Shields set to lead MSU football

Ian Shields is set to become the new head coach of the Minot State football program, the school announced on Tuesday.

Tuesday marked a new beginning for Minot State football. Kevin Forde, the Director of Athletics at MSU, announced that the school has brought on Ian Shields to be the new head coach of the Beaver football program.

“Ian was a very impressive candidate on paper, he really impressed the committee in his zoom interview, and when he came to campus you could feel his passion and desire to make Minot State University and the community of Minot home,” Forde said through a press release.

Shields brings 29 years of experience in coaching football, where he made stops at Jacksonville University, Lenoir-Rhyne University, and Eastern Oregon University, serving as the head coach at each school.

Additionally, he served as the offensive coordinator and associate head coach at Army for five seasons, and most recently, was an offensive analyst at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

“I think it’s a tremendous opportunity to build a program there at Minot State and a tremendous opportunity for my family; we’re excited to join the community,” Shields said through a press release.

When meeting with the Minot community last week, Shields shared that he feels like now is the perfect time in his career where he can help move a program forward. He knows the task of taking over the MSU football program will bring challenges, however, he believes he can thrive in a situation that others view as difficult.

Now having the opportunity to lead the Beavers, Shields would like to create the model Division II football program in the region and create a program that other people and teams will admire for all the right reasons.

Focusing on the development of the student-athletes academically, athletically, and socially, as well as helping them become the best versions of themselves are one of the many ways Shields believes the Beavers can achieve that goal.

On and off the field, Shields wants the Beavers to become an effort-based program that is tough, disciplined, and committed to giving their full effort in everything they do.

When elaborating on his vision of toughness, he would like to see the team become physically tough and mentally tough, touching on the importance of both.

With the hire officially announced, Shields will have to hit the recruiting trail quickly, as national signing day is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 1. However, he understands the process and is ready to get to work, especially with getting to know those currently on the team.

“We have to keep recruiting with the ’23 class, obviously they’ve been doing some good work, but we have to find the right kids, and there are still great kids out there,” Shields said through a press release.

He added, “but the most important recruits are the guys on the team, and I need to get to know them. I’ve got to get to know our current roster; we’ve got to get into our offseason program and get into their development personally.”


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