The North Bend Eagle


NBC football coach
Ryan Stieren, a teacher in his first year at NBC and a former assistant at Omaha Northwest, was recently named the head football coach for the Tigers.

Stieren hopes to buoy NBC football

by Nathan Arneal
Published 3/30/16

The Tigers will have a new leader when they hit the gridiron this fall.
Ryan Stieren will become the fourth NBC head football coach since 1977 following Tony Allgood’s retirement from coaching.

Stieren, 32, is in his first year as a business and technology teacher at NBC. He served as an assistant under Allgood during the 2015 football season and also coaches junior high track.

In the three years before coming to North Bend, he taught and was an assistant football coach at Omaha Northwest.

“It’s been a little bit of an adjustment going from OPS to North Bend, but it’s been great,” Stieren said. “The kids have been great. The community is outstanding. The resources that we have here are definitely very, very good. The community support here is outstanding.”

It won’t be his first stint as a head football coach. Stieren (pronounced Steer-en) was the head football coach for St. Peter Claver High School in Omaha for its one season of varsity football before the school closed because of financial difficulties.

Following the closing of Claver, Stieren worked for Werner Enterprises for a year before getting the call from Northwest.

He served as the JV and freshman head coach and varsity special teams coordinator for the Huskies. But Stieren, a 2002 graduate of Fremont Bergan, wanted to get back into a smaller school.

“It bothered me when kids would walk down the hall and I had no idea what their name was,” he said. “Especially if I had to correct a behavior and I walking down the hall saying, ‘Hey, you! Hey, you!’”

Stieren and his wife, Nan, have recently sold their house in Omaha and will be moving to Fremont to split the difference between NBC and her job at PayPal in Omaha. Their children, Nadelyn, 6, and Ryles, 3, will attend NBC schools.
Being a head football coach has been a goal of his, Stieren said, but after landing the job as the head Tiger, his goals have shifted to turning around a program that hasn’t had a winning season since 2008.

“I heard a quote one time, ‘As long as we have the weight room, we can be champions,’” Stieren said. “That’s definitely a piece that I’m going to heavily focus on, getting us going in there. I think you can always make improvements, and I think we need to make improvements in that area.”

Football is also a numbers game. At times last year, NBC had half the players on its roster as its opponent on the other side of the field.

“I’ve really worked hard at recruiting kids in the building,” the new coach said. “I think we will have some good numbers next year. So generating excitement and really making the weight room a focal point will be key for the program going forward.”

While his coaching staff has not been settled yet, Stieren said he will be handling the offense. He favors spread sets with a hearty mix of run-pass options, allowing the ball to go where the numbers match up the best.

“I like spreading defenses out because they’re going to have to tip their hand if they’re going to blitz,” he said. “Their outside ‘backers are going to have to show. And if they show, we’re going to throw the ball (to the outside.) I like the options out of it. It can be difficult to stop.”

The Tigers will also get a bit of a break from the schedule in Stieren’s first year.

While NBC’s district still includes traditional powers such as Aquinas and Neumann, the non-district schedule doesn’t include any teams that had a winning record last season. That’s a stark contrast from the 2015 non-district slate that included state-rated teams in Pierce and Boone Central.

The 2016 Tigers will start the year off against Louisville, West Point-Beemer, Tekamah-Herman and Madison. Those teams combined for a 7-29 record in 2015, which includes NBC’s only win against WPB.

“I don’t know a lot about some of these teams,” Stieren said. “What I will say is that I feel like there are opportunities for us. However, like I told the kids, those teams are thinking the same about us. We’re going to have to earn it.”

Stieren plans to be ready when the time comes.

“I’m kind of a preparation freak,” he said.

He hopes that the positive momentum built during the winter season, which saw both the basketball and wrestling teams turn in stellar seasons, carries over into the fall.

“To me, it’s ‘Why not us? Why not the football program?’” Stieren said. “There’s no reason it can’t happen. I went to a lot of the games. Dawson Poessnecker at the state tournament hit those two big 3’s, I mean, that kid’s a gamer, and I know I’m going to get that out of him in football.

“Shane Hansen defeating that guy in districts to get to state (wrestling). He battled. I could see him competing at a high, high level, not scared of the competition. I saw that all winter long. I think football, it’s just confidence. We have to take that momentum and hopefully parlay that into our summer workouts, and when we strap it on against Louisville August 26, hopefully we’re out there with a lot of confidence.”

He said he is also looking froward to getting involved with the youth programs and making his team a visible part of the community.

“Obviously, I want to win games,” Stieren said, “but I just really want to get out in the community and work with the young kids and use football to help them learn lessons in life: hard work, accountability, teamwork, all that stuff that tough to simulate in a classroom.”

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