Mr. Lieser, the future head coach for New Ulm Public’s football team, draws a football play on the board during his strength and conditioning class.
Mr. Lieser, the future head coach for New Ulm Public’s football team, draws a football play on the board during his strength and conditioning class.

Score! Lieser takes the helm of NUHS football

May 26, 2022

With a dubious reputation, an 8-36 record, and four different head coaches in the last five years, the statistics for New Ulm Public’s football team are not pretty. New Ulm is hoping to change that soon with the new head coach Derek Lieser. Lieser will be taking over the head football coaching helm for the fall 2022 season.
Lieser grew up in the small town of Cold Spring, MN, and graduated from Riccori High School. Lieser was a three-sport athlete up until his senior year. He played football, basketball, and baseball. In his senior year, he suffered an injury in football which caused him not to play basketball his senior season.

Derek Lieser playing football in high school.

“Mr. Lieser comes to New Ulm with a wealth of coaching experience not only in football but in other sports as well.  His ability to connect and communicate with staff and students is top-notch. Mr. Lieser’s passion for student development, student success, and program growth make him more than qualified to be our head football coach,” said Steffanie Dietz, New Ulm Public’s athletic director.

There are many things Lieser is looking forward to the next season. “I look forward to forming relationships with the coaching staff, and players, and establishing a program that our school and community are proud of that is successful not only with wins and losses but turning out good kids that have big goals for themselves and have a positive impact on the community,” Lieser said.

New Ulm Public’s football program has had four different head coaches in the last five years, none of which were able to change the program around. The program is hoping it will be different under Lieser. “Changing the culture of our football program to get our best athletes to come out for football –  I want the kids to realize that not only can they help the program, but the program can help them too.”

Lieser has many plans and tactics he hopes can help the program. “Changing the way we practice, looking at going more no-huddle to maximize practice time and then having that ability to change the tempo in games,” Lieser said. New Ulm has gained many resources, such as a new turf field, a new weight room, and new technology. “Using our resources such as our turf field in the summer, breaking down film, and relaying it to our kids so that we can know what to expect from the other team and use that knowledge to our advantage,” Lieser said.

The New Ulm offense has struggled some in the past. “Changing the scheme up to be a more balanced team – in the past, coaches would like to be a very run-heavy or pass-heavy offense. Instead, finding that happy medium may help contribute to success,” Lieser said.

The head coaching position of a high school football program is a challenging task for anyone to take. “I talked with my loved ones and the ones close to me to make sure it was all right with them and that they were supportive of it, my wife at home and having our little guy. The administration talked it up and pushed me to consider taking the spot, which helped encourage me to take the offer. Even though I do love the strength and conditioning program, I do miss that opportunity to compete against somebody else. In the weight room, it’s you against yourself; in football, it’s us vs. them, our best vs. their best.”

There is a lot that goes into having a successful football season. “It is a perfect storm of having good athletes, coaches, having a unified mission and vision of what we want to accomplish as a team. It takes everyone in the program to push themselves and truly believe that they can accomplish the goals they set for themselves. It takes putting team goals and team success over individual goals to best help the program. It takes a lot of hard work and also a little bit of luck; sometimes, the ball needs to bounce your way, and there will be some unlucky breaks where the ball doesn’t go your way, and that’s just something you need to expect and anticipate,” Lieser said.

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