In 2015, the Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears struggled through a 1-10 season. Just four years later, head coach Shannon Currier and his staff guided the program to a 6-5 record. One of the reasons for the rapid increase in the win total has been the players the program has brought in. Based on many factors – including their 2020 recruiting class – Currier feels the program is going to continue to see it’s win totals move upward.
What are your general thoughts on the 2019 season for your program?
We can grow a bunch from our 2019 campaign. We played competitive football each week and finished with a winning record (the first time since 2011 at CSP). We had three games we thought we had great opportunities to win. We have improved for four straight years and are certainly better today because of what we did this past season. However, we are focused on finding a way to elevate our play.
What are your overall thoughts on this recruiting class?
We are all optimistic at this time, but I believe it may be the best recruiting class that I, personally, have experienced. We had 20 transfers at semester (thirteen from St. Cloud, one from Minnesota-Crookston, one from Purdue, and a few other junior college transfers). All these guys have brought a winning mentality and attitude to our culture. Our depth and culture are trending upwards.
I believe we are getting more competition and depth on both sides of the line of scrimmage. I thought we had a very complete class – all positions were addressed. We also were able to add a couple of athletic quarterbacks we like a lot.
We now have to transcend the talent into making football plays!
What was the strength of the Minnesota class this year?
We had more Minnesota kids this year than years past. I would expect that number to continue to grow because I believe we can provide young men a great football experience here in St. Paul.
Position-wise, what was your focus this recruiting season?
We signed five or six tight ends. We continue to focus on the offensive and defensive lines. We wanted to get all positions addressed. We were also focused on guys that are committed to being great. We want guys that love football, that are high character guys and guys that want to grow in all areas of their lives.
Outside of football skills, what do you look for in a potential recruit?
I want guys that are intelligent, guys that show the capacity to learn. If they perform well in the classroom, it shows that they care. We want guys that want to be great. They love the weight room. They want to be pushed, and they want to make a difference and be part of something special that we are building. We also value kids that can hold others accountable and positively influence their teammates.
What about your program/school do you stress when talking to a recruit?
We believe that we will help them grow in all areas of their lives. We are a Christian school and have been fortunate to have some outstanding spiritual leaders. We are always looking for ways to provide the very best possible experience for them. We have the best location and will provide fantastic opportunities that will impact their career. In addition, our people at CSP are outstanding. We have a caring, supportive, and loving staff and faculty.
With the unfortunate end to the programs in St. Cloud and Crookston – those kids needed a place to go. What was your approach to the guys in this class that were committed to either of those programs?
We targeted their young talent, and we believe we did quite well obtaining them. However, I have been even more impressed with them since their arrival. We were fortunate to get fourteen guys that will impact us on the field and have already enhanced our culture because of their desire to be great.
Did you have any last-minute commits or anything that surprised you as this class came together?
We had a couple nice offensive threats from St. Anthony join our class -running back Jonathan Kieren and wide receiver Troy Ellison.