Stutzriem shares goals for MSU football
A new chapter of Minot State University football is set to begin in 2023. The University and Athletic Department have been searching diligently to determine who will lead the team as the new head coach for next season and beyond.
Alumni, fans, and community members were part of the process as they gathered on Tuesday for an open forum with a finalist for the position in Chris Stutzriem, who brings wide background as both a player and a coach.
During his playing days, Stutzriem was a quarterback who made stops at Wyoming, Indiana State, and Morningside (Iowa). Focusing on furthering his education, he earned his master’s degree from William Penn in 2013, which is also where his coaching career began, starting as a graduate assistant.
Following his time at William Penn, Stutzriem held the positions of assistant at the University of South Dakota, offensive coordinator at Rocky Mountain College, and offensive line coach and assistant head coach at Southwestern Oklahoma State before taking over as the head coach at Rocky Mountain in 2018.
Still serving as the head coach at Rocky Mountain, Stutzriem has led to Battlin’ Bears to the 2021 co-Frontier Conference Title and was named the Frontier Conference Coach of the Year that same season.
“I’ve learned from a lot of great head coaches and been around a lot of great players and assistant coaches. I’ve taken a little bit from each spot. The biggest thing is adapting and learning every year,” Stutzriem tells The Minot Daily News.
While sharing that he is proud of the work he’s done at Rocky Mountain, Stutzriem mentioned that he’s excited to potentially have the opportunity to be the head football coach at Minot State, and he believes it’s a special place here.
“I’ve always had this job on my list of jobs. I love the NCAA Division II model and what it stands for,” Stutzriem said. Growing up in Oklahoma, he has spent plenty of time around Division II schools which is where his passion developed.
If given the opportunity to lead the Beavers, Stutzriem placed emphasis on the importance of developing a standard and making sure it becomes an everyday thing. Additionally, he shared that accountability is important to him and would love to see the MSU football program become a player led program.
In terms of the staff and players he would like to bring to the Magic City, they must be high energy and high character people, who want to be in Minot and don’t feel like they have to be here.
Before meeting the media and community members, Stutzriem did a lot of research on not only Minot State, but the city of the Minot as well. In his findings, there was a lot he was pleased with.
“Having an indoor facility is huge. Having a good size city to get kids here from all walks of life, whether that’s a small town or big city, with the access to the airport. Really having people throughout the community that I’ve talked to, they are engaged and involved and that’s a huge plus.”
With a community that is so close and so strong, Stutzriem realizes the importance of that and wants not only himself, but players to be consistently present among the Minot community.
On the field, winning football games is important, however, he shared that he would like to see his players win small tasks off the field as well. If everyone is working together to reach a common goal, Stutzriem believes things will take care of themselves.
It’s no secret that taking over as the football coach at Minot State is a tall task. The community is hungry for the development of a winning program. While that will take time and there won’t be overnight success, Stutzriem believes it will take more than the football coach to accomplish that goal.
“I think there has to be alignment from the top down. There are challenges at every job, whether you’ve been in the same job for one year or 10 years. I’m just excited to be here and get a good look at different things. Find out what’s bad, what’s good, and what we can do better,” he said.
On Thursday, the remaining finalist will meet the community for an open forum. It will take place at 1 p.m. and will be at the Hoffman Auditorium located in the Cyril Moore Science Center.