Coaches

Mustang Coaching Staff

Head Coach Steve Ryan

Phone: 712-274-5283
E-Mail: ryan@morningside.edu

Steve Ryan has guided the Mustangs to a 155-40 record for a .795 winning percentage in 16 seasons for the most football coaching victories and the highest victory rate in Morningside history. Ryan has led the Mustangs to 14 consecutive post-season appearances in the NAIA National Championship Series, where the team has advanced to at least the semifinals five times in the last six years. He has led the Mustangs to eight Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) championships, including their current run of seven consecutive league titles.

Ryan was named the 2012 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and American Football Monthly 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 and won three games in the NAIA Championship Series to reach the 2012 Russell Athletic-NAIA Football National Championship, where they lost 30-27 in overtime against Marian University on Dec. 13 in Rome, Ga.

Ryan has directed Morningside to a 147-28 record for an .840 winning percentage over the past 14 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, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. His teams have advanced past the first round of the NAIA Championship Series 12 times in the last 14 years, including an appearance in the 2012 NAIA National Championship Game and semifinal berths in 2005, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Ryan is a six-time GPAC Coach of the Year, receiving the honor in 2004, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2017. He received AFCA NAIA Region 4 Coach of the Year recognition in 2005, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 and was the 2004 NAIA Football.net National Coach of the Year.

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. 

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

Phone: 712-274-5328
E-Mail: jacobsen@morningside.edu

Casey Jacobsen, named Morningside’s co-defensive coordinator following the 2010 campaign, is the dean among the Mustangs’ assistant coaches with 13 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. 

Jacobsen's defensive units have consistently ranked among the nation's finest. Morningside led the nation in scoring defense in the  2012 season with an average of only 13.2 points per game. The Mustangs held eight of their 14 opponents to single-digit scoring totals, including four shutouts. Aside from leading the nation in scoring defense, the Mustangs ranked second in the NAIA in rushing defense (66.9 yards per game), set a school-record with 34 quarterback sacks, and held their opposition to a miniscule average of 2.1 yards per rushing attempt.

Before his promotion to defensive coordinator, 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 five children: Hogan, Kelynn, Owen, Annabelle, and Margaret.

 

Co-Defensive Coordinator Nathan Turner

Phone: 712-274-5359
E-Mail: turnern@morningside.edu

Nathan Turner, named the Mustangs' co-defensive coordinator following the 2010 season, has 11 years of coaching experience at Morningside. Turner is also the Mustangs' defensive line coach and strength & conditioning coach.

Turner helped the Mustangs' defense rank among the nation’s elite during the 2012 season. Morningside led the nation in scoring defense by yielding an average of only 13.2 points per game. The Mustangs held eight of their 14 opponents to single-digit scoring totals, including four shutouts. The Mustangs also ranked second in the NAIA in rushing defense (66.9 yards per game), ninth in pass efficiency defense (98.60), and 16th in total defense (297.4 yards per game). The Mustangs set a school-record with 34 quarterback sacks and held their opposition to a miniscule average of 2.1 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 Coordinator Lucas Lueders

Phone: 712-274-5311
E-Mail: luedersl@morningside.edu

Lucas Lueders, the Mustangs' offensive offensive coordinator since 2013, is also the Mustangs' recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach.

Lueders helped mastermind one of the most prolific offensive attacks in NAIA history over the past three seasons. The Mustangs were the highest scoring team in NAIA history during the 2015 campaign when they set national records with 825 points and a scoring average of 58.9 points per game. The Mustangs scored over 50 points in nine of their 12 contests, including six scoring performances of 75 points or more and two totals in the 80s. Last season's success came following a 2014 season where the Mustangs set NAIA national records with averages of 662.2 yards total offense and 55.5 points per game. Morningside amassed over 700 yards total offense five times, including a NAIA national record 916 yards total offense in a 76-14 victory against Hastings. In his first season as offensive coordinator the Mustangs were the second highest scoring team in the nation with an average of 45.5 points per game and topped the NAIA in passing efficiency.

