Coaches Move on to Minnesota

Nancy Kneip

Nancy Kneip

When people think about a football team, usually the first image that comes to mind is a group of very large men battling it out on a very large green field. People rarely look at a team as something more. Yet with two of SDSU’s coaches leaving for Southwest Minnesota State, people have begun to wonder, “What now?”

Head coach John Stiegelmeier has an answer, “Start interviews.”

“The team is resilient,” he says. “Obviously we’re losing some people that are important to our team, but I see it as a way to improve.”

Although it will be a transition, Stiegelmeier remains hopeful.

“I know that this isn’t the way that people normally look at it, but this is the way we live,” Steigelmeier says. “We are always striving to be better. Now, we have the chance to better our team. We lost two good coaches, but I am confident that we will be able to find the right people for our program.”

It is also a possibility that the change could affect the teams morale. However, defensive lineman Chris Bos, who played under Steinbach, says, “The coaches will be difficult to replace, but I am confident in SDSU’s football program.”

Bos continues by talking about some of the effects Steinbach has had on the team.

“He’s the only coach many of us have ever known. He was hired the same year I started, so we’ve been able to grow together,” Bos says. “He’s shared the birth of his two kids with us. We’ve all changed.”

Steinbach agrees that everyone has changed over the four years that he’d worked for SDSU.

He says, “The hardest things to leave behind will be the people.”

“I’m not just talking about the coaches, but also the players and campus staff,” Steinbach says. “They’ve all treated us well.”

When the coaches broke the news to the team, Bos says, “They were both in tears, but they realized that it was a step up.”

“The ultimate goal of coaching is to move up in the system and someday be able to have your own team,” Bos says. “Eidsness is able to do that by making the move to Minnesota.”

While both coaches think that the move is a step up, they say that the transition to Division I has nothing to do with the fact that they are leaving.

“In fact, I was looking forward to the move to Division I,” Eidsness says. “That made my decision even harder. I was excited to be a part of the new program; I’m a competitive person, and I was looking forward to the challenge.”

With all of these incentives to stay, both coaches agree that SDSU will be hard to leave behind. In the end, Eidsness says that “it came down to the fact that it was a good opportunity for both of us.”

Yet, both of them cannot ignore the fact that they’re leaving behind more than just a bunch of big men who play a game on a field, they’re leaving behind, as Bos calls it, “a family.”