Winona State University head football coach Brian Bergstrom has announced the addition of three coaches to the Warrior football program.
Soon to be joining Bergstrom on the sidelines this spring are Trevor Olson, Pete Menage and Justin Bailey.
Coach Bergstrom stated "We could not have handpicked three better men, mentors, teachers, and motivators to welcome into our family as Warrior football coaches. Coaches Trevor Olson, Pete Menage, and Justin Bailey are exactly the type of 'fit' we are looking for our community, University, staff, and most importantly, our team."
Trevor Olson comes to Winona State from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, where he tutored the Salukis offensive lineman for four seasons. Prior to his stint at SIU, Olson was on staff at the University of Minnesota, working with Jerry Kill and Tracey Claeys from 2013 through January of 2016. As a student-athlete, Olson played for Kill at Northern Illinois University where he started an NCAA-record 54 contests. Olson earned his bachelor's degree in history from NIU in 2011 and his master's degree in sport management in 2015 from the University of Minnesota. At Winona State, Olson will oversee the offensive line.
Pete Menage arrives at WSU from Northern Illinois University, having been a part of the Huskies coaching staff over the past two seasons. While at NIU, Menage worked both the safeties and linebackers during his tenure. Menage was a student-athlete on the football team at South Dakota State University before transitioning to a student-coach, working with the Jackrabbit secondary. The Rock Rapids, Iowa native served on the SDSU leadership council before graduating in 2020. With the Warriors, Menage will lead the WSU linebacker corps and will be the special teams coordinator.
Justin Bailey comes to the Warriors from Northern Illinois University, having worked last season with the Huskies defensive line. Prior to coaching in DeKalb, Ill. Bailey had stints at Kansas Wesleyan University and Fullerton (Calf.) Community College. The Yobra Linda, California product graduated from Kansas Wesleyan University in May of 2021 with a degree in sport management. Bailey will work with the tight ends and fullbacks at WSU.
Bergstrom went on to note "I am excited to go to battle with them and see their impact on those around them. I want to thank them in advance for all their work and for believing in the Winona State University football culture and family."
The Winona State University football team will kick off the 2022 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) season on Sept. 3 at Minot State University. The Warriors will open their home schedule on Saturday, Sept. 10, taking on the University of Mary in Altra Federal Credit Union Stadium.
Winona State University football standout Carter Duxbury added to a long list of accolades earned during this past Warrior football season, as he was named to the 2021 Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-America team, as announced on Monday, Jan. 31.
Duxbury delivered a remarkable season in 2021, earning Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Defensive Player of the Year honors, as well as Associated Press (AP) NCAA Division II All-America notoriety. Duxbury was designated to the Don Hansen Second Team on defense and is one of just 10 selections from the NSIC.
The Don Hansen team carries out the legacy of long-time small college football advocate Don Hansen, who passed away at age 75 on Aug. 29, 2010. Hansen, from Brookfield, Ill., started and published Don Hansen's National Weekly Football Gazette for three decades, selecting NCAA Division II All-America teams for the first time in 1988.
In 2021, Duxbury played in all 11 games, racking up 46 total tackles including 29 solo stops. Among his 14 tackles for loss were 11 sacks, the most in NSIC in 2021. The Chatfield, Minn. product had six QB hurries and three forced fumbles while earning First Team All-NSIC honors. He finished tied for eighth in NCAA Division II football in the sacks-per-game category with a 1.0 mark on the season.
Newly hired head football coach Brian Bergstrom has announced the first addition to the Winona State coaching staff, with the naming of Isaac Fruechte as the new offensive coordinator for the Warriors.
Coach Bergstrom said, "We are beyond excited to welcome Coach Fruechte and his family back to Minnesota and to Winona State University. He is the perfect fit at the perfect time for our staff, team, and community. He is a high energy and innovative coach, a proven recruiter, and amazing family man. We are ready to hit the ground running with Coach Fruechte leading our offense."
Fruechte comes to Winona State having served the 2021 season as the offensive coordinator at Northern State University. While with the Wolves, Fruechte managed all NSU offensive personnel and directly coached the quarterbacks and wide receivers. Prior to his role with Northern State, Fruechte was the wide receivers coach at the University of Northern Iowa. In addition, while in Cedar Falls, Fruechte oversaw the punt and kickoff return units for the Panthers. His first collegiate coaching role was with the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, where he served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Fruechte brings both local ties and NFL playing experience to the Warrior staff. Fruechte was a two-time all-state football player at Caledonia (Minn.) High School, where he played for his father and longtime Warrior coach, Carl Fruechte. A three-sport athlete for the Warriors, Fruechte went on to play football first at Rochester Community & Technical College in 2011 and eventually for Jerry Kill at the University of Minnesota between 2012 and 2014. As a senior, Fruechte served as a team captain for the Gophers. After his collegiate career, Fruechte spent portions of three seasons between 2015 and 2017 with the Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions. Fruechte received his undergraduate degree in sports and recreation management from the University of Minnesota where he earned Academic All-Big Ten Honors in 2013 and 2014.
The Winona State football program will kick off the 2022 season on Saturday, Sept. 3 when they travel to Minot State University. The home opener for the Warriors will be on Saturday, Sept. 10 when they welcome the University of Mary to Maxwell Field in Altra Federal Credit Union Stadium.
Brian Bergstrom has been named the head football coach at Winona State University, as announced by WSU Athletic Director Eric Schoh on Wednesday, Dec. 29.
