Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- New head coach Kurt Ramler will come into his first season with St. Scholastica with his team favored to the win the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) championship, that according to the preseason coaches' poll released on Wednesday.
The Saints received five of a possible nine first-place votes in this year's poll, that after finishing the 2013 season with a (9-1) overall record and qualifying for a third straight NCAA tournament.
Other teams to receive first-place votes in the poll were Greenville, Northwestern, and Eureka.
St. Scholastica loses the 2013 UMAC Defensive player of the year in Alec French and the 2013 UMAC lineman of the year in Chris Lambach but will return two-year starting quarterback Tyler Harper and preseason All-American offensive lineman Pete Stanley.
Ramler is the just the second-ever head coach in program history, replacing Greg Carlson. He spent last season as associate head coach and offensive coordinator at St. John's University, the same school from which he graduated in 1997.
Before that, Ramler spent six seasons as head coach at Carleton College, where he amassed an overall record of (22-38) and was named the 2008 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) coach of the year.
St. Scholastica players will report to campus on Aug. 16 with the team's first game scheduled for Sept. 6 against Ripon.
Below are listed the full results of the 2014 UMAC preseason coaches' poll, with a team's respective first-place votes listed in parentheses.
2014 UMAC FOOTBALL PRESEASON COACHES' POLL
1. St. Scholastica (5)
2. Greenville (2)
3. Northwestern (2)
4. Eureka (1)
6. Minnesota Morris
8. Martin Luther
9. Iowa Wesleyan