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 with nine solos and 22 assists to go along with one pass breakup during his senior campaign.

Lucas and his wife Megan reside in Sioux City with their son Greysen.

 

Special Teams Coordinator Bryce Rusler

Bryce Rusler comes to Morningside from Southern Nazarene University (D2) where he served as the Offensive Skills Coach. Coach Rusler instructed the running backs, wide receivers, slot receivers and assisted with the quarterbacks for 2 seasons.

Prior to SNU he spent two years as the Running back, Wide Receiver and Assistant Quarterback Coach at Dordt College (NAIA). 

In college, Rusler was a three-year starter at quarterback for Dordt College. He was also an all-state wrestler and state-qualifying power lifter in high school. 

Rusler earned a bachelor's degree in physical education in 2014 and completed his master's degree in educational leadership, both from Dordt College.
 

 

Assistant Coach Daniel Kelley

Daniel Kelley is in his third season with the Mustangs and serves as the team’s offensive line coach.

Kelley joins the Mustangs from Millikin University, where he was an assistant coach during the 2014-15 academic year. Kelley coached Millikin’s running backs and tight ends and was the team’s assistant strength coach. He was previously an assistant coach at Simpson College, where he coached the offensive line.

Kelley also serves as the equipment manager for all of the Mustangs' athletic teams.

Kelley, a native of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, graduated from Simpson with a major in history.

 

 

 

Assistant Coach Taylor James

Taylor James joined Morningside’s coaching staff for the 2017 season following a standout playing career for the Mustangs.

James, who coaches the Mustangs' running backs, collected 186 tackles, five interceptions and eight pass breakups during his playing career.

He graduated from Morningside in 2017 with a major in business administration.

James was a three-year starting defensive back for the Mustangs and a second-team All-GPAC performer as a senior when he was the Mustangs’ third leading tackler with 51 stops to go along with three interceptions and five pass breakups. He was the team’s fourth leading tackler with 70 tackles as a junior and ranked fifth on the team with 56 tackles as a sophomore.

 

 

Assistant Coach Bill Hoss

Bill Hoss has rejoined the Mustang's coaching staff and will serve as the team's running backs coach. Hoss also coached the Mustang's running backs during the 2014 campaign.

He was previously an assistant coach at South Sioux City High SChool, where he was the Cardinal's offensive coordinator for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. 

Hoss served three stints on the coaching staff at perennial Iowa prep power Sioux City Bishop Heelan Catholic High School and was the Crusader's offensive coordinator during the 2015 campaign. He was an assistant at Bishop Heelan Catholic from 1989 to 2004 and again from 2007-2011. In between he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Briar Cliff University from 2005 and 2006.

He has helped coach playoff teams in 23 of his 27 years in coaching, including Bishop Heelan Catholic's 2008 Class 3A state championship team.

Bill and his wife Susan have two daughters, Tiffany and Stacy.

 

Assistant Coach Jay Weakland

Jay Weakland rejoined the Mustangs’ coaching staff for the 2017 season. He was previously an assistant coach at Morningside from 1997 to 2000.

Weakland, who is also a guidance counselor at Sioux City East High School, will coach the Mustangs’ tight ends and offensive tackles.

He was the offensive line coach at East from 2010 to 2016. Earlier in his career, he was the head coach at Kingman High School in Arizona and an assistant coach at Durant High School in Iowa and Buena Vista University.

Weakland graduated from Morningside in 1998 with a major in physical education teaching and earned a master’s degree in guidance & counseling from Buena Vista in 2010.

He was a two-year starter in Morningside’s offensive line during his playing career. Weakland previously played two seasons at College of the Siskiyous. Weakland earned third-team all-state and first-team all-conference honors during his prep career at Gresham High School in Oregon.

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