Bergstrom comes to the Warriors having most recently served as the defensive coordinator for South Dakota State University. Hired in March 2017 at NCAA Division I FCS member SDSU, Bergstrom also coached the program's safeties.
"We're delighted to have Brian Bergstrom join our outstanding Athletics department at Winona State. He's proven himself not only as a great coach but as a great educator – helping students succeed in the classroom as well as on the gridiron. Warrior Football will have a bright future under his leadership!" said Winona State president Dr. Scott Olson.
Bergstrom has 17 years of collegiate coaching experience and owns a strong network of recruiting connections cultivated over stops at Augustana University and Gustavus Adolphus College, his alma mater. While at Augustana, Bergstrom was a part of a Viking staff that won a share of the 2015 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference South Division title. That same year, Augustana earned a berth in the NCAA Division II playoffs. While on staff at South Dakota State, Bergstrom has been a part of five consecutive Jackrabbit playoff teams, earning three trips to the FCS national semifinals, including a runner-up finish.
Coach Bergstrom said, "My family and I feel blessed and humbled to join the Winona State University Warrior Family and the Winona Community. We are thankful for and believe in the foundation that has been established, the high character leadership, and the passionate family that is Winona State University. We are confident that the right people are in place for us to take the next step together."
Putting his stamp on strong defensive teams has been a trademark of Bergstrom at all levels. While at South Dakota State, the Jackrabbits were the third-best FCS program in terms of total interceptions in 2020-21 with 12 and were ranked eighth in turnovers gained with 17 on the year.
"We are excited to have Brian, Kate and their kids join the Warrior family," noted Schoh, "Not only does he have great football experiences and successes, he and his family will be a great fit for us and the Winona community. He is a tireless worker and recruiter, and it's always great to welcome home a fellow Minnesotan."
Originally from Burnsville, Minnesota, Bergstrom earned both all-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) and honorable mention All-America selection as a linebacker. He was named team Most Valuable Player and was a team captain. In addition, Bergstrom was a CoSIDA Academic All-America honoree and was named the recipient of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
Bergstrom went on to state, "We praise God for this opportunity and are overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude to the many individuals that have supported, impacted, and invested in us. Thank you to our families, our former coaching colleagues, families, administrators, our former players, President Dr. Scott Olson, Athletic Director Eric Schoh, the hiring committee, and the Football Players Association. In addition, I would like to express my appreciation to Coach Sawyer and the football coaching staff, and to all the Warrior football student-athletes past and present. Thank you for believing in us."
Bergstrom officially begins his duties on January 6, 2022. He will take over for Tom Sawyer, who served as the head football coach at Winona State for the past 25 seasons, earning an overall record of 197-89.
The Warriors finished the 2021 season with a 7-4 record and a third-place finish in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) South Division. Bergstrom becomes the 22nd head coach in program history since the first season of Warrior football in 1895 and will be just the second head coach to lead WSU football in NCAA Division II competition.
Reggie Johnson, Football, 1981-83: Reggie Johnson helped lead his 1983 Winona State teammates to the NIC football regular season title, and his leadership on and off the field were key components in Warrior success during his career. Lining up as a durable running back for the Warriors, Johnson ranks 10th in career rushing attempts (376) for Winona State and his 1983 total single season carry tally (182) is 15th all-time. Over his four years, Johnson amassed 1,551 rushing yards, currently 18th in Warrior history. He also returned punts, sitting 5th all-time with 49. Johnson earned the Glen Galligan award in 1983, along with All-Conference and All-District honors. Off the field, Johnson was the vice-president of the WSU student senate, president of the BCA (Black Cultural Awareness) and member of FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes). He currently sits on the WSU Foundation Board.
Rich Ernst, Football, 1971-75: As a quarterback, Rich Ernst threw for 43 career touchdown passes, ranking him 6th all-time among Warrior signal callers. Ernst earned All-Conference accolades in 1974 and sits in the Winona State Top-20 in career total offense. Over his four years, Ernst completed 237 of his 458 attempts, good for 3,259 yards, and ran for 281 more, topping out his career total yardage mark at 3,540. In 1974, Ernst threw for 18 touchdowns in his senior season, currently good for 14th all-time in that category. At the conclusion of his final Warrior campaign, Ernst earned Associated Press Honorable Mention All-America honors for his performance at Winona State.
Dominating defense was a decisive key in the Winona State 47-6 win over Concordia - St. Paul on Thursday night, and one Warrior has been highlighted for his performance in the contest.
Clay Schueffner, a sophomore linebacker from St. Cloud, Wis., has picked up the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) football Defensive Player of the Week award for his efforts on Thursday, Sept. 2 in the week one Warrior win.
Schueffner had eight total tackles - including six solo stops - and a quarterback sack against the Golden Bears, often serving as the tip of the spear in a Warrior defensive effort that held CSP to just two field goals on the evening. The St. Mary's Springs Academy product helped the WSU defense force seven CSP punts, register a safety and end three other CSP drives by turnover on downs, as Winona State raised an iron curtain in their first game in over 22 months. Concordia - St. Paul entered the red-zone only twice in the game.
Schueffner and Winona State now set their sights on Dragons of Minnesota State Moorhead, as WSU travels to MSU-M for their first road trip of the 2021 campaign. The week two showdown on Saturday, Sept. 11 at noon will feature a pair of unbeaten teams, as the Warriors (1-0, 0-0 NSIC South) and the Dragons (1-0, 0-0 NSIC North) tangle for the first time since Oct. 5, 2019 when Winona State outlasted Minnesota State - Moorhead, 28-26.
Original Article from WSU Athletics
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