Job is Same, Yet Different for UMD Defensive Coordinator

By KBJR News 1

August 14, 2012 Updated Aug 30, 2012 at 8:42 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- John Steger isn't necessarily a new face at practice for the University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD) football team, but he isn't necessarily a familiar face either.

Steger is the defensive coordinator with the Bulldogs this fall after spending the past two seasons as inside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator at Southern Illinois.

Before departing in 2009, Steger was the defensive coordinator at UMD for 11 seasons, including the 2008 season when the team won its first-ever NCAA Division II championship.

"It's good to be back. There's a lot of new things and some similar things," Steger said. "I'm excited to be back and really looking forward to working with the group we have. We're off to a good start right now, and we want to continue that."

The focus of the defensive unit this season will be turnovers, much like it was when Steger was in charge of that group before leaving for Southern Illinois.

"We're an up-tempo, get after it kind of defense," Steger said. "You want to try and create turnovers, whether that's by putting pressure on a quarterback or stripping the running backs. We want to do that and get the ball back to our offense, because with the style of offense we play, if we have the ball we'll have chances to be successful."

Steger is replacing Todd Strop, who replaced him following the 2009 season and resigned this past April for personal reasons after spending two years with the UMD program.