UWSP introduces Luke Venne as new football head coach
STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) -What was first reported by NewsChannel 7 on Sunday night became official on Monday afternoon, as Luke Venne was introduced as the 33rd football head coach in UW-Stevens Point program history. Venne comes from UW-Oshkosh, where he spent 19 seasons in total, including the last six as offensive coordinator.
Venne brings plenty of familiarity, experience, and success with him to Stevens Point.
“I’ve spent my whole life basically adult life as a coach in this conference,” said Venne. “So to say I know the ins and outs of it-and I know when we go on an away game, I know what roads we’re taking, you know I know what hotels we’re staying in, I know what the buildings look like, what the locker rooms look like.”
“He’s been at a place that’s done what we want to do: Final Fours, national championships, conference championships,” said UWSP athletic director Brad Duckworth. “That’s what Pointer athletics is about.”
Venne was a key figure in turning the Titans into a Division III powerhouse over the last decade, with Oshkosh winning three WIAC championships, reaching their first ever national championship game, and a national semifinal in his time as OC.
“It’s about the person, that’s what we learned,” said Venne. “It took us a while, it took us some time when we first got there. We were young coaches who were just X’s and O’s and X’s and O’s and recruiting.
“Once we determined that retention was more important, and treating these players and making sure that we were helping them as a person-and if they believe that we believe in them, they’ll believe in us. And that’s how we were able to turn that program around at Oshkosh, and that’s how that program runs. It is a player-led program, and that’s what’s going to happen here.”
The Wisconsin native is looking to turn around a program that hasn’t had a winning season since 2016. He says he intends to stay for the long haul, and that his resume shows he’s not one to bounce around from place to place quickly.
But when it’s all said and done, what will a define a successful tenure at UWSP for him?
“When that day comes someday, years and years and years down the road when I decide to stop coaching here and my phone rings the way it did today for the Oshkosh guys, that means I know I had success,” Venne explained. “And it wasn’t about winning, it was strictly about, ‘I love you coach, I can’t wait to see what you do.’ And hopefully have the same mentality here at the end of this thing.”
Venne’s first time facing his former team will be on November 5-senior day for UWSP.
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