Cimpl New Head FB Coach @ DWU
by KDLT Sports
January 09, 2012 7:33 PM
MITCHELL, S.D. – After the head football coaching position opened up on Dec. 8, Dakota Wesleyan University Athletic Director Curt Hart received dozens of applications from coaches at various levels around the country without ever opening the position to the public.
Monday afternoon, Hart announced that the Tigers’ new leader would come from within the DWU athletic community. Ross Cimpl, who took over as interim head coach after Brad Pole announced his resignation in early December, has been named the 32nd head coach in Dakota Wesleyan football history.
Cimpl – a Wagner, S.D., native – has been the Tigers’ defensive coordinator for the past two seasons. He started at Dakota Wesleyan in March 2010 after a successful stint as both a coach and a player at the University of Sioux Falls, and in his two seasons at Dakota Wesleyan he has helped the Tiger defense become one of the best in the league.
“We’re excited to hire a coach with strong ties to the area like Ross,” Hart said. “He has a solid football background and we feel he can take Tiger football to the next level.
“We had many extremely qualified applicants from around the nation, but we felt we would be doing a disservice to our players if we didn’t look in our own back yard and at our own coaching staff. Ross is young, but he has valuable experience both playing and coaching at a high level that will benefit the DWU program.”
In 2011, the DWU pass defense was ranked second in the Great Plains Athletic Conference and 21st in the NAIA, giving up just over 160 yards per game. The Tigers also tied for third in the conference and 10th in the NAIA in opponent first downs (154), were third in the GPAC in turnover margin and second in the league and eighth in the NAIA in sacks per game (2.8). In 2010 he helped guide the Tigers to their first shutout of a GPAC opponent when it beat Concordia University 56-0. In two seasons, Cimpl has coached one All-GPAC First Team selection, five second team picks and 10 All-GPAC Honorable Mention selections as well as three NAIA Scholar-Athletes.
Prior to coming to Dakota Wesleyan, Cimpl spent three years as an assistant coach at USF while pursuing a master’s degree in business administration, which he received in February 2010. He coached everything from the defensive backs to the special teams to tight ends, wide receivers and running backs. Cimpl was a part of the Cougars’ NAIA national titles in 2008 and 2009 and their runner-up finish in 2007. He helped the Cougars to a 42-1 record from 2007 to 2009. Sioux Falls won three straight GPAC titles in those years.
“We are very excited and very proud to introduce Ross as the new head football coach at Dakota Wesleyan,” Dakota Wesleyan University President Bob Duffett said. “We believe that he is the right person for the job, and that he will help take the Tiger football program to the next level.”
From 2002 to 2006, Cimpl was a member of the Cougar football team. He was a team captain in 2005 and 2006, a member of the 2006 national championship team and was named the team’s Special Teams Player-of-the-Year in 2005. Cimpl was on the Dean’s List at USF and earned Academic All-American honors in 2005.
Cimpl will take over the head coaching immediately and begin recruiting for the 2012 season. He takes over a squad that went 6-4 and started the season on a five-game winning streak for the first time since 1992 in 2011. Dakota Wesleyan returns nine of its All-GPAC selections in 2012, including All-American wide receiver Anthony Muilenburg and running back Josh Endres.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to be the head coach at DWU,” Cimpl said. “There are a lot of great things happening here and I am excited and thankful to be a part of it.”
Hart said a search for a strong offensive coordinator will begin immediately.