Football names familiar face as head coach


Photo by Parker Olsen

Newly hired UW-Whitewater football head coach Jace Rindahl addresses the media and Warhawk coaches and players inside the Bob Berezowitz Student Athletic Center in a press conference Feb. 9, 2023.

Parker Olsen, Men’s Sports Editor

Jace Rindahl has been promoted from defensive coordinator/assistant head coach and has been named the 22nd head coach in the history of UW-Whitewater football. Raised just 30 minutes from Whitewater, the Cambridge native is excited to now be the head coach of his alma mater.

Rindahl is taking over a program that he feels a responsibility to do good to as he has been a part of it for 16 of the last 18 years. He played for the Warhawks as an All-American linebacker on the program’s first national championship team. Following his final season of playing, in 2009 he became a coach and only spent two seasons at another program, division one FCS South Dakota. 

His long history as a Warhawk signals he is a great fit for the job, a job that has been infused with a long legacy of winning. Six national titles and 38 conference championships, Rindahl was involved in four of the national championships and 12 WIAC titles.

“I can honestly say that Jace is going to be tied to that legacy for a long time,” Athletic Director Ryan Callahan said. “We’re excited to have him here on campus.”

Although this is the 36-year-old’s first head coaching job, Whitewater has a fantastic track record with first-time head coaches. Dating back to Bob Berezowitz, who took the helm in 1985, the Warhawks have won 345 of their 441 games under three first-time head coaches.

Rindahl’s long history in Whitewater means that he knows the program as well as anyone. The main thing that he believes makes Whitewater special is as simple as just having the special people.

Though some shuffling will happen on the coaching staff, in part due to his promotion, Rindahl is confident that the right people to win are already in the building.

“I couldn’t be more excited about where this program is at. This recruiting class, 2023, I think is something special and that’s because of our coaching staff,” Rindahl said. “We have the right people. We do have the right people to continue to push forward and accomplish the visions that we have.”

Change will inevitably happen with a different person in charge, and Rindahl wants his team to get better and knows there is work to do. But according to Rindahl the team doesn’t require big changes to be successful. 

“I don’t think we have to make any drastic changes, we have the right people over there. Our staff are great teachers, great coaches,” Rindahl said.

Rindahl harped on many ideas that now retired Kevin Bullis often brought up. Getting better every day, competing against the best to prove yourself, caring about teammates, working hard together, that winning is a byproduct of the things they do and doing it the right way.

“If we win a lot of games, great, I think we will, but it’s more about doing it the right way and doing it together. Making the program first class but making the program the best that we can make it,” Rindahl said.

Now that the wait for an official head coach to be named is over, it’s time for the Warhawks to get to work.

“Let’s go. Let’s attack this thing one day at a time,” Rindahl said. “It’s not about talking, it’s not about tweeting. It’s about action, it’s about working hard, caring for others, doing it collectively, doing it together.”

Rindahl will make his head coaching debut Sept. 2 as the Warhawks take on John Carroll in University Heights, Ohio, to open the 2023 season.