Jim Glogowski era getting underway at USF Cougar football spring practice

Rookie coach learning his roster, installing new culture and coaching staff

Quarterback Camden Dean transferred to USF from MSU-Mankato, where he played under new coach Jim Glogowski.
Matt Zimmer / Forum News Service

SIOUX FALLS — For the first time in a very long time, the University of Sioux Falls football program is getting an entirely fresh start.

After decades under the Bob Young coaching tree, new head coach Jim Glogowski takes over, and the former MSU-Mankato and USD defensive coordinator has no direct ties to the program. The last time USF hired an outsider, Jed Stugart kept nearly all of the team's assistant coaches. But other than part-time kicking coach Al Hansen, Glogowski's staff is made up entirely of coaches who never before played or coached at USF.

It feels a little bit like the end of an era. And the beginning of a new one.

Not only are the coaches new, but there aren't many returning players, either. USF graduated a strong senior class, and several players entered the transfer portal after Jon Anderson was fired despite an 8-3 record last season.

So spring practice represents the first chance for Glogowski to see his players in action and begin instilling his culture and coaching style, and the first chance for those players to show him what they can do. Everyone seems to agree that things are going well enough, while at the same time acknowledging there's a lot to learn.


New USF coach Jim Glogowski visits with Cougar broadcaster Tom Frederick during spring practice on Thursday, April 13, 2023 at Bob Young Field in Sioux Falls.
Matt Zimmer/Forum News Service

"It's definitely different," said wide receiver Carter Slykhuis, one of the team's few proven returners. "Just little things you don't think about — like the schedule is different, for workouts and meetings. There's little adjustments. And then big ones like a new playbook. But it's been fun. I like the new coaches. They're easy to talk to, super relatable — we're excited."

Glogowski has made a point to credit Anderson for maintaining a strong program. So while the Cougars are starting over to a great degree, the "R" word isn't getting thrown around much, if at all. USF just missed the playoffs last year and has posted 28 consecutive winning seasons. That streak is important to everyone associated with the program, and Glogowski knows and respects that.

"It's awesome to be somewhere with a high expectation," he said. "I certainly don't expect to come in and go 2-9 and say, oh, well, we're rebuilding. There's enough talent to win now."

Prior to his stint as coordinator at MSU Glogowski spent eight years as head coach at Division III Simpson College, and sliding back into the captain's chair has not been difficult for him.

"I enjoy being the boss again, I'll tell you that," said Glogowski, who went 37-43 at Simpson. "I'm definitely excited about the chance to mold these guys as I see fit, and use a process to do that. I think in the past I would've tried to hurry up and get it all done as quick as possible but there's a sense of calmness that no matter what, we're gonna be OK if we do this the right way."

Glogowski originally brought in former USD quarterback and coordinator Wes Beschoerner to run his offense, but Beschoerner took another job soon after. Lucas Lueders is now the Coo' OC. He spent 10 years at Morningside (helping to win two NAIA titles) and then the last three as offensive coordinator at Central Missouri. Running backs coach Xavier Jackson played under Lueders for the Mules.

USF offensive linemen go through a drill during spring practice at Bob Young Field on Thursday, April 13, 2023.
Matt Zimmer/Forum News Service

Spencer Capitani, who spent the last five years coaching the secondary at Central Washington, will be Glogowski's defensive coordinator after previously coaching with him at Mankato. Defensive tackles coach Michael Buetow is another coach with prior ties to Glogowski, having played at Mankato before finishing his career at North Dakota State. Linebackers coach Carlton Littlejohn is also a former Bison, while receivers coach Bryan Boesen coached at MSU-Mankato.

Rounding out the staff are cornerbacks coach Markhus Taylor, defensive line coach Andre McCall, tight ends coach Caleb Richardson and O-line coach Ryan Springer.


"It's a fresh set of eyes for the kids," Glogowski said. "We have no idea what these guys are all about. We're learning what they do well and what they don't. That process started back in December and it goes through May 6, and when the spring game is over we'll have a much better understanding of where we're at."

It's been slow going so far. Glogowski said the players often look tentative and unsure as they're still learning the plays and schemes.

Lueders has basically free reign to put together the offense, and returning quarterback Adam Mullen gives them a solid foundation. A two-year starter with two years to go, Mullen has impressed the new staff with his leadership and how he responded to the arrival of Camden Dean, a transfer who followed Glogowski from Mankato to challenge Mullen for the starting role. Unseating Mullen, who threw for 2,231 yards and 13 touchdowns last year, won't be easy. The Cougars also need to replace leading rushers Thuro Reisdorfer and Landon Freeman, who combined to rush for more than 2,000 yards last year.

USF quarterback Adam Mullen throws a pass during spring practice on April 13, 2023 at Bob Young Field in Sioux Falls.
Matt Zimmer/Forum News Service

"There's definitely a sense of urgency," said Slykhuis, who caught 36 passes last year. "Coach Lueders has been really adamant that there's work we need to get done to get to a certain point by the end of spring ball. There's a lot of learning and a lot of after-practice stuff going on. It's been a little bit of a struggle, but the good thing is there's a lot of guys who've been waiting their turn to see the field that are really motivated."

Defensively, the Cougars lost pass rusher Zach Durfee and his 11.5 sacks to the Pac-12 and the University of Washington (where former USF coach Kalen DeBoer coaches), but Glogowski complimented the way returners Cal Botsford and Brady Crawford have assumed a leadership role this spring. Glogowski and his assistants all have a 4-man front background, which is what USF has run for several years and recruited players to.

"There are good players here, just not a lot of game experience," Glogowski said. "We're looking at where we need to shore things up but we're going to play with the guys we have. We just need to create some depth and figure out what we can do and what we can't do."

Matt Zimmer is a Sioux Falls native and longtime sports writer. He graduated from Washington High School where he played football, legion baseball and developed his lifelong love of the Minnesota Twins and Vikings. After graduating from St. Cloud State University, he returned to Sioux Falls, and began a long career in amateur baseball and sports reporting. Email Matt at
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