Chris Winter is entering his 13th season with the Knights and fifth as assistant head coach. He also has served as the wide receiver and running backs coach.
In 2014, Wartburg led the Iowa Conference in scoring defense, total defense, rush defense, pass defense, pass-defense efficiency, fewest first downs allowed, third-down defense, and sacks. The Knights also finished the 2014 regular season ranked among the top 15 nationally in scoring defense (11.2 pts/game), passing defense (136.2
yds/game), team passing efficiency defense (88.68 percent), and total defense (257.2 yds/game). Wartburg has set school records for fewest rushing yards allowed in a season (620 yards in 2012), fewest total offensive yards allowed in a game (-5 yards vs. MacMurray in 2012), and fewest passing yards allowed in a game (0 yards vs. Luther in 2014) during Winter’s time as the defensive coordinator. He holds the record for receiving yards in a game, compiling 259 against Central in 2003, and shares the single-game touchdown reception record of four with former standout Ryan Rausch ’01.
Chris, his wife, Tara Price ’01, the director of student recruitment and a cheerleading coach at Wartburg, and their children, Emmry and Maddox, reside in Waverly.
Matt Wheeler is entering his eighth season as the program’s offensive coordinator.
Wartburg’s offense set five school season records in 2014, including rushing yards (3,061), passing yards (3,329), and total offense (6,167). Wheeler mentored d3football.com All-American and Iowa Conference MVP Logan Schrader, who tied Wheeler’s single-game school record with five touchdown passes on two occasions in 2014. Brandon Domeyer
also became the first 1,000-yard rusher for the Knights since 2006.
Wheeler previously served as assistant head coach, offensive coordinator, and quarterbacks coach as part of a six-year stint at North Carolina Wesleyan. He was the offensive coordinator from 2007 to 2009 and the assistant head coach in 2008 and 2009. Behind his offense, Wesleyan outscored its opponents 1,064-676 while the Bishops won two conference championships and earned playoff appearances in 2007 and 2009.
Wheeler also coached three years at St. Cloud (Minnesota) State University and was part of a North Central Conference championship in 2002. At Wartburg, he was the Iowa Conference’s Most Valuable Player in 1999, helping lead the Knights to a conference title and NCAA Division III playoff appearance.
Wheeler was inducted into the Wartburg Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011. Wheeler, his wife, Emily Bailey ’99, and their two children, Elijah and Madeline, reside in Waverly.
Patrick Toohey is entering his seventh season with the Knights. He has coached six First-Team All-Conference linemen, including 2014 West Region Player of the Year Chris Brinkmeier. He spent the 2005 season coaching the defensive line at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater before returning to Wartburg in the same role for the 2006 and 2007 seasons. He served as the offensive line coach/run game coordinator at Randolph-Macon College from 2008 to 2010, helping guide the Yellow Jackets to three consecutive winning seasons, including a conference championship and NCAA playoff appearance in 2008. His 2010 offense averaged 225 rushing yards and 41 points per game.
Toohey, his wife, Brooke Rausch ’06, and their son, Shea Michael, reside in Waverly.
Nathan Roach enters his fifth year with Wartburg. He came to Wartburg from NCAA Division II power Northwest Missouri State in Maryville, Mo., where he spent three seasons as a running backs and wide receivers coach. Roach coached three All-Americans in three years at NMS. During his six years at Northwest Missouri State he was both a player and a coach—he was part of four Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association conference championship teams and six playoff teams, including the national championship team in 2009.
Jeff Beck has played or coached for the Knights in 19 of the last 20 years. He spent one year as a graduate assistant at Grand Valley State. Jeff, his wife, Kelly Foley ’04, and their children, Natalie and Trevor, reside in Waverly.
Chris Silva enters his first year with the program and will coach the running backs. He comes to Wartburg from Hardin-Simmons University where he served as a graduate assistant for the past two seasons. Silva was a four-year letterwinner at Hardin-Simmons in football and was a three-time Academic All-Conference honoree.
Anthony Vela enters his first year with the program. He comes to Wartburg from the University of Incarnate Word where he coached the defensive line. Prior to UIW, he coached the linebackers and was the JV defensive coordinator at Sanibal ISD. Vela was a three-year starter at nose guard for UIW and earned his bachelor's degree in kinesiology.
Roberto Rotelli will serve as a visiting coach with the program in 2017 and will coach the tight ends. He visited Wartburg during the 2015 pre-season and Washington and Jefferson College in Pennsylvania in 2016. He developed his passion for American football through a great experience at UW-Lacrosse in the early 90’s and has remained a student of the game ever since. He is also the head coach for the Ancona Dolphins, a team in the Italian Football League 1st Division, and has served in that position since 2012. Wartburg played the Dolphins on their trip to Italy last June. Rotelli was an offensive lineman/center for the Dolphins from 1987-2006 and played in five semifinals, four Italian Super Bowls and other European Championship games. After his playing career, he was the offensive line coach for three season and offensive coordinator for five seasons. Roberto resides in Ancona, Italy with his wife Stefania and two sons Raffaele (17) and Valentino (15).
Mike Dotseth is entering his 16th season on the current staff after serving from 1984 to 1991 under former head coaches Don Canfield and Bob Nielson. A graduate of Luther College, he taught and coached in the Waverly-Shell Rock Schools until his retirement. Mike and his wife, Janet, reside in Waverly.
A 30-year veteran of the Wartburg football program, Jerry Albert is continuing his duties with the offensive staff. In addition to coaching the Knights, he’s also coached junior high and high school athletes, as well as college athletes at Ellsworth Community College and the University of Northern Iowa. As a player, he was a kick-return specialist. Jerry and his wife, Kathy, reside in Cedar Falls.
Scott Suhr is in his 14th year as an assistant coach on the offensive line. At Wartburg, he was a three-year letterman
on the offensive line. Suhr, his wife, Jessica, and daughter Margaret reside in Waverly.