LAKELAND WELCOMES A NEW FOOTBALL COACH
Feb. 10, 2003
Jim Zebrowski, offensive coordinator at Millikin University for the past three seasons, today was named the 14th football coach in Lakeland College football history.
Jim Zebrowski has a new favorite college football program, and Lakeland College has a new head football coach.
Zebrowski, 35, offensive coordinator at Millikin University for the past three seasons, today was named the 14th football coach in Lakeland College football history.
“I’ve loved my years at Millikin, and I’m going to love my time at Lakeland,” Zebrowski said. “That’s my favorite college football program right now.”
Zebrowski replaces Jeff Hynes, who resigned as Lakeland’s head football coach in January after four seasons to become the new head football coach at Concordia University in River Forest, Ill.
A self-described people person, Zebrowski will bring a physical, attacking-style approach to the Muskies that has translated into an explosive offense during his time at Millikin.
The Big Blue was 24-7 during Zebrowski’s three years manning the offense, including a College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin championship and NCAA Division III playoff appearance in 2000. Millikin finished second in the nation in scoring in 2000 at 46.6 points per game, rushing for nearly 300 yards per game.
“We’ll strive to be a very tough, physical team on both sides of the ball,” Zebrowski said. “Offensively, we want to run the ball, and have the ability to attack a defense vertically. We like to take some shots and go deep, but once you run the football, a lot of good things happen.
“We want to be able to go north and south on people and move people at the line of scrimmage. We want to be physical and disciplined. Lakeland has kids there that can move people on both sides of the line.”
Zebrowski played football at Mount Union College, where he graduated in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.
After coaching in the high school ranks in Ohio for six years, Zebrowski spent three years on the coaching staff at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, serving several roles including tight ends coach, wide receivers coach and, immediately before leaving for Millikin, quarterback coach.
Zebrowski earned a master’s degree in workforce education from SIU in 2000. He has also served Millikin as an assistant professor of exercise science and sport for the past two years.
Lakeland Athletic Director Jane Bouche said Zebrowski’s enthusiasm is contagious, and he brings the Muskies a balance of experience that matches Lakeland’s needs.
“We like his vision of where he wants Lakeland to be, not only on the football field, but the whole college,” Bouche said. “His background fits Lakeland very well. He has an understanding of private schools and those unique challenges. Above all is his enthusiasm, and the way he’s able to motivate others.”
“I’m a people person,” Zebrowski said. “I was raised that way. I want to say hi to everybody. I want to go to other sporting events. Wherever I’ve been, I’ve loved it. I think that’s why people say ‘This guy is so excited about Millikin or Southern Illinois.’ I think recruits say ‘If he loves it this much, I might as well check it out.’”
Zebrowski, who is married with one young son (Zachary), is active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. His wife, Heather, is a former volleyball standout at SIU.
His immediate plans are getting to Lakeland’s campus this week to meet his new players and get them settled, begin building a coaching staff and begin recruiting.
“We want to make people realize there is a base,” Zebrowski said.
Zebrowski learned more about Lakeland through his friendship with two former Lakeland football assistants – Dan Enos and Joe Tumpkin – who both enthusiastically urged Zebrowski to pursue the Lakeland opening.
“This is the first time I’ve really went after and pushed for a position,” Zebrowski said. “Playing at Mt. Union and coaching at Millikin has gotten the juices to be a head coach flowing. Some guys have 5- or 10-year goals. Honestly, how I work is doing the best I can wherever I’m at right now.”