TORRINGTON – Friday morning, to an arousing applause from the Blazer football team, Russell Stienmetz walked on stage in Torrington High School auditorium as their next head coach.
Stienmetz replaces outgoing coach Mark Lenhardt, who is taking over the reins at Rock Springs High School.
Stienmetz has served as an assistant coach for the Blazer program for 12 seasons.
“First thing, I want to give thanks to Mr. (Dave) Plendl and Mr. (Chase) Christensen,” Stienmetz said speaking to the players. “We have a great tradition and it will continue. That tradition starts in the summer at weights.”
With his longevity, it was a perfect fit to carry on the recent success following back-to-back trips to the Class 3A State Championship game in Laramie.
“We have to think about the players. Having them be able to keep the same terminology because I plan to use a lot of the same terminology, if not all the same terminology, therefore, there is continuity for those kids,” Stienmetz said. “The more continuity, the more repetition, the more confidence they will have on Friday nights.”
Torrington is Stienmetz’s first and only stop in his coaching and teaching career. Steinmetz originally joined the coaching staff under the leadership of Brian Harms and was a key piece to the coaching staff during the rise of Blazer football under Lenhardt.
“I’ve coached the linebackers every year,” Stienmetz said. “I’ve been the O-line coach for the past 10 and have been the defensive coordinator for the past nine years.”
Stienmetz’s philosophy is very similar to Lenhardt’s, but Steinmetz thinks some of the changes that’ll come in year one is from a personnel standpoint.
“We are going to have to adjust some of our schemes to our personnel,” he said. “We are not like college where we get to recruit to our schemes. So, we are going to have to be creative and adjust with the personnel that we are given.”
One of the next steps is to assemble his coaching staff as they prepare for summer workouts and camps.
“I’m very excited, thrilled and honored to take over this,” Stienmetz said. “Right now, the tradition of the Torrington football program is on the rise, and I want to continue that and be a part of that. We have great kids. We have hard-working kids to continue the tradition.”