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Daily Journal
     March 8, 2022      #78-67 KDJ

Herscher tabs Mosier to replace hall-of-famer

By Cody Smith

Ever since he got his first taste of what coaching high school football would look like in the summer of 2013 under former Herscher head football coach Dan Wetzel, Mike Mosier has progressively learned the ins and outs of what it takes to become a successful coach.

And now Mosier, husband to Lindsay and father to 22-year-old Christopher and Herscher High School senior Blaze, will get the opportunity to display all that he’s learned serving in various coaching positions for Wetzel over the past nine years at Herscher when he takes over the Tigers football program as the new head coach, which was officially announced at the school district’s board meeting last month.

Mosier will replace Wetzel, an Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame member, who retired after last season after first taking the job at his alma mater in 2001.

“It was an awesome feeling finding out I was going to become the new head coach,” Mosier said. “I love the community of Herscher and the kids of Herscher. So it was definitely a good feeling when I got the official offer.”

Mosier’s promotion comes after having last served as Herscher’s varsity wide receivers coach and assistant offensive coordinator this past fall, a position the current 42 year-old had to work his way up from ever since he joined Wetzel’s staff in 2014 as the program’s freshmen offensive coordinator.

His long tenure coaching at all levels — freshman, sophomore, junior varsity and varsity — is something Mosier believes will surely have him prepared to take on his first ever head coaching position.

“I did all the gamplanning with coach Wetzel,” Mosier said. “I also did all the receiver routes with our wideouts and I think that got me prepared for what I’m about to go up against as the new head coach.”

Outside of his tenure coaching at Herscher for the past decade or so Mosier hasn’t had nearly the amount of coaching experience as most head coaches. In fact, the new leader at the helm for the Tigers had only gotten into coaching beginning in 2007, where he spent his time coaching Blaze in the Herscher Youth Football League before joining Wetzel’s staff in 2014.

Therefore, Mosier’s limited experience has had him picking the brains of his mentors such as John Wakey, Herscher’s head football coach from 1984-2001, and current Gibson-City-Melvin-Sibley head coach Mike Allen, who won back-to-back IHSA Class 2A state championship during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons following a perfect 28-0 record during his 20-year tenure coaching the Falcons.

The ability to have strong mentors while having familiarity with the football program is part of the reason why Herscher athletic director Todd Schawrzkopf and the rest of the Tigers community are more than happy to welcome their new head coach with open arms.

“I think there’s a lot of excitement right now about Mosier becoming the new head coach,” Schwarzkopf said. “Any time you change over coaches it’s a new thing. Mosier has been around Herscher and he has connections with so many different people and so I think he’s going to put his own stamp on both sides of the ball and it’s going to be a good thing.”

As consistent of a program Herscher has traditionally been, making the playoffs four out of the last six seasons with its latest bid being in the 2018-19 season (Editor’s note: There was no postseason in 2020-21), the Tigers have struggled both record-wise and numbers-wise as of late. In the past three seasons combined, including the shortened 2020-21 spring season, Herscher is just 7-16 overall. As a result, Mosier plans on making some much needed tweaks to both sides of the ball.

“Our offense will have some similarities to what it’s been because I’ve already had some input on the offense, but we are still definitely going to evolve just a little bit differently, ” Mosier said. “Defensively, we will probably have a new look as well.”

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