FREEDOM (WFRV) – At Freedom High School, what’s old is new.
Five years after stepping down as head varsity football coach, Clint Kriewaldt is back to reclaim the headset and try to win the Irish’s first state title.
After spending time on head coach Frank Mattia’s staff, Kriewaldt was a no-brainer to take on a bigger role when Mattia stepped down earlier this year.
“You know I was part of the program the last few years, I coached freshman football two years ago, last year I was back on Coach Mattia’s staff as a defensive coordinator,” Kriewaldt said. “Enjoyed being around football again; when he reached out and notified me he was going to step down as head coach, I told him I had a big decision on my hand, I’d have to talk it over with my wife and family first to see what they thought of it.
“My family’s very supportive of it, my wife was, believe it or not my going-to-be junior son was even supportive of it. I thought he’d be worried about it, but very excited to be back, as you know football’s been a huge part of my life and it’s hard to walk away from that and not be part of it.”
A Super Bowl champion with the Pittsburgh Steelers and a Shiocton native, it’s not just the football pedigree that makes Kriewaldt unique – he also serves as the Outagamie County sheriff and at home, juggles being a father of four.
“You know, it’s tough,” Kriewaldt said. “This time around is going to be a lot easier with my schedule, I’m on a more consistent schedule.
“I have a great command staff at the sheriff’s office that can pick up the slack from time to time, there won’t be much of it but we work well as a team so I’m confident that this coaching football is not going to affect what I do at the sheriff’s office.”
For Kriewaldt, the biggest priority is keeping a family atmosphere in every aspect of his life and career – but with the Freedom football program, he doesn’t have to do much legwork.
“It is already. That family atmosphere, that culture, it’s never left,” Kriewaldt said. “We truly care about the kids, we care about the welfare of the kids.
“Yeah winning games is great, everybody wants to win games, win conference championships and gold balls but we ultimately really care about the kids and ultimately we want to make sure that we’re teaching life lessons to these young men and want to make sure that they’re contributing members to our society.”