For 10 years as an assistant coach for the St. Francis football team, Brent Swaggert was a part of three different coaching staffs. Each time he decided not to throw his name in the hat for the head coaching gig. But when the job opened up again in May, he decided it was the right time to pursue it.
On June 1, St. Francis announced Swaggert, who served as the offensive coordinator/offensive line coach the past eight seasons, will be the new head coach.
“I knew it was a good opportunity and a good challenge,” Swaggert told ABC Newspapers last week. “It was the right time to sink my teeth into this a little further and see what I can do to better the program.”
Swaggert graduated from Buffalo High School in 1999. He attended Montana State on a football scholarship and won a Big Sky Conference championship as an offensive lineman in 2002 and 2003.
He spend 2004 and 2005 in the NFL as an undrafted free agent before teaching and coaching at St. Francis in 2006. Swaggert has also served as the head girls golf coach the last six seasons.
Despite the movements at head coach for the football program, the Fighting Saints will still have a familiar coaching staff to the players.
“In 10 years, I’ll be the third head coach, but when it comes to continuity in the program, most of the assistants have been around during that time,” Swaggert said. “I always say the high school programs that tend to have the most success, most have great continuity and consistency among their staff. And I say we have that. It may not look like that from the outside with the turnover at the head coaching position. But I still plan on being the offensive coordinator and Tracy Torson plans on being the defensive coordinator.”
With that, players probably won’t notice much of a change. The schemes will stay the same along with the practice formats
St. Francis went 6-5 last season and advanced to the Section 7AAAAA title game, losing 20-18 in the final minute to Andover.
Swaggert said he expects the program to not skip a beat in 2017.
“I just care deeply about the program,” he said. “We have great fans and community support. We’re a football town. When other teams come to our school, they leave and they’re like ‘man, what a fun atmosphere.’ We have great youth coaches. All those pieces make it more appealing. This is a big job with a lot of moving parts. If you don’t have a strong booster club, which we do, and if you don’t have strong administrative support, which we do, these jobs can really be unappealing. But I feel like we have all those things in place.”