Alex Dolgner ‘18 to be student football coach at Iowa State

Hayden Claesson, Reporter

Just about every kid who has ever played football in America has had dreams on being the next big superstar. They want to be the next Tom Brady, yet few kids want to be the next Bill Belichick.

Alex Dolgner ‘18 is one of those few kids who want to be the next great football coach.

“Ever since I was a little kid I was in church and I was asked what I wanted to be when I grow up for a Sunday school class,” Dolgner said. “Immediately I thought of coaching and people’s first responses were ‘you’re not going to get there and it won’t be easy.’”

Dolgner will become an undergraduate assistant coach at Iowa State University next fall and learn about coaching, specifically the offensive line among other things, Dolgner said. With this position, Dolgner will actually travel with the players on all of their road games as well as join them for all of their practices and meetings.

“I’m going to be closely involved with the staff and the team,” Dolgner said. “I’m going to help them chart during team practices and conferences and help in individual practices, specifically the offensive line.”

Of course, in order to get to this position, he had to start somewhere. He started coaching the Lyons Football Club with third graders. Two years ago, he coached eighth graders and with only one win. Then the next season he improved the record of the teams he coached to a seven win team, Dolgner said. Gerald Rigo, a Peer Educator at LT, coached this team with Dolgner and saw his coaching skills firsthand.

“Alex brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm on a daily basis,” Rigo said. “His greatest asset as a coach by far is his love for the game and his willingness to take on new rolls and learn new information.”

While at Iowa State, Dolgner will be coaching under Head Coach Matt Campbell, who has success coaching college football and offensive lines. Campbell coached at the University of Toledo. He then got promoted to the head coaching role in 2011, and had four straight winning seasons with the Rockets and was top three in conference placement every year. Afterwards Campbell got hired at ISU and, despite going 3-9 in his first year, he turned it around and the team went 8-5 this past season, including two wins over top five ranked teams Oklahoma and Texas Christian University.

Dolgner will also work with offensive coordinator Tom Manning. Manning is also the offensive lines coach at ISU and will be working with Dolgner more than Campbell.

“I want to see his [Manning’s] style, his philosophy and how he works with the lineman,” Dolgner said. “He actually signed a six year contract, so I’m excited to be with him my whole college career.”