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I'm Just Saying with Dundee-Crown football coach Mike Steinhaus

When Dundee-Crown kicks off its football season later this month at Elgin, Mike Steinhaus will be roaming the sideline for the first time as head coach. That’s because Steinhaus, 28, replaced Vito Andriola in April after Andriola left to take the same position at Grant. After six seasons on the Chargers’ staff, including three as the offensive coordinator, Steinhaus takes the reins of his alma matter, where he played football, basketball and baseball in the early 2000s. After graduation in 2003, he played as a tight end at Ball State under coach Brady Hoke, now at Michigan. Last fall, Dundee-Crown went 6-4, earning a playoff berth for the first time in 19 years, and Steinhaus hopes to have them back in the postseason this year.

The big change is you’re not so narrow-sighted and being just offensive-minded. I have to think about all facets of the game. You have to manage a bunch of kids, the coaches, making sure everything is organized to give yourself a chance to be successful. So, it’s really just that you’re in charge of everything now instead of, obviously, one side of the ball. I’ll still help with the offense and call plays. It’s one of those things that I have to do that this year and we’ll see in the future. But it’s what I know best.

I always wanted to be a head coach. When I was in college, that was in the back of my mind. I wanted to be a head coach in high school football. I’ve often talked to my old coaches, so I was extremely happy to be named the coach at Dundee-Crown.

A lot of [what I learned under Hoke at Ball State] translates to being a head coach now. It’s the way way you go about your business, the way you relate to the kids. Everything he did I kind of followed and picked up. I actually took our staff up to see him this past summer. So that was exciting for our staff, and seeing someone at the University of Michigan. That’s always fun. My [11-month-old] son’s also named Brady.

You’re doing this for the kids. Everything you do should be with the kids in mind, getting them ready and making it the best experience for them. That’s what he [Hoke] kind of emphasized for us.

My philosophy as a coach is that I’m fun and exciting. I’m a motivating. I’m a younger, so I have a way with the kids. I took a lot of what Andriola did too. We kinda work hard but we have fun. That’s what we are philosophywise. We should be the best we can be every play knowing we’re probably not going to be perfect. But we’re working to be perfect.

I organize practice similarly to how I practiced in college, which may be different than a lot of the high school programs. We practice fast. We have a little bit of a tempo. There’s no sitting around. We’ll have about two or three huddles for offense or defense and then we go one after another. There’s no wasted time. I don’t like wasted time. I get mad at the kids if there's anything wasted at practice because every other second is time for our kids to get work. We have the horns. We have the periods.

As a program, we’re looking forward to competing. Summer’s are a fun time for the team and family. But we’re looking forward to competing against other teams and seeing what we can accomplish.

I’m Just Saying is a regular Sunday feature. If there’s someone you’d like to see featured, write to me at or send me a message on Twitter @joeyrkaufman.

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