The Colorado School of Mines football team will have a familiar face leading the charge during the 2023 season, as Pete Sterbick has been named head coach.
Sterbick succeeds Brandon Moore, who departed April 19 to take the University of San Diego’s head coaching job.
Sterbick, Mines’ offensive coordinator since January 2019, was named interim head coach after Moore's departure. But it wasn’t long before Director of Athletics David Hansburg knew Sterbick should officially take over.
“It’s super-exciting,” Sterbick said of becoming the program’s 31st head coach. “I just love our players. … I love this place. It’s such a unique place, and the kids that we get to coach are really all about the right stuff. That makes it really fun to come to work every day.”
Sterbick has been coaching Division I and Division II football since 2003, holding several coordinator and assistant coaching jobs. According to Mines Athletics, his only other head coaching job was at Kansas’ McPherson College in 2012 and 2013, where the Bulldogs were among the top 30 teams in NAIA in passing offense both seasons.
Since joining Mines, Sterbick has helped develop the Orediggers’ explosive offense, which led the nation in scoring last season. He received national honors for his efforts, as he was a key mentor for several Mines playmakers like Harlon Hill-winning quarterback John Matocha, record-breaking running back Michael Zeman and All-American wide receiver Max McLeod.
"Pete has done an exceptional job in his time at Mines as our offensive coordinator,” Hansburg said in a May 3 press release, “and he will continue to lead our program as we continue to pursue a national championship. The exuberant reaction of the team when I told them says it all about what Pete has accomplished and what our players feel about him."
New titles, same expectations
Hansburg first shared the news with the Orediggers during the April 22 spring game, where the players congratulated all the newly promoted coaches in the postgame huddle.
Along with the head coach promotion, Hansburg and Sterbick announced how offensive line coach Tim Brandon would succeed Sterbick as offensive coordinator.
Brandon will still coach the offensive linemen in addition to his new duties, Sterbick clarified.
Additionally, Shane Nelson has been promoted from defensive intern to linebackers coach, and receivers coach/recruiting coordinator Ryan Diedrick will take over as pass-game coordinator, Sterbick stated.
He praised all his fellow coaches, saying, “I really hope we can just keep the continuity of our staff, because it’s a lot of fun to work with these guys. I think it just helps our kids out when we can get the same guys coaching them back.”
For his first task as head coach, Sterbick wanted to meet with all the players to get to know them better and ensure they felt heard. Because he’s been offensive coordinator, he said he only knows half the team very well.
He was confident he’d connect with the defensive players, though, as well as the incoming transfer and freshmen class. Sterbick recruited a handful of them himself, and got to know the others when they made their official campus visits, he described.
Both Hansburg and Sterbick have stressed how, even with the changes among the coaches, the mission for Mines football hasn’t changed.
In his first postgame huddle as head coach, Sterbick told the Orediggers that they have a target on their backs, so they have to "keep working the way we've been working."