Dec. 3, 2014 By Daniel Schoettler
With UW-Whitewater football coach Lance Leipold leaving to take the head coaching position at the University of Buffalo, the question now is how will the university go about replacing one of its greatest coaches in program history.
The easiest thing for Whitewater to do is to hire from within. This means going with one of the assistant coaches currently on the staff.
Considering what UW-W has done in the past, hiring an assistant seems like the best option. Several current coaches at UW-W have followed in the same footsteps.
For example, men’s basketball coach Pat Miller was an assistant under his predecessor Dave “Augie” Vander Meulen before taking the reins over from him in 2001.
The same goes for baseball coach John Vodenlich, who was an assistant under Jim Miller before taking the reins over from him in 2004.
Another thing UW-W usually considers for head coaching positions is their familiarity with the school.
Many of the current coaches are alumni of this school. Whitewater often considers familiarity with the conference.
With that criteria taken into consideration, here are my predictions.
Brian Borland would be the clear pick if they decide to keep it in-house.
Borland has been with the program as a defensive coordinator under both Leipold and Bob Berezowitz and has garnered some national awards along the way.
They also could look at John O’Grady, the special teams coach. O’Grady coached UW-River Falls for 22 seasons from 1989 until 2010 before stops as an assistant at UW-Oshkosh and UW-Whitewater.
Another possibility is Andy Kotelnicki, another coach with ties to the team as well as ties to the conference.
Kotelnicki played at UW-River Falls as an offensive lineman and spent time as an assistant coach under O’Grady after his playing time with the Falcons.
As an assistant coach, Kotelnicki also has experience as an offensive coordinator at all three levels of college football.
If the team looks outside of who is already on the staff, they could also consider two NFL people with Whitewater ties.
Eric Studesville, the running back coach with the Denver Broncos, or former Packers offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski, who played fullback for the ’Hawks from 1981 to 1984.
If the team goes elsewhere, which is unlikely to me, they might go with some guys with either WIAC or Whitewater ties.
The Warhawks also could go out of house and keep it in the ’Hawks family as well.
This means going with Dan Berezowitz, a former quarterback at Whitewater and the son of former Warhawks football coach Bob Berezowitz.
After being a four-year letter winner at quarterback for the ’Hawks as well as an assistant under his father, the younger Berezowitz has held numerous positions at North Carolina, Texas, Minnesota, Arizona and Kentucky.
Hiring the younger Berezowitz would be interesting, especially with the fact that the last two head coaches at Whitewater have all been quarterbacks for Whitewater at some point in time.
Another out-of-house guy would be Mike DuFrane, who is currently the defensive coordinator at Lyon College in Arkansas.
DuFrane was a starting nose tackle for Whitewater when they won their first national championship in 2007.
Since then, he also has had stops at the Division-III level at Carthage College and Loras College.
DuFrane also could be considered as a candidate for defensive coordinator if Borland gets promoted.
Another long shot would be former Warhawks linebacker Jace Rindahl, who played an important role in the team’s first national championship in 2007.
Rindahl is the running back coach at the University of South Dakota.
Rindahl is another option for the defensive coordinator replacement to Borland if they elevate him to head coach.
As with every coaching job, there are going to be other candidates, especially for the head coaching job at Whitewater.
If they keep it in-house, the team is that much more likely to continue the success its had recently.
Even though you lose one of the best coaches you have ever had, the team will still have the same philosophies for offense and defense.