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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Pioneers announce exciting changes to coaching staff for 2018

Some teams use the offseason to tweak their coaching staff.
The St. Paul Pioneers are super-charging theirs.
Pioneers Head Coach Mark Heiser, who has won eight league championships and three national titles since taking the St. Paul helm in 2008, on Tuesday announced several impressive additions as well as new roles for some coaches from last season.
Ben Campbell, a longtime Pioneers defensive back and special teams stalwart, joins the coaching staff as Assistant Head Coach, Special Teams Coordinator and defensive backs coach after coaching with the Minnesota Brawlers in 2017.
Jason Grendzinski will be the Pioneers Defensive Coordinator in 2018, after serving as the team’s defensive backs coach in 2017. Grendzinski is also the team’s Recruiting Coordinator.
Bryan Wrich was officially named the Pioneers’ Offensive Coordinator, essentially filling the role he performed all last season and Rob Neumann, who once ran the Pioneers offense, rejoins the squad in 2018 as an offensive assistant.
Dave Ladd, the Pioneers’ linebackers coach in 2017, will fill the same role in 2018.
Devin Waters, who spent several seasons helping the Pioneers’ defensive line terrorize opposing quarterbacks, will move over to the coaching ranks in 2018 as the Pioneers’ new defensive line coach. And Shannon Johnson, who won several national championships as a tough-as-nails center on the Pioneers offensive line, will serve as the team’s offensive line coach this season after serving in the same role with the Brawlers in 2017.
John Nelson returns to coach Pioneers quarterbacks in 2018, after serving the same role in 2017.
And Damien Rochon Washington, who also won several national championships as a wide receiver and was named to the team’s Hall of Fame after a stellar career as an original Pioneer, becomes the team’s wide receivers coach in 2018.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Pioneers name new board members

Few things stay the same. Even for the St. Paul Pioneers, seven-time champions of the Northern Elite Football League.
At the Pioneers Board of Directors annual meeting Sunday, the Pioneers welcomed three new board members and said goodbye to three others.
New to the Pioneers board in 2018 are Ben Campbell, Bryan Wrich and Deb Wrich.
Stepping down from the board were Team President Pete Globa and team treasurer James Walsh. Board member Rick Barrett, who moved out of state, also was removed from the board.
The board also held an election to name new board officers. They are:
Team President Dan “Doc” Piper.
Team Vice President George “Juice” Hall.
Team Treasurer Bryan Wrich.
Team Secretary Ben Campbell.
The changes to the board are an exciting injection of new excitement and new ideas to one of the nation’s most consistently successful semi-pro football teams. From 2009 through 2016, the Pioneers won eight straight league championships and three national championships.
In 2017, the Pioneers fell in the league semi-finals, ending a streak of success that few teams in America can match. Board member and Head Coach Mark Heiser said Sunday’s meeting sets the table for continued success to come.
The Pioneers will hold their first tryout of 2018 on Jan. 6 at Concordia University-St. Paul, which has been the Pioneers’ home field since 2012.