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Iowa’s Quinn Schulte cut his football teeth with Dad’s Xavier prep power
Duane Schulte goes for 200th win as Xavier High’s coach Friday night, then will get to the airport early Saturday morning to see son Quinn — a future dentist — play for Iowa at Rutgers
IOWA CITY — "Grit and determination“ are characteristics of Iowa starting safety Quinn Schulte according to his father.
Duane Schulte and his wife, Sherry, will use both of those traits themselves to get to New Jersey in time for the Hawkeyes’ game against Rutgers Saturday night.
“We’ll make it happen,” Duane Schulte said. “I have great assistant coaches. I couldn’t do it without their help. And I thank God for a wife who’s not only beautiful, but is also smart about working the computer to get plane tickets.”
Duane, with oldest son Reggie assisting him, will coach Cedar Rapids Xavier’s 4-0 football team against Cedar Rapids Washington at Kingston Stadium Friday night. If the Saints prevail, it will be their 200th win in their 25-year school history.
All of them have been with Duane as head coach. A lot of them were quarterbacked by his sons, Reggie, Bryce and Quinn. Reggie played at Northern Iowa. Bryce was a walk-on tight end/special teams player at Iowa. Quinn is a fourth-year junior and first-year starter who is second on his team in solo tackles and tied for first in passes broken up.
That’s pretty good for someone who came to Iowa as a walk-on. but Quinn wasn’t part of five Xavier state-championship teams spread over three sports by accident.
Xavier/Iowa parallels aren’t as much of a reach as you might guess. Duane is a 29th-year head coach, the first four at Cedar Rapids LaSalle. Jim O’Connell has been his defensive coordinator for the whole ride, like Hawkeyes DC/defensive backs coach Phil Parker has been for 24th-year Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz.
O’Connell and Parker, the Schultes say, are similar.
“Definitely,” Quinn said. “They’re very detail-oriented defensively. They want very physical play. And they don’t like to lose.”
Learning from his dad hasn’t hurt, either. Duane is an Iowa Football Coaches Association Hall of Famer, having led Xavier to three state titles and three runner-up finishes, and 19 playoff appearances.
“It’s just been a blessing,” Quinn said. “To grow up with your dad as the coach, it’s someone to talk to not only on the field, but at home. And to be able to watch my brothers as they grew up, and watch them play and see how they handled things was something I tried to follow.”
Duane, like many coaches, gives his wife the majority of the credit for the good qualities in their kids. He also credited daughter Hope, a Northern Iowa student, for how supportive she’s been of her brothers while being a high achiever herself.
Academics is part of the family fabric. Duane is a social studies teacher at Xavier. Quinn, a pre-dental student, has been a dean’s list regular in his Iowa career. He said he tries to save his harder classes for the spring, but juggles a lot in the fall all the same.
“People have no idea how much work is required,” Duane said. “Quinn’s smart, and ready, and grinds things out.
Quinn said dentistry appeals to him “because you’re part of a team. It’s kind of like playing football. It’s something that’s intrigued me, something I’ve kind of fallen in love with.”
He said his mentor is Dr. Brad Stovie, a Cedar Rapids dentist who has helped coach sports at Xavier since there’s been a Xavier.
“I’ve shadowed him (at work) a couple times,” Quinn said. “He coached me when I was a little kid and at the high school level. He’s a great role model for me.”
He’s got role models galore. His mother is an attorney. Dad’s no slouch, either. You see Xavier play, and you see a team that’s both spirited and disciplined, a team you have to beat because it won’t self-destruct.
“It’s still fun to be around kids this age and have them try to get better day by day and week by week,” Duane said.
A 200th win at a school sure seems like it would be a thing to celebrate if it comes Friday, but that subject never arose in a conversation with Duane this week
Did he mention his family and how proud he is of it? Oh, yes. Did he mention his Xavier assistant coaches, and other people who have helped Quinn get to the point where he’s become a defensive force for a Big Ten football team? Oh, yes.
Three other former Saints players — Ethan Hurkett, Jaxon Rexroth and Josh Volk — are now Hawkeyes.
“Players coming from programs where they expect to win and they're used to winning, it's always a benefit,” Ferentz said.
“They understand that (at) most winning programs there is a standard in the program already, so they understand that you're trying to achieve and there is a right way to do things and maybe a not-so-right way to do things, and they know the difference.”
Another former Xavier player, Kyle Krezek, plays for Iowa State. In fact, a newspaper had a photo of Krezek helping tote the Cy-Hawk Trophy after the Cyclones’ 10-7 win at Iowa on Sept. 10.
“That was a good picture,” Duane said, “and a bad picture.”
The Xavier coach on Fridays is an Iowa fan on Saturdays. “It’s really neat as a parent,” he said. “We’re humbled and grateful.”
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