Sports Profile

Wheaton’s New Athletics Director: Mike Schauer ’93, M.A. ’96

Words: Abby Dorman ’17
Photos: Kayla Smith

As a Wheaton College student athlete, Mike Schauer ’93, M.A. ’96, displayed a rare passion for basketball. Later, as a part-time assistant to Wheaton coach Bill Harris, it took just a week on the job for Schauer to know he wanted to pursue a career in coaching.

Although his career took him to other programs post-grad, Schauer found himself drawn back to his alma mater. After 26 years at Wheaton College, including time as a student athlete, assistant coach, and head coach for the men’s basketball team, Schauer was named the College’s Athletics Director in the fall of 2023. “It’s a real privilege to coach the jersey you played in,” he said.

Schauer’s role at the college impacts students both in and outside his department. Twenty-five percent of Wheaton’s undergraduate students are varsity athletes, and many others participate in intramural sports or activities at the Chrouser Sports Complex, which includes a rock wall, indoor gym and track, Olympic-size pool, and dance studio.

“The whole college benefits from the presence of athletics on campus,” said Dr. Paul Chelsen ’91, Vice President for Student Development. “Even if people are not physically attending the matches, there’s a kind of school spirit generated. Athletics on a college campus is a shared experience, whether you’re playing, watching, or reading about it.”

Years ago, Schauer shared experiences with his Wheaton basketball teammates that shaped his faith, character, and career path. Now, as he leads Wheaton athletics into the future, he relies on the culture instilled in him from his own playing days. His message to new recruits “is the same message I got years ago. There’s no institution in the country that combines your relationship to Jesus, academics, and athletics at the level Wheaton does.”

Throwback: Michelle Anderson Rosa ’06

Inducted to the Wheaton Athletics Hall of Honor in 2021, Michelle Anderson Rosa ’06 left records in her wake as a women’s water polo player during the program’s existence. She was a two-time conference MVP and became the program’s all-time leading goal scorer with 216 career goals. Rosa earned honorable mention All-American recognition from the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches as a junior and became a Second Team All-American as a senior—the only Midwest Region player to do so. She was also named to the 2006 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America College Division At-Large Team. “As exciting as all of the wins, goals, and successes were, what I learned to cherish and enjoy was building relationships with the teammates and learning how to work together regardless of strengths and personalities,” she said.