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Schultz resigns as Red Wing football coach, will stay on as AD

Red Wing head football coach Matt Schultz resigned on Monday after six seasons. During his tenure, the Wingers went 10-46 with a trip to the Section 1AAAA finals in 2011. (RE file photo)

With a return to the Big Nine Conference quickly approaching, Matt Schultz figured now was a good time to step away as Red Wing’s head football coach.

On Monday, Schultz announced his resignation as the Wingers’ head coach after six seasons. During that time, Red Wing went 10-46 with a Section 1AAAA finals appearance in 2011.

“It’s a good transition time,” Schultz said about stepping down. “The change into the Big Nine will be a nice one for a new coach just in terms of different level of play and things like that that will match up differently.”

Despite stepping down as the school’s football coach, Schultz said he will stay on as Red Wing’s activities director.

“I love this job,” Schultz said about staying on as AD. “Who couldn’t love a job like this?”

Coming over from Cannon Falls in 2008, Schultz dealt with low numbers and a string of 18 straight losses over his first two years as coach. That streak came to a close in the 2010 opener when Red Wing knocked off Austin, 19-0.

In 2011, the Wingers finally picked up some traction, going 5-3 in the regular season. Red Wing went on to beat Austin and Northfield in the section playoffs before falling to Faribault, 28-21, keeping the Wingers out of the state playoffs. 

Since then, Red Wing has lost 17 straight after beating Austin in the 2012 season-opener. In 2013, the Wingers went 0-8 in the regular season and lost 7-0 to Byron in the first round of the section playoffs.

“From where we started in 2008, with eight or nine seniors, to watch 20 kids every year graduate has been phenomenal,” Schultz said of program growth. “It’s been a great six years. It would have been nice to win quite a few more games over the last few years.”

Along with the head football position, Schultz is also looking for someone to run the winter and spring strength and conditioning program in hopes of keeping up with the Big Nine powerhouses Owatonna and Mankato West. The goal is to get a new football coach in as soon as possible. 

“People may not realize this, but coaching at the varsity level is a 12-month job,” Schultz said. “We want to make sure we can put someone in the strength and conditioning position. I’ve been preaching it to the guys for six years that you win games in August based on what you did between November and the end of July.”

With a large senior class next year, along with a “very skilled” junior class, Schultz hopes to find a successor that can help the Wingers take a leap in a new landscape.

“There’s some dang good football (in the Big Nine),” Schultz said. “We’re still not an enrollment powerhouse. The Big Nine has its own special brand of football that’s as competitive as anywhere we could be.

“We have some top-level talent in there,” Schultz added. “It’s time for someone to come in and put in a system that fits those kids.”

Joe Brown

Joe Brown is the sports editor for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he worked at the Marshall Independent and the St. Cloud Times. For updates on local sports, follow Joe on Twitter at @RE_JBrown.

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