A friend of a friend- Lisa Schaeffer and Mike Schaeffer-April 16

One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for April 16, 2015.

My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.

It is amazing in higher education that sometimes you get to experience a married couple that both work at the same university. I have experienced this East Carolina University, Western Carolina University, Winthrop University, and at UNC Pembroke. I have found out that most of the times this arrangement is advantageous. One of those married couples at UNC Pembroke has been extraordinary in what they have contributed to the success and experience of our students. My friend Mike Schaeffer and his wife Dr. Lisa Schaeffer have given the majority of their professional lives to our campus.

Mike Schaeffer and I first got to meet each other when he was at Providence Day School in Charlotte, NC in the late 1970’s. I was the Assistant Basketball Coach and the Soccer Coach at then Pembroke State University (today UNC Pembroke). My recruiting took me to Charlotte to attempt to get one of their students at Providence Day to enroll at Pembroke. Mike was bending my ear on his goal to want to become a college coach.

In 1980 a lot of things were occurring with me personally and professionally. Personally I was engaged and about to get married. Professionally I was approached on my honeymoon with a chance to go to Western Carolina University. I accepted the position at WCU and Mike Schaeffer became the new soccer coach/lecturer at UNC Pembroke. He kept that job for thirty seasons until he retired in 2010. The success and records he set at UNC Pembroke are still benchmarks today.

Mike has always been about the student experience. He was also loyal to his assistant coaches David Mallick, Chad Griffin, Chris Little, Eric Alsop, Marco Genee, Ray Fumo, Jan Wachsmuth and Chad Steuck.

Mike was proud of the after college soccer success stories his former players achieved. Mike didn’t like to brag on his coaching successes but they are there for everyone to see. His record of success is one reason why he was inducted into the UNC Pembroke Athletic Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame image Mike Schaeffer

With more than 225 career victories as head coach he concluded his stellar career with a 231-242-35 record. He took three teams to the NCAA postseason, including the 2004 squad who advanced to the Final Four. Mike at the time of his retirement ranked 16th among active coaches in the NCAA for career wins. He had 13 winning seasons, including the 2003 club that posted a 17-1-2 mark. The winning and losing wasn’t the dominating reason for Mike Schaeffer to coach. His big reason for coaching was to see players graduate and move on with their lives.

Mike Schaeffer Coaching

Mike Team

Mike and I also had one other thing else in common we started our college coaching careers as bachelors and met our wives at UNC Pembroke. For Mike it was Dr. Lisa Schaeffer who today is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. Lisa is Mike confident and best friend.


Mike Schaeffer

The Friend of the Friend – LISA LEWIS SCHAEFFER


The Schaeffer Team for Students

Mike Schaeffer will tell you he was involved in a lot of recruiting over his thirty year career as a coach but his best recruit of all time is his wife the former Lisa Lewis from Fairmont, NC.  The Schaeffer’s have a son named Ethan that has a great love of the outdoors.

Lisa has held a variety of professional job titles at UNC Pembroke including working in the Office of Admissions as a counselor, assistant director and then associate director. From 1990 to 2002 she worked as Director of the Career Center. In 2002 she assumed a new role at UNC Pembroke that presented her with a wide variety of responsibilities including:

  • Supervision of the campus judiciary system
  • Oversight of the Career Services, Counseling and Testing and the Student Health centers.
  • She became UNCP’s chief judicial officer
  • Supervised student publications such as the yearbook and campus newspaper.
  • Responsible for planning, implementing and evaluating staff development activities.
  • Responsible for the coordination of research and assessment services related to student needs.

If there is one person on our campus that knows about all the different aspects of student life it is Lisa Schaeffer. When you throw in that she was married to a college coach there probably hasn’t been an aspect of student life on a college campus that Lisa isn’t well equipped to deal with.

When you look at people who have influenced college students the team of the Mike and Lisa Schaeffer has performed that task exceptionally well. We are lucky at UNC Pembroke that they have chosen to be a team with a common mission. Give student a great experience and prepare them to face the life after college.

Team Schaeffer are national champs.


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