By Keotta House
Niels Anderson was hired this summer to take over the head coaching duties of the men’s and women’s track and field team. Anderson worked as an assistant coach at a college in Colorado before becoming head coach for 13 years at La Crosse Central High School, where he led their team to a few championship titles. However, don’t expect him to take full credit for most of his success.
“[Success] is not about me, but about what we can accomplish as a team,” said Anderson.
Anderson described coming to Saint Mary’s as a dream job and a dream come true. He also added that the mission of the school was something that he connected with and the school and him share a “common vision.”
That is a sentiment echoed by Saint Mary’s Athletic Director Nikki Fennern. “[Anderson] is a great fit for the athletic department and the institution as well,” said Fennern.
As far goals for the team, both Anderson and Fennern see building and recruiting as the key to what is hoped to be achieving by the programs.
Jamison Rusthoven is the other new head coach for the men’s basketball team, and he too believes that recruiting and building will be key in the coming seasons.
With nearly 20 years of coaching experience under his belt, Rusthoven is slated to start in his first head coaching position with Saint Mary’s.
“I’m going to rely on all my experiences to have a good experience,” said Rusthoven. “As you go through your career you learn a lot of goods and a lot of bads, and my goal is to give the guys on the team a good experience,” he added.
Rusthoven is not only a new head coach, but he is also a new professor at Saint Mary’s as well. For now he is teaching a course in sports management, and teaching runs neck-and-neck with coaching in his book.
There are quite a few things that both coaches have in common and one of them is the fact that the biggest pressure to do well comes from themselves.
“Pressure is what you put on yourself, and I put pressure on myself to be successful and a good leader,” said Rusthoven.
“I will put a lot of pressure on myself and I am very determined to turn this program into something that we can all be proud of,” said Anderson.
Perhaps the biggest thing these two coaches have in common is their excitement to be at Saint Mary’s, and their excitement to take on the challenge.