The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Titans have enjoyed the best season in the University’s football history, bringing home triumph after triumph as well as playing in the postseason for the first time with a tough 13-0 ranking.
The guiding force behind the team— the top-notch coaching staff—includes three UWO alumni who not only boast substantial coaching experience but also real-life Titan experience.
Head coach Patrick Cerroni MS ’05, linebackers’ coach Craig Stenbroten ’06, and offensive line coach Luke Venne ’05, say having been on the UW Oshkosh campus as students or student-athletes has helped them in their coaching careers.
Two additional Titan football coaches—assistant head coach John O’Grady and receivers’ coach Craig Smith have UW System ties as well. O’Grady both played and coached for UW-River Falls, while Smith did the same for UW-Platteville.
For Stenbroten, being a UWO alumnus has allowed him to connect with the student-athletes.
“Some of the players have the same classes that I had when I was a student,” he said. “The student-athlete part is a very valuable experience. You know what it takes, and you can help players achieve on the field, but more importantly, in the classroom and in the community.”
Venne has had the same experience as a coach and alumnus.
“Being an alumnus helps me connect with the players because I have lived through the college times that they are going through now,” Venne said. “It is cool when I hear the guys talk about classes that they are taking … some of them with the same professors that I had when I was a student here.”
Being a part of the Oshkosh community as students—and now as employees— has allowed the coaches to build relationships with coworkers in different UWO departments. Venne said this has helped make coaching easier and more fun.
The undefeated Titans are getting set to play Linfield College, Ore. in the NCAA Division III Quarterfinal on Saturday.
“The success we have had as a program doesn’t happen without the support of the entire athletic department and the hard work the entire campus community has put into helping us out,” Stenbroten said. “It makes me very proud to see the passion that so many people have at this University.”