BUTTE — Montana Tech’s secret weapon (but not for long) is offensive coordinator Pete Sterbick.
“I think he could coach at the next level,” said wide receiver Sean Sullivan. “We’re lucky to have him. I think he could coach anywhere he wants to. He’s a really good offensive mind.”
This is Sterbick’s 15th season as a football coach. He has spent 10 years as an offensive coordinator and is enjoying his fourth season in Butte. While in the Mining City, he has seen a steady improvement in each of his first three seasons, but this season may bring the biggest jump yet, as he believes this is his best outfit to date.
“(This offense is) definitely at the top,” he said. “Us being multiple and the balance that we have on our offense has been really the biggest part of it.”
The balance in the Orediggers’ offense is backed by the numbers. Tech has run for 546 yards and thrown for 758 in just two contests, while scoring nine touchdowns on the ground and seven through the air.
“He’s really creative,” Sullivan said. “He finds different ways to get people the ball, and he’s really good at his job.”
But a coordinator’s success depends on his arsenal, and he is lucky to have arguably the best player in the country leading the way in quarterback Quinn McQueary.
“Our relationship is a good one, because I know we’re both intense. We’re very competitive people,” McQueary said. “What we have in common the most is that we want to win so badly, and it just clicks sometimes for us.”
The offense is definitely clicking. Tech set a school record in its Sept. 9 matchup with Montana State-Northern, scoring 70 points. The Diggers are averaging 57.5 points through two contests, putting them within a touchdown per game of the nation’s top scoring offense (Southeastern, Florida). The key thus far, and going forward, is variety.
“We’re going to have things that we’re going to hang our hat on,” Sterbick said. “But the way we draw things up around them is going to change week to week.”
And although it does take good players to bring Sterbick’s vision to light, the players know they’ve got a special coach calling the shots.
“It’s just all of us clicking at once and I think that starts with Coach Sterbick,” McQueary said. “(It’s) us making plays with the plays that he puts in. I think that’s what it comes down to and that’s what were going this year so far.”
When Tech scored 70 points against the Lights, it set a record from 2016 when the Diggers played MSU-Northern (63). Tech then followed that performance by scoring 62 against Rocky Mountain College. After playing Northern on Sept. 9, the Diggers will again take on Rocky. Kickoff is Saturday, Sept. 16.