PITTSBURGH — Duquesne head football coach Jerry Schmitt (98) passes former head coach Greg Gattuso (97) for most wins in the history of the Dukes program following Saturday’s 30-21 win against Saint Francis at Rooney Field. The win was the Dukes fourth straight NEC conference win.
“It feels like I’m very fortunate right now,” Schmitt said. “I’ve had a lot of good players over the years. I’ve had a really good staff. We all work together — so it’s a collective (achievement) for all of us.”
In 15 seasons at Duquesne, Schmitt has a career record of is 98-64. Last season, he led the Dukes to a NEC championship and with his 98th win on Saturday, his team is currently 4-0 in conference play this season and 5-2 overall.
“That’s special each season (being at the top of the standings deep in conference play),” Schmitt said. “We are playing pretty good football (right now). I’m happy with the way that we are finishing game.”
Duquesne senior running back A.J. Hines has been with Schmitt for 30 of his 98 wins. Hines currently needs less than 100 rushing yards to move into first place among the Dukes career leader in rushing yards. Last week, Hines set the Duquesne record for career rushing touchdowns in their win over Wagner.
Hines wasn’t worried about himself and his milestones after the Saint Francis win instead wanted to give some praise to his head coach.
“It couldn’t happen to a better guy,” Hines said. “I’m proud of him for his accomplishments and the (great) things that he’s going to continue to do in the future.”
Up next, the Dukes biggest challenge of the year will come Saturday against Allegheny County rival, Robert Morris. The Colonials are also 4-0 in NEC play and are apart of the three team tie at the top of the conference standings.
“It’s always a healthy rivalry,” Schmitt said of playing RMU. “We love playing those guys and it’s great that we will both be undefeated in the conference.”
“I know it’s going to be a dog war,” Hines said. “We always know, with it being a Pittsburgh rivalry, that we just have to come out ready to grind and play hard.”