Steve Ryan has guided the Mustangs to a 98-31record for a .760 winning percentage in 11 seasons to make him one of the most successful head coaches in Morningside history. Ryan has led the Mustangs to nine consecutive post-season appearances in the NAIA National Championship Series, ranks second in school history in career victories, and his .760 winning percentage is the highest victory rate in Morningside football history.
Ryan was named the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) 2012 NAIA National Coach of the Year after he guided the Mustangs to their greatest season in school history. Morningside posted a 13-1 record and appeared in its first-ever national championship football game. The Mustangs finished the regular season undefeated at 10-0, won their second consecutive Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) championship, and made their ninth consecutive post-season appearance in the NAIA Championship Series, where they lost 30-27 in overtime against Marian University in the 2012 Russell Athletic-NAIA Football National Championship on Dec. 13 in Rome, Ga.
Ryan has directed Morningside to a 90-19 record for a .826 winning percentage over the past nine campaigns to make the Mustangs one of the most successful programs in the NAIA. He led the Mustangs to Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) championships in 2005, 2011, and 2012.
Ryan collected GPAC Coach of the Year honors in 2004, 2005, 2011, and 2012. He received AFCA NAIA Region 4 Coach of the Year recognition in 2005, 2011, and 2012 and was the 2004 NAIA Football.net National Coach of the Year.
In 2005, Ryan guided Morningside to one of its greatest football seasons in school history. The Mustangs posted a 12-1 record, won the GPAC championship with a perfect 10-0 record, and were ranked third nationally in the final 2005 NAIA regular season poll. The Mustangs toppled No. 14 St. Ambrose University 58-7 and No. 10 Evangel University 54-21 in the first two rounds of the NAIA Playoffs to reach the semifinals, where they lost 42-14 against second-ranked University of Saint Francis.
Ryan led the Mustangs to records of 9-3 and the quarterfinals of the NAIA Playoffs in the 2006 and 2007 campaigns and his 2008, 2009, and 2010 teams returned to the quarterfinals and finished with records of 10-2 for the second highest victory totals in Morningside history.
Ryan’s Mustangs made their first appearance on the NAIA national stage in 2004 when they posted an 8-2 record, achieved a No. 12 national ranking, and secured their first-ever berth in the NAIA National Championship Series.
He guided Morningside to a 5-5 record in 2002 in his first season with the Mustangs to snap a streak of 15 consecutive losing seasons. The five wins were the college’s most victories since the 1985 campaign. Included among the victories was a stunning 24-21 double overtime upset of NCAA Division II Wayne State College in the season’s opener. Ryan also led the Mustangs to a 28-25 upset triumph against 2002 GPAC runner-up Doane College, a loss that helped knock the Tigers out of NAIA National Playoff consideration.
Before coming to Morningside, Ryan was an assistant coach at Ottawa University and helped lead the Braves to a pair of NAIA Championship Series appearances.
Ryan is a 1989 graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, where he was a four-year letterwinner and a three-year starter as a linebacker. He received his master’s degree from National-Louis University in 1997.
Steve and his wife, Lisa, reside in Sioux City with their six children: Madison, Kali, Kelsi, Jenna, Gabrielle, and William.
Co-Defensive Coordinator Casey Jacobsen
Casey Jacobsen, named Morningside’s co-defensive coordinator following the 2010 campaign, is the dean among the Mustangs’ assistant coaches with eight years of service. He was the special teams coordinator from 2005-10 and has coached both the outside and inside linebackers in his tenure at Morningside. He is also the Mustangs’ recruiting coordinator.
The Mustangs’ defense ranked among the nation’s finest during the 2011 season. Morningside ranked third in the NAIA in rushing defense (79.1 yards per game), eighth in quarterback sacks (2.8 per game), and 10th in scoring defense (15.9 points per game). The Mustangs set a school-record with 32 quarterback sacks and held their GPAC opponents to a miniscule average of 1.8 yards per rushing attempt.
Jacobsen’s special teams were routinely ranked in the top 10 nationally in numerous categories, including kickoff coverage and blocked kicks. His tutelage led to many school records being broken in the special team categories of place kicking, kickoff returns, and punt returns.
Jacobsen previously coached at Buena Vista University, where he was the Beavers’ defensive line coach during the 2003 season and an assistant offensive line coach during the 2002 campaign.
