The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse football team is down to two finalists for head coach, and the first one sat down for a public forum on Wednesday.
In front of about 30 people, which included members of the team and alumni, UW-L interim coach Matt Janus said he is ready to take that next step in his career.
“When you get more mature you realize, well I’m not ready yet,” Janus said. “I look at the last two or three years and I know I’m ready now. I had a chance to work under Coach (Mike) Schmidt. I had a great opportunity to learn from him and now I know I’m ready to get to that goal.”
A forum for the other finalist, Joe Schaefer, a defensive coordinator from John Carroll will be held Thursday afternoon.
Janus told the audience that if hired, he would add a new offensive and defensive coordinator, saying there is too much he would miss if he doubled his roles.
That hire of offensive coordinator could be critical for Janus, as the position has seen turmoil in recent years.
“Players in the fourth year of our program, they’ve had five coordinators in four years,” Janus said. “That’s hard to transition through that. That’s five different people talking to them. That’s five different systems they’re going through.”
The Eagles were 22-7 the past three seasons with Janus serving as defensive coordinator. Janus thinks the current team is ready to hold a national championship trophy.
“This program is right there,” Janus said. “We’re three or four plays short right now of changing our entire last season. I want to be the coach who kicks the door down. I want to win our fourth national championship.”
Janus also preached recruiting and said they needed to win the state of Wisconsin first and foremost.