St. Norbert Introduces Opgenorth as New Head Football Coach

St. Norbert Introduces Opgenorth as New Head Football Coach

Green Bay native Steve Opgenorth was introduced as the 10th head coach in St. Norbert football history Thursday
(WFRV-TV) - This isn't just another job for new St. Norbert Head Football Coach Steve Opgenorth.

"This is home," said Opgenorth after his introductory press conference Thursday.

Opgenorth is a 2000 graduate of Green Bay Southwest High School, and grew up about 10 minutes away from his new workplace.

"There's an appeal to Northeast Wisconsin, unlike anywhere else I've been," he added.

He's tested that against plenty of other parts of the country.  Opgenorth's coaching career has taken him from a brief stint in Texas coaching as an assistant high school coach, to Carroll College in Waukesha, WI, Albright College in Pennsylvania, Winona State in Minnesota and most recently the offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator at Colby College in Maine.  Before beginning his coaching career he kicked for the Winona State football team and still stands as the school's leader in field goals and is third on the all-time leading scorer list.  Opgenorth was an a three-time All-NSIC selection, but after college he didn't receive a workout with an NFL team.  He says he did get a call from then Packers’ personnel assistant to the general manager John Schneider (now Seahawks GM), but nothing ever materialized.

That was fine with him.

"My dream, if you will, has been to be a head football coach," said Opgenorth who will realize that dream for the first time at SNC.  "I plan on staying and being here for quite a long time."

St. Norbert College Athletics Director said he Tim Bald came up with a list of eight qualities he was looking for in a new coach: "A great recruiter, communicator, organized, flexible, steady, relationship builder, a balanced life perspective, and understands the SNC culture."

Bald says the 32-year-old has those qualities, but one stood out above the rest.

"Four different individuals, the first thing out of their mouth, the very first statement was 'the best recruiter I've ever been around,'" said Bald.  "Two of those individuals are head coaches from whom he worked.  I think that says a lot, and that got my attention real quick."

Opgenorth replaces Jim Purtill who resigned after 15 years with an impressive 130-and-30 record and 11 conference titles.

"You're joining a history and tradition that's unlike many first time head coaching positions," said Opgenorth.  "You're not winning four or five games and people are clapping their hands.  Those expectations won't change on the field."

One area the program could improve is the postseason, where Purtill's teams were just 1-10  For now the new head coach says he's focused on recruiting the right people with the Division III mentality in mind.

"I want them to believe in themselves and have great character and leadership ability so they can take that our for the next 40 years of their life," said Opgenorth.

Then he threw in his first plug for alumni as head coach.

"Grab a job and send us a check back in 20 years to help add on to Schneider Stadium."'

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