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Svendsen resigns as Aberdeen Central football coach

Aberdeen Central head football coach Scott Svendsen, center, watches the action from the sideline during a game against Huron last season at Swisher Field. Svendsen submitted his resignation as head coach Monday night. Photo by John Davis taken 9/24/2021

Scott Svendsen has resigned his position as head football coach at Aberdeen Central.

Svendsen submitted his resignation Monday night and it was accepted by the school board, according to Central Athletic Director Dawn Seiler.

I’m thankful for the opportunity at Aberdeen Central. I appreciate working with our staff and our administration, and working with our kids,” Svendsen said. “I love our school. I love the kids. I love our coaches. I love the leadership at our school. We just had a difference in philosophy about running a total program.”

Seiler said that Svendsen was never asked to resign and that he left with no hard feelings.

“He resigned amicably. He was a great coach for us for a year,” Seiler said. “He brought a lot of good things. Our intention is to take a lot of those good things that he brought to the team and continue those things, but it was his decision to leave.”

Svendsen, a native of Eureka and a former Northern State player, returned to the area last season after coaching in Texas. He led the Golden Eagles to the semifinals of the Class 11AA football playoffs.

At issue was a contract with Sanford Power that Svendsen said limited his access to the weight room and what he could do with his football players.

“One of the main issues was our strength program. I really had no say in how we were going to do that,” Svendsen said. “I tried to talk to Sanford at every level and no one really gave me any say in how our strength program was going to be run.”

Svendsen said he wanted to run a total program and there was just a difference in philosophy when it came to that part of his coaching.

“The told me when they hired me they wanted a total program and I told them I would give them that,” Svendsen said, “but that just wasn’t quite working out. There’s nothing personal there.”

Seiler said she has been in dialogue with Sanford officials for the past several months, and also checked with other school districts to see how they handle their athletic programs.

“Sanford has not put up any road blocks that I would be concerned about,” Seiler said. “We will continue to work with Sanford to provide the best opportunities for our athletes. Sanford is willing to work with all of our head coaches, so we’re going to continue on that path.”

Svendsen said it was hard to walk away from a football program that he was just starting to grow, but felt it was the right thing for him to do.

“I took a stance. I have convictions and principles I live by. It was a hard decision for me to make,” Svendsen said. “I love our kids and our coaches. We did a lot of great things this past year. We have a lot of momentum going forward. The program should be in good hands.”

Seiler noted that the timing is not ideal to find a new head coach, but believes the job will provide a solid opportunity for whoever becomes the next coach.

“We feel like this is a good position. This is a good job,” Seiler said. “Our football team is in a good position. We’re playing 11AA football. I think you saw last year, because of the division that we were playing in, we’re able to compete. We’re going to be in that same division next year, so I think that it’s a great opportunity for any coach who wants to come in and coach.”

Svendsen wished the Golden Eagles nothing but the best moving forward. He said he does not have another job and will keep his options open.

“I love Aberdeen. I love our parents that are a part of our football program. I love our kids. It’s too bad that it’s happened,” Svendsen said. “I’m not bigger than the program and our kids will be just fine going forward. I wish them all the best of luck.”

Central is now in the process of searching for a head football coach for the second straight season. Seiler said there is no sense of panic at all and that the football players understand the situation.

“For the most part our kids are in a really good spot, in a really good frame of mind. We’re just going to approach this as it’s a new opportunity for everybody,” Seiler said. “The opportunity is going to present itself for us to have a new head coach and we’re going to embrace that and move forward.”

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