DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The University of Dayton football team was picked to finish third in the Pioneer Football League for the fall 2023 season in a preseason vote of the league’s coaches.  Dayton has 12 league championships to its credit in the PFL’s 30 seasons. 

Defending champion St. Thomas, Davidson, Dayton, San Diego and Butler , Davidson were ahead of the rest of the league in the balloting.  

St. Thomas was picked as the favorite to win the 2023 PFL crown with 98 voting points and eight first-place votes.  Davidson was next with 92 and two first-place votes.  The Flyers were third (75), followed by San Diego (73, and the remaining first-place vote) and Butler (68). 

Valparaiso (52) and Marist (45) were next, followed by Drake (38), Stetson (31), Morehead State (22) and Butler (30), Presbyterian (11).

The 2023 season will be Dayton’s first under new coach Trevor Andrews. Andrews, a Flyer alum who brings 25 years of college coaching experience back to the Hilltop, has a group of returnees that includes eight Flyers who earned All-Pioneer Football League honors last season – offensive tackle David Tkatch, defensive tackle Sam Schadek (who were named to the first team), linebacker Nathan Arthur (second team) and wideouts Luke BrennerSam Bubonics and Derek Willits, safety Cole Hildebrand and placekicker Sam Webster (all honorable mention).

UD was 8-3 overall in 2022, including 6-2 in the PFL, which tied for second place in the league.

The first game of the Trevor Andrews era will be Saturday, September 2, when the Flyer football team opens the 2023 season at Illinois State.  The home opener will be the following Saturday at 1 p.m. ET against Central State.

UD will play scholarship programs in all three non-conference games – Illinois State of the Missouri Valley, Central State of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and Taylor of the Mid-States Football Association.

Dayton will begin the quest for its 13th Pioneer Football League championship on Saturday, Sept. 23 when the Flyers open PFL play at San Diego.  UD will then host St. Thomas on Sept. 30.