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Scafe to Retire at Thomas More; Stellman is Heir to Program

Thomas More College head football coach Regis Scafe will retire at the end of the season.

Offensive coordinator Trevor Stellman will take over while Chris Norwell was promoted to associate head football coach.

“When Athletic Director Terry Connor hired Coach Scafe we had two goals, we wanted Regis to give us at least three years to hone the two coaches we had on staff who we thought can be the future of Saints Football and maintain our excellence as the winningest program in Division III,” said President David A. Armstrong. ”He accomplished both. At the end of last season he told us this was his final season. By announcing his retirement now, we get to honor one of the greatest coaches in Division III history the rest of this season.”

Scafe is in his third season as the head coach at Thomas More. He has a 23-7 record on the sidelines in Crestview Hills, where he has guided the Saints to two Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) championships and two appearances in the NCAA Division III Championship, including a second round appearance in 2015.  He was named the PAC Coach of the Year in 2015 and 2016 and was named the D3football.com South Region Coach of the Year in 2015.

The team is 3-4 this season.

Scafe has a 127-97 record in 22 years as a collegiate head coach as he was the head coach at John Carroll University for 14 seasons and five seasons as the head coach at his alma mater Case Western Reserve University. Scafe’s 88 victories at John Carroll is second-most in school history and he led the Blue Streaks to nine winning seasons and the NCAA Division III semifinals in 2012.  He also spent 15 years coaching at Chanel High School in the Cleveland, Ohio area.  Scafe was the head coach from 1978-87, Athletic Director from 1984-87, assistant coach from 1972-78 and was the wrestling coach in 1978.  Scafe was inducted into the Chanel Hall of Fame in 2000.

“I’ve worked with great coaches, student-athletes, parents, alums and administrations over the last 45 years coaching football, including three great years here at Thomas More,” said Scafe. “I consider myself very lucky and fortunate to be doing what I loved all these years.  I feel very confident and excited about the future and the direction of Thomas More Football. It is in good hands with Coach Stellman as the head coach and Coach Norwell as his associate head coach.”

“Coach Scafe made such a difference in so many young men's lives over 45 years, including my own," said Armstrong. “He is a Division III legend and we are so grateful he chose to top off his career at TMC.”

“Regis has had a remarkable career coaching football, including the last three seasons at Thomas More," said Connor. “We thank him for guiding the Saints over the last three seasons and wish him the best.”

Stellman is in his eighth season at Thomas More and sixth as the offensive coordinator.

In 2016, Thomas More's offense under the direction of Stellman set the school record for plays in a season (843) and most points in a quarter as it scored 35 points against Grove City College in the second quarter.  The 2015 offense set the single-season record for most points (583), touchdowns (80), total yards (6,019), pass completions (200) and passing yards (3,411).  In 2014, the Saints were ranked No. 3 in total offense in all of Division III.  This season, Stellman’s red zone offense is ranked No. 26 in Division III as the Saints are 28-30 in the red zone, including 19 touchdowns.

Stellman is no stranger to Saints’ football as he was a four-year letter winner for the Saints from 2005-2009 and led the Saints to two straight Presidents’ Athletic Conference titles.  He set numerous passing records at Thomas More as he has the most touchdown passes in a game (four) and season (26), second in career touchdown passes (50), and third in career passing yardage (5,328) and season passing yardage (2,032). 

Stellman graduated from Thomas More in 2010 and earned his Master in Business Administration from Thomas More in 2017. He and his wife Hanna, a Thomas More alumnus, are expecting twins in December.

“I would first like to thank President Armstrong and Coach Connor for the opportunity to lead a program that means so much to me and my family,” stated Stellman. “It is an honor and privilege to represent all of the Blue Rebels and Saints as the first alumnus to be the head coach. I can’t wait to continue our work building a nationally recognized and respected program.”

“Trevor Stellman is a product of Thomas More and is ready to take our program to the next level,” said Armstrong. “He understands the importance of taking excellence in the classroom to excellence on the field. Chris Norwell as associate head coach brings a winning attitude to our program every day.”

“Trevor’s passion for Thomas More has been obvious since he was an accomplished student-athlete here at the College and it will ever grow with his new role as the head football coach,” stated Connor. “I’m excited for Trevor, his family, the football program and the Thomas More community because I’m confident he will be successful as our next head coach.”

Norwell is in his ninth season on the Saints’ sidelines and fourth as the defensive coordinator.  In 2014, Norwell helped lead the Saints to a national ranking of 28th in Division III in total defense.  In 2015, his defense ranked 41st in total defense and shutout then No. 19-ranked St. John Fisher College in the season-opener.

Norwell is a graduate of the University of Illinois, where he was a member of the Fighting Illini’s football team. He holds the school record for career starts by a defensive lineman with 46 and was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection in 2007.

“It is a tremendous honor to be named associate head coach at Thomas More,” said Norwell. “I'm excited about this new role and in helping to lead this program as they continue to reach their high standard of excellence. I would like to thank President David Armstrong and Director of Athletics Terry Connor for their leadership and confidence in me.”

“Chris does a tremendous job with our defense as well as the strength and conditioning and academic performance coordinator and couldn't be happier that Chris will be serving as our associate head coach for Coach Stellman,” said Connor.

The Saints have three games remaining this season, including home games this Saturday against Saint Vincent College and November 4 against Thiel College. Both kick-offs are scheduled for 12 p.m. at BB&T Field.

-Staff report