Skaer finishes among top college punters in nation

Ben Skaer

University of New Mexico football player Ben Skaer of Waterloo was recently named to the All-Mountain West Conference first team for his super senior season as a punter.

Skaer credited teammates and special teams coordinator Coleman Hutzler for his success.

“It’s a true honor,” Skaer said in an article that appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. “I wanted to finish the season strong, and I’m just so blessed that coach Hutzler put a punt team in place that could execute at such a high level to put me in a situation to even be considered for this honor.”

Skaer led the conference and ranked seventh in the nation in punting with an average of 45.8 yards per attempt in 2013. It is the best single-season average in UNM history.

Twenty of Skaer’s 47 punts this season landed inside the opponent’s 20, and 19 punts went for 50 yards or more.

Thanks largely to his efforts, UNM ranked 15th nationally and second in the Mountain West in net punting (punt average minus touchback and return yardage) at 39.55.

Pictured in University of New Mexico punter Ben Skaer during a game this past fall. (submitted photo)

Skaer, a 2009 Waterloo High School graduate, is working on completing his master’s degree at UNM.

Following the 2012 season, Skaer was the No. 17 punter in the nation with a 43.85 average per attempt and helped UNM rank 24th nationally in net punting with a 39-yard average.

Even in high school, Skaer was punting at incredible lengths.

He made the Illinois Football Coaches Association All-State team as a junior and was a three-year starter for WHS head coach Dan Rose.

Skaer’s kicking coach was 10-year NFL veteran Louie Aguilar. Skaer finished at WHS with a career punting average of 39.6 yards, along with 10 field goals and 76 extra points.

Ben’s mother, Lisa Skaer, told the Republic-Times for a September article that her son earned his bachelor’s degree in business finance in May 2013 and made the decision to go for his master’s as well.

He met his wife in New Mexico, and the two were married last year.

“He went to New Mexico and grew up,” Lisa said. “He doesn’t think he’s all that and a box of chocolates.”

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