforce, OH on 9/9 and NAIA member Taylor on 9/16
  • Drake inserts a home game against NAIA member Northwestern Iowa around its visit to North Dakota and neutral date with South Dakota State
  • Morehead State hosts D2 West Virginia State of Institute,a town situated just west of Charleston
  • Presbyterian hosts a Virginia University of Lynchburg D2 school that has dropped 32 straight games
  • St. Thomas hosts D2 member Black Hills State of Spearfish, South Dakota
  • San Diego hosts D2 member Colroado Mesa
  • Stetson opens with back-to-back NAIA teams as the Hatters host private catholic school St. Thomas of Miami before welcoming NAIA member Webber International of Babson Park (south of Lake Wales)
  • Valparaiso visits NAIA member Indiana Wesleyan (NAIA) on 9/9 and hosts D2 member SW Minnesota State on 9/30

Marist is the only PFL team that plays all 11 games against FCS foes.

Team-by-Team Schedules
*-denotes conference game

9/2 at Montana
9/9 Taylor (NAIA)
9/16 Wabash (D3)
9/23 at Stetson*
9/30 Presbyterian*
10/7 at St. Thomas, MN*
10/14 Davidson*
10/21 at Dayton*
10/28 Valparaiso*
11/4 at Morehead State*
11/18 Drake*

9/2 at VMI
9/9 Barton College (D2)
9/16 at Marist*
9/23 St. Andrews, NC (NAIA)
9/30 San Diego*
10/14 at Butler*
10/21 Valparaiso*
10/28 Presbyterian*
11/4 at Stetson*
11/11 at Morehead State*
11/18 Dayton*

9/2 at Illinois State
9/9 Central State, OH (D2)
9/16 Taylor (NAIA)
9/23 at San Diego*
9/30 St. Thomas*
10/7 at Morehead State*
10/14 Presbyterian*
10/21 Butler*
11/4 at Valparaiso*
11/11 Marist*
11/18 at Davidson*

9/2 at North Dakota
9/9 Northwestern, IA (NAIA)
9/16 at South Dakota State (Minneapolis, MN)
9/30 at Morehead State*
10/7 Valparaiso*
10/14 St. Thomas, MN*
10/21 at San Diego*
10/28 Stetson*
11/4 at Marist*
11/11 Presbyterian*
11/18 at Butler*

9/2 at Georgetown
9/16 Davidson*
9/23 at Valparaiso*
9/30 Stetson*
10/7 at Columbia
10/14 San Diego*
10/21 at Presbyterian*
10/28 at St. Thomas, MN*
11/4 Drake*
11/11 at Dayton*
11/18 Bucknell

8/31 West Virginia State (D2)
9/9 at Mercer
9/23 at St. Thomas, MN*
9/30 Drake*
10/7 Dayton*
10/14 at Valparaiso*
10/21 at Tarleton State
10/28 at San Diego*
11/4 Butler*
11/11 Davidson*
11/18 at Presbyterian*

9/2 at Murray State
9/9 Virginia-Lynchburg (D2)
9/16 at Wofford
9/30 at Butler*
10/7 Stetson*
10/14 at Dayton*
10/21 Marist*
10/28 at Davidson*
11/4 San Diego*
11/11 at Drake*
11/18 Morehead State*

9/2 Black Hills State (D2)
9/9 at South Dakota
9/16 at Harvard
9/23 Morehead State*
9/30 at Dayton*
10/7 Butler*
10/14 at Drake*
10/21 at Stetson*
10/28 Marist*
11/11 at San Diego*
11/18 Valparaiso*

9/2 at Cal Poly
9/9 Colorado Mesa (D2)
9/16 Princeton
9/23 Dayton*
9/30 at Davidson*
10/14 at Marist*
10/21 Drake*
10/28 Morehead State*
11/4 at Presbyterian*
11/11 St. Thomas, MN*
11/18 at Stetson*

9/2 St. Thomas, FL (NAIA)
9/9 Webber International, FL (NAIA)
9/16 at Montana State
9/23 Butler*
9/30 at Marist*
10/7 at Presbyterian*
10/21 St. Thomas, MN*
10/28 at Drake*
11/4 Davidson*
11/11 at Valparaiso*
11/18 San Diego*

8/31 at Youngstown State
9/9 at Indiana Wesleyan (NAIA)
9/23 Marist*
9/30 SW Minnesota State (D2)
10/7 at Drake*
10/14 Morehead State*
10/21 at Davidson*
10/28 at Butler*
11/4 Dayton*
11/11 Stetson*
11/18 at St. Thomas, MN*