New era of UWSP football begins under new head coach
Luke Venne takes over as camp begins this week
STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - A new era of UW-Stevens Point football officially launches this week under the watchful eye of a new head coach. Longtime UW-Oshkosh coach Luke Venne is now in the head coach seat as the Pointers took the practice field for the first time Friday afternoon.
“I’m just excited by the opportunity to coach these guys,” said Venne. “They’re really good, young men, and I’m excited to lead them in a direction that I hope everyone’s proud of.”
Venne coached at UW-Oshkosh for 19 years, most recently as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator. The Pointers are looking for a resurgence following a 2-8 campaign in 2021.
“We want to build on our team cohesion,” said senior linebacker Reese Wiggins. “I feel like we were lacking in that a little bit last year. I feel like it was a hodge-podge effort here and there, but I’m definitely excited to see how we can come together this year.”
With a lot of new players along with the new coaching staff, the veteran players are putting it on themselves to make everyone feel welcome.
“For myself, in particular, being able to make a relationship with the coaches early on, helps bring the younger players in that the coaches are always there for them and talk to them,” said fifth-year senior Devin Baldridge.
The beginning stages of camp are about laying the foundations, according to Venne. Introducing the basics of schemes and getting to know guys is essential. However, these early stages are a paradise for Venne.
“Camp’s the best. I wish we could live in camp all the time because there’s nothing but football,” said Venne. “No one bothers you. From morning to night, it’s practice and meeting. That’s the happy land, where you can be in meetings and learn and teach and make these guys better players.”
There’s still work to be done, but for this excited Pointer group, they’re eager to impress on and off the field.
“I want us to be angry,” said Wiggins. “Angry dogs.”
“I’m excited that the Pointer alum out there are excited as well by where the program’s going,” said Venne. “We want to make a lot of guys from Stevens Point who played here in the past and people in the community proud of what we’re doing here.”
The Pointers open the 2022 season at home on Sept. 3 against Maryville State.
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