September 5, 2013

Longtime Osky assistant Sterner achieves lifetime goal

Herald sports editor


Oskaloosa football coach Mike Sterner achieved a lifetime goal when he agreed to be the head coach earlier this year.
Sterner, who had been an assistant coach at Oskaloosa for 17 years, played football for the Indians under the tutelage of Jerry Staton, who's now coaching at Albia.
"This is truly an honor," Sterner said. "It has been a goal of mine since I was in high school to be the head coach.
"I feel honored to represent and guide the Oskaloosa Football program. I feel charged to teach our kids the traditions and history of our program."
Sterner has been a familiar figure on the sideline for the Indians. He has literally been involved in every phase of the Oskaloosa football team.
He's been the head coach for the sophomores, positions coach for the defensive back, linebackers, punters, running backs, kickers, punt and kick returners. He's also been the defensive coordinator, special teams coach as well as the assistant head coach.
Sterner twice has stepped in for the head coach, leading the team for practice and game week.
Sterner said every coach he's been under has been an influence on him in one way of the other.
"All the coaches I have worked with and for have influenced me," he said. "Jerry Staton was my high school coach, then I was able to coach on his staff. Darrell Schumacher also taught me how to treat young men and gave me the freedom to try new things as well as defensive coordinator.
"Mark Schilb gave me a new role, which was a blessing in disguise. I really had the opportunity to explore the special teams during the past two seasons."
Sterner added he's learned quite a bit from the other coaches in his life.
"I've learned patience, organization and caring about and leading young men to be their best," Sterner said.
Among the thrills he'll be experiencing this year will be the opportunity to coach sons Joe and Andy on the gridiron.
Joe is a sophomore quarterback/receiver/linebacker while Andy is on the freshman team.
"Coaches have told me it is really a cherished experience," Sterner said. "I agree so far, but to a large extent, I feel these are all my boys. A wise coach told me, 'On the road to the goal, the road IS the goal.' I expect to enjoy every day along the way."