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Football coach accepts new position

April 17, 2019

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls football team will be missing a key component of their coaching staff. Former Director of Football Operations Noah Wing accepted a job offer at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas.

For coach Wing, the process of getting to a championship caliber team has been a long road. A journey that first began while he was earning his undergraduate degree in Human Resources and Marketing from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. While in school he volunteered with a high school program at Milwaukee Riverside. At that point in his life, Wing wasn’t sure what he wanted to do after graduation.

Once Wing had earned his undergraduate degree, he decided that he wanted football to become a major part of his life.

“I decided that I wanted to take the opportunity to try and be part of football one way or another. I volunteered at UW – La Crosse for a full year and just scraped together money and made it work. It wasn’t the easiest thing in the world, that’s kind of how I did it.”

He spent one full season as a volunteer at UW–La Crosse and then was hired at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls. From 2016 – 2018 Wing had the official job title of Director of Football Operations. When asked about the daily duties of his job, Wing detailed an extremely busy schedule,

“The interesting thing about Division III football is that if you’re going to do what I do, you have to wear so many hats and do so many different roles. My job with River Falls was I took all of the side roles from coaches. The video coordination, the recruiting, the day-to-day operations of the program, the social media, the travel. I took all of those.”

Through his hard work on a daily basis for years, Wing slowly climbed his way up the ladder gaining more and more responsibility with each passing day. Head Coach Matt Walker said about Wing, “He was phenomenal at his job. He did such a great job with relationships with players. Again, he was very talented. He’s a guy that was a part of our family and had a great relationship with a lot of the coaches and players and he will be missed, but we’re excited for him.”

As Director of Football Operations at UWRF Wing supervised three seasons of Falcon football. In those seasons, the team amassed a record of 11-17 without having any WIAC playoff berths. However, with the new addition of the Falcon Center, the recruiting classes have been getting better with each passing year. Wing said about recruiting, “The ability to open that new facility and build our recruiting classes around some of the great things that we had going there was so much fun.” The Falcons will look to build on the strong new recruiting classes that Wing was able to build throughout 2018.

Following the conclusion of the 2018 football season, Wing received an opportunity that he simply couldn’t pass up. When talking about the journey from his time volunteering with a high school in 2015, to getting a job offer from a championship level team, he reflected on the journey.

“The opportunity to recruit for a team like this, I mean, look at this journey. It was a whirlwind to go from not playing and not coaching, to five years later being the recruiting coordinator for the reigning national champions. It’s unbelievable and it’s hard to put into words. This university, just like River Falls, does a have a lot of good things going for it.”

Wing will take on a slightly different role in his position at Mary Hardin-Baylor. Instead of “wearing multiple hats” he will be the full-time Recruiting Coordinator. He discussed that significant change in his job description, “I’ll just be the Recruiting Coordinator here, so I give up a lot of those other roles to focus more specifically on the recruiting aspect of it which was attractive to me.”

The Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders are quite literally at the peak of their abilities in Division III college football. In the 2018 season, they won the national championship on Dec. 14 in Shenandoah, Texas. They defeated Mount Union 24-16 to win their second national championship in school history, the first coming in 2016, with runner-up finishes in 2004 and 2017.

Peter Fredenburg is the Head Coach at Mary Hardin-Baylor and is also a member of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. His coaching staff were the group who approached Wing about the job opportunity at their university. Coach Fredenburg said about the addition of Wing,

“I think that because of the expectations and job description here it goes without saying that a person has to play and work at that level, and he’s certainly one that has been recommended and he will exceed that. He will just make his own personal contributions and put his personality to it. He has already demonstrated what an incredible work ethic he has, and he is certainly going to complete out program.”

When Fredenburg inquired about Wing to the UWRF coaching staff he received an incredible gesture from Walker, “The Head Coach at River Falls wrote me an incredible letter about Noah. He has set a real precedent the right way and people really respond to that.”

The chance to recruit for the best team in Division III was a career opportunity that Wing couldn’t refuse. “All things equal, I would have stayed there. But the opportunity to dwindle down the scope of what I was working on and really be able to focus on one thing, was a big part of my decision to leave.

His departure from UWRF is a bittersweet moment for Wing. He reflected on his time in UWRF and what his time here meant to him.

“The guys on the football team and the coaches, I can’t say enough about how much they are family to me and how they made me feel welcome there. If I could go back I would do it over and over again. That three years was probably the best three years of my life.”

Family was a common theme when talking to the coaching staff here with Falcon football. Wing continued on to say, “I’ve never been around a group of guys that works as hard as they do and want to win as badly as they do. I think Head Coach Walker, he became like family and he’s a guy who’s very loyal and is going to give you every opportunity to do your job without him micromanaging you at all.”

As a member of the UWRF coaching staff, Wing grew into one of the most respected members on the entire staff. Head Coach Walker reflected on Wing saying that the Falcon coaching staff is family, “It doesn’t surprise me, and I think that he’s got a mutual feeling from the other coaches and players as well. I mean, it just makes me smile. It’s one of the things we stress as a program is this family atmosphere and culture. We base our entire culture on family and relationships.”

Wing was a valued member of the Falcon coaching staff for the three seasons that he was in River Falls. Following his departure, the Falcons will look to find replacements for the variety of responsibilities that he provided for the Falcon football team.