GREAT FALLS -- The Frontier Conference always contains a dynamic mix of veteran coaches and young guns in what is certainly the most competitive football league in the NAIA.
So, it’s not uncommon for former players to make the move to the sidelines and match wits with their old mentors.
New Rocky Mountain College head coach Chris Stutzriem finished his college playing career as a quarterback at Morningside College in Iowa in 2010, where current Montana Western head coach Ryan Nourse was the offensive coordinator.
They developed a mutual respect that has carried over into head gigs in the Frontier.
“No. 1, he’s a great person. When I was at Morningside he was an outstanding person, great coach, great family guy,” Stutzriem said. “And now as I move into the head coaching role, it’s a lot of fun. He’s had my back since I got hired, he’s been very supportive. I’m excited for the battles ahead, but at the end of the day we’re good friends and it’s always nice to have someone on your side.”
“We always stayed in touch. I knew he was a talented guy and I knew he wanted to be a coach,” Nourse added. “I actually tried to hire him the first time when I got the job here but things just didn’t work out, but I’m excited for him to become a head coach and I’ll help him with some stuff after the season.”
The key word was ‘after’ the season. The Bears and the Bulldogs will play twice this season on Sept. 21 and Nov. 2.