Staying the Course

Michael Whitley

Vidalia's Michael Whitley has fond memories of Wisconsin.

He's hoping to make some more.

Whitley was recently named quarterbacks coach at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee, Wi.

Whitley joins newly-named Wisconsin Lutheran head coach Eric Treske who helped develop Whitley into a three-time Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Offensive Player of the Year.

"There's a connection," Whtiley said.

Treske coordinated Muskies' offenses that ranked either first or second in the NACC four times, as his teams averaged 34.8 points per game over his five seasons at Lakeland. In 2017, Lakeland ranked second in NCAA Division III in total offense (552.9 yards per game) and eighth in scoring offense (42.3 points per game).

Whitley was a graduate assistant coach at Fort Valley State in Georgia last year, working with receivers. He will be in his first season as a graduate assistant coach for the Wisconsin Lutheran College football team.  

Whitley is excited about working with the Warrior quarterbacks.

"That's a position I'm passionate about," he said. "I am appreciative of Coach Treske trusting me in this position. It's great working with somebody you know. And he developed me into what I am."

Treske, a former player and assistant coach at Wisconsin Lutheran, is the  third head coach in the program's 20-year history, succeeding outgoing head coach Dr. Dennis Miller, who recently retired.

Whitley was a four-year letterwinner (2014-2017) and a three-year starter at quarterback for fellow NACC member Lakeland University. He helped lead the Muskies to four straight NACC championships and was named a Second Team All-American by the AFCA and Third Team All-American by his senior year. The Vidalia native was also named Wisconsin Private College Player of the Year in 2015 and 2017. A three-time team captain and First Team All-NACC selection, Whitley closed out his Lakeland career second all-time in total offense (10,915), passing yards (9,225), passing touchdowns (91), and completions (731). Following his collegiate career, Whitley played professionally for the Bremenhaven Seahawks in Germany and the Sioux Falls Storm and the Muskegon Ironmen of the Arena League.

A four-time NACC Scholar-Athlete, Whitley graduated from Lakeland in 2018 with a degree in accounting. He spent one season as a graduate assistant wide receivers coach at NCAA Division II Fort Valley State University (Ga.).

"I learned quite a lot at Fort Valley," Whitley said. "We ran the run-and-shoot offense, so I learned a lot of variations of it. It was a valuable experience going through team meetings and everything that goes on off the field."

Whitley is pursuing a Master of Arts specializing in Leadership and Innovation from WLC. 

Whitley said he reports on August 10, when school is scheduled to open.

"The coronavirus is not bad in Wisconsin, but it is in Chicago and we play a lot of Illinois teams," he said. "So everything is up in the air right now. "The most important thing is everybody staying healthy and safe. It's tough because sports has always been a big part of my culture. But right I am just going to continue to soak up everything I can to become better at what I am doing."




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