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Opgenorth Named St. Norbert Football Coach

From Sports Information Director, December 27, 2013 | Football
by Dan Lukes,, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College has named Steve Opgenorth as its head football coach, athletics director Tim Bald announced today.

Opgenorth, 32, arrives in De Pere as the Green Knights' tenth head football coach after two seasons as offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. Opgenorth is a Green Bay native and a graduate of Green Bay Southwest High School. He is a 2005 graduate of Winona State University, where he was a standout specialist with the Warriors.

"We are excited to have Steve Opgenorth join the St. Norbert College community," Bald said. "Steve possesses the right mix of enthusiasm, vision and leadership to guide our football program. His emphasis on academic and athletic success fits perfectly within the mission of St. Norbert College and Green Knight athletics."

While at Colby, Opgenorth instituted a multiple spread offense. During the 2013 season, sophomore wide receiver Luke Duncklee was a first-team All-NESCAC selection and sophomore quarterback Justin Ciero was a second-team All-NESCAC honoree while leading the White Mules in both passing and rushing. Colby's attendance increased 260 percent in 2013 when compared to the season before Opgenorth's arrival.

"I'm extremely excited in the opportunity to lead the St. Norbert College football program," Opgenorth said. "We will strive to recruit and develop the very best student-athletes possible here at St. Norbert College. This is truly a special place to call home and play college football. I will do everything possible to ensure our players reach their full potential as people, students and athletes."

Opgenorth also spent two seasons at Winona State coaching wide receivers and special teams while coordinating recruiting, three seasons at Albright (Pa.) College as defensive backs coach, special teams coordinator and recruiting coordinator, and two seasons coaching wide receivers and specialists as a graduate assistant at Carroll University in Waukesha.

Opgenorth spent the 2010 and 2011 seasons on the staff at Winona State. The Warriors averaged 33.5 points per game in 2011 en route to a 7-4 record in the rigorous Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. Winona State led all NCAA divisions in punt return yardage at 18.9 yards per return in 2010.

From 2007-09, Opgenorth coached at Albright. In 2009, Albright finished 11-2 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Playoffs, setting a school record for wins just three years after posting a 2-8 record. Opgenorth was also Albright's academic coordinator, helping 32 players earn all-academic honors in his three seasons.

Opgenorth started his coaching career at Carroll, and helped develop All-Midwest Conference honorees at wide receiver, tight end and placekicker.

Opgenorth is a highly decorated player in Winona State football annals, and was selected to the Warriors' All-Century Team in 2005 as a specialist. Opgenorth is third in career scoring in Winona State history with 323 points, which is the most among kickers. He is also the Warriors' career leader in field goals (45) and extra points (186). Opegnorth was a three-time All-NSIC selection, and aided Winona State to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II Playoffs in 2003.

St. Norbert began intercollegiate football in 1931 and is 420-277-20 in 80 seasons. The Green Knights joined the Midwest Conference for football in 1984, and have won 15 conference championships in that stretch while going 178-36 in league play. St. Norbert has appeared in 11 NCAA Division III Playoffs.