College Football: Recently Promoted King Is Up For The Challenge Of Building Two Football Programs | Local sports
Sam Koenig is one of the lucky ones.
From his point of view, he has never worked in his life.
And now he’s even more rooted in his dream job.
Koenig, a graduate of Dubuque Wahlert and Loras College, has been promoted to assistant sporting director for business operations and director of soccer at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
Koenig, who has coached the boys’ programs Wahlert and Dubuque Senior in addition to assistant coaching positions at Loras and Dominican University, has been coaching the men’s Pioneers team since 2019.
He is now the head coach for the men’s and women’s programs at UW-Platteville and, along with sporting director Dr. Kristina Navarro overseeing the entire budget of the sports department.
“I am very grateful to Kristina Navarro and Chancellor Dennis Shields and everyone in our sports department,” said Koenig. “The past few months have been crazy for everyone around the world, but here at UW-Platteville we’re kind of chugging in the sports department.”
Koenig played at Loras under the former coach Dan Rothert, who played a role similar to Koenig now for several years.
âIt was kind of a dream job. I’ve seen how successful both programs can be at the same time just because you feel like you have similar resources, âsaid Koenig. âAnd then I’m really excited about the passion and building up of soccer in southwestern Wisconsin. Just so that it’s a typical basketball and soccer area, and soccer grows and grows and grows.
Koenig, 27, and his wife Shannon are expecting their second child in the next two weeks. They also have a 15 month old daughter, Kathleen.
And they play a key role in enabling Koenig to realize his dream, he said.
âThanks to you and everyone who helps our family. They allow me to do the recruiting, do the administrative work, and try to build programs known nationwide – that’s my goal, âhe said. âAs I tell everyone every day, I don’t feel like I’ve worked one day in my life. And it is thanks to my family that I can be this crazy football coach. “
Of course, Koenig doesn’t see his job just as the X and Os of coaching. Culture and family were keywords for him when he led Wahlert to a 2012 Iowa state championship as a player, and they have remained loyal to him as a coach – both at the prep level and beyond.
âIt’s just great to lead college student-athletes knowing that I’m not necessarily their coach. I am there for the rest of their lives to help them get better. For me, that’s a lot more fascinating than just training football, âhe said. âI will know if I did my job 20 or 10 years later, when they are successful in their life, they are chasing their careers, they are chasing their dreams.
âThe big thing for me is culture, I always talk about family. I know that we’ve done a good job building a culture when one of our students has other students at their wedding, or on the men’s side one of his team members is in his wedding. And then the rest of the team is invited there. That said, we did a really good job. When someone invites you to a wedding, it means that you are something very special in their life and that is exactly what we try to create in our culture: A family that just tries to do better every day – academically, socially, athletically – while going through a major transition phase in their lives.
âIt’s just exciting. I love coaching. It’s my passion and the more I do it, the more I love it. “