Clint Kriewaldt resigns as Freedom football coach
FREEDOM - Freedom High School is looking for a new football coach.
Clint Kriewaldt, who had coached the Irish for the last five seasons, submitted his resignation and it was accepted by the school board Monday night.
Kriewaldt cited a desire to spend more time with his family as a main reason for stepping away.
Kriewaldt is married and has four kids in the Freedom School District, including twins in sixth grade, an 11-year-old in fifth grade and a 4-year-old in Pre-K.
“I had to look at my life and realized that I had to be there more for my family and kids than the high schoolers,” he said. “It was basically a decision based on my family and I told them I’m man enough to admit that during the football season, I’m not the husband and family man that I could be.”
Kriewaldt met with the team Monday, according to Freedom athletic director Linda Olson.
“He had a great five-year run with us,” Olson said. “We’re very sad to see him go, but it’s more of a family commitment. He wants to spend more time with his family.”
Kriewaldt is an Outagamie County Sheriff and also a police school liaison officer at Shiocton High School.
“It takes an incredible amount of energy and time,” Olson said.
Olson said the job has been posted. She said she hasn’t had time yet to talk to Kriewaldt’s assistant coaches to see if any of them are interested in the position.
Olson said she would like to get the job filled as soon as possible, but isn’t in a hurry.
“Until we find our best qualified candidate, we’re going to keep it open,” she said. “Once we have a pool of candidates, we’ll start interviews.”
Freedom was 47-14 in five years under Kriewaldt, making it at least to the third round of the playoffs every season. The Irish were 12-5 in the playoffs in his five seasons.
Freedom reached the Division 4 state semifinals in 2012 and 2015.
“It was a great experience,” Kriewaldt said. “I was very fortunate to have good coaches to work with me and even more fortunate to have worked with some talented kids. We had some great kids that had the desire and talent to want to be good. And that helps.
“You can be the greatest coach, but if you don’t have kids and the talent to want to be good, it doesn’t matter.”
The 40-year-old Kriewaldt, a former Shiocton High School and UW-Stevens Point standout, played nine years in the NFL with the Detroit Lions and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He made the tackle on the opening kickoff of Super Bowl XL against the Seattle Seahawks.
“He brought a level of success and respect in the program,” Olson said. “The tradition and pride that he instilled in our athletes and in our community has been untouched with the football program. He really made his mark.”
Kriewaldt said he was happy with his time as Freedom coach and that the community was “great.”
“I told Linda and the members of the football club that it’s a decision I had to make for my family,” he said. “I’m leaving with nothing but great memories and friendships. I met a lot of great parents and people to work with and I hope those relationships don’t change.”
Kriewaldt said “it’s hard to say” if he will consider coaching again in the future.
“Who knows? I may miss it like crazy,” he said. “Or maybe in two or three years, once my kids are in high school and things with schedules change, a little bit more. Maybe things will be different.”