He is a 2002 graduate of Buena Vista, where he was a three-year letterwinner and a three-year starter as an offensive center.
Casey and his wife, Heidi, reside in Sioux City with their four children: Hogan, Kelynn, Owen, and Annabelle.
Co-Defensive Coordinaor Nathan Turner
Nathan Turner, named the Mustangs' co-defensive coordinator following the 2010 season, will enter his sixth campaign with the Mustangs in 2012. Turner is the Mustangs' outside linebackers coach and strength & conditioning coach.
Turner helped the Morningside defense rank among the NAIA's elite in 2011 when the Mustangs finished third nationally in rushing defense (79.1 yards per game), eighth in quarterback sacks (2.8 per game), and 10th in scoring defense (15.9 points per game). The Mustangs set a school-record with 32 quarterback sacks and held their GPAC opponents to a miniscule average of 1.8 yards per rushing attempt.
He was previously the running backs coach and video coordinator at Eastern Oregon University.
Turner graduated from Eastern Oregon in 2004. He was one of the Mountaineers' team captains in 2003. That season he was the recipient of Eastern Oregon's Iron Man Strength and Big Team Little Me awards.
Offensive Coordinaor Brad Pole
Brad Pole, in his first season as the Mustangs’ offensive coordinator, is no stranger to the GPAC. Pole was the head coach at Dakota Wesleyan University for the previous eight years and compiled a 31-39 record at the Tigers’ helm. He led Dakota Wesleyan to a 6-4 record last season for only the 12th winning season in the history of the Tigers’ football program.
Pole was named the GPAC Coach of the Year in 2008 after he guided the Tigers to a 7-3 record and a No. 23 NAIA national ranking. The 7-3 finish was Dakota Wesleyan’s best record in 15 years.
He posted a 51-79 career record as a collegiate head coach. Pole was the head coach for six seasons at NCAA Division III Luther College, where his team tied a school single-game scoring record with 74 points against the University of Dubuque.
Pole was an assistant coach at Augustana College, Concordia College-Moorhead, Moorhead State University, Bethel College, and the University of Sioux Falls earlier in his career.
Pole is a graduate of Rocky Mountain College and earned a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota.
Brad and his wife Rhonda have three children: Ethan, Jacob, and Levi.
Assistant Coach Brandon Clayton
Brandon Clayton is in his second season on the Mustangs’ coaching staff and is responsible for the team’s defensive backs and special teams.
Clayton was previously a graduate assistant coach at Northwest Missouri State University, where he served as the team’s defensive backs coach.
Clayton is a 2008 graduate of Northwest Missouri State, where he was a four-year starter at cornerback and helped lead the Bearcats to four national runner-up finishes in the NCAA Division II Playoffs. He earned All-Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) recognition three times during his career, including second-team honors as a sophomore and senior. Clayton also earned third-team all-region honors as a senior. Clayton amassed 118 tackles, 22 pass breakups, and four interceptions during his career. He topped the Bearcats with 10 pass breakups as a sophomore and was the team’s co-leader with two interceptions as a junior.
Assistant Coach Lucas Lueders
Lucas Lueders is in his second season with the Mustangs and will coach the team’s wide receivers.
Lueders came to Morningside from St. Ambrose University, where he was a graduate assistant coach for two years. He worked with the team’s wide receivers, tight ends, and defensive linemen and served as a strength and conditioning coach. He was previously the outside linebackers coach at Sterling College during the 2008 season.
Lueders, a 2008 graduate of Sterling, holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership from St. Ambrose.
He was a four-year letterwinner at Sterling and served as team captain as a senior when he helped lead Sterling to an 8-2 record for its best mark in school history. Lueders had a career-high 31 tackles as a senior with nine solos and 22 assists to go along with one pass breakup.
Assistant Coach Collin Prosser
Collin Prosser is in his second season with the Mustangs as the team’s running backs coach.
Prosser came to Morningside from the University of South Dakota, where he was the Coyotes’ tight ends coach for two seasons.
Prosser is a 2009 graduate of Wayne State College and holds a master’s degree in health, physical education, and recreation from South Dakota.
He was a four-year letterwinner at Wayne State and was a 2008 team captain. Prosser earned second-team All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) honors as an offensive lineman as a senior and was a three-time NSIC All-Academic selection.