Gardner-Webb has hired Cris Reisert to take over the football program. Reisert was most recently the head coach at NCAA Division 2 Tiffin where he coached the Dragons for five seasons.
Reisert’s appointment to the Tiffin head coaching job followed Gary Goff’s eight-year tenure. Goff left for Valdosta State and is now the head coach at McNeese and his final season at Tiffin in 2018 was a 9-2 campaign. Reisert immediately built upon that with his own 9-2 record but it resulted in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference championship and the automatic qualifying bid to the Division 2 playoffs. It was the first D2 playoff appearance but the Dragons lost the 2019 first-round game to Kutztown 33-31.
Tiffin went 6-0 in the disjointed 2020-21 season and won the G-MAC title again although no D2 playoffs were contested. They followed it up with an 8-3 season in 2021 and a tie for second place in the G-MAC. In 2022, they fell to 6-5 overall but it was still good enough for a co-second place finish and they competed in the America’s Crossroads Bowl, which they lost 28-27.
2023 was the best Tiffin season under Reisert but it ended with disappointment. The Dragons went 11-0, capturing the G-MAC Championship for the third time, and were awarded the top seed in Super Region 1. Despite the first-round bye, Tiffin lost 45-35 against Slippery Rock in the second round to finish 11-1.
Reisert went 40-11 overall and 32-4 against conference opponents in his five seasons with three conference titles and the school’s first two NCAA Division 2 playoff appearances. He will follow Tre Lamb who led the Bulldogs to two conference titles and also guided them to their first two FCS Playoff appearances in his four seasons before taking the head coaching position at East Tennessee State.
Photo Credit to Gardner-Webb University Athletics