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Eric Peterson, Published November 02 2010

Weiler guides two teams to playoffs

Sitting in his office early Monday afternoon, Dan Weiler rattled off his to-do list for the day that started at 8 a.m. and would likely end around midnight.

“My to-do list tends to be very long, but doesn’t have things that each one tends to take a long time,” said Weiler, the head coach for both the Concordia men’s and women’s soccer teams.

Double duty is nothing new for Weiler, who has been head coach for both men’s and women’s soccer teams the past three-plus seasons. This is his ninth year as the women’s head coach and fourth as the men’s. However, this week is slightly different with Weiler, leading both teams to the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference playoffs for the first time in the same fall.

“Getting both teams to the playoffs is a nice problem to have,” Weiler said. “The biggest challenge for us is just logistics at this point. It’s just a matter of getting all the details sorted out.”

The No. 4-seeded men’s team (12-5-1) plays at Macalester at 6 p.m. today in the MIAC semifinals, marking the first time the Cobbers have made the men’s MIAC playoffs, which started in 2003.

The No. 2-seeded women (10-4-3) host St. Thomas at

2 p.m. Wednesday at Jake Christiansen Stadium in the league semifinals. Weiler has led the women’s team to eight consecutive MIAC tournaments.

Weiler will have to miss today’s women’s practice as the men’s team bused to the Twin Cities on Monday night to prepare for today’s game against Macalester. Weiler said he has only had to miss a few total practices this fall between the men’s and women’s teams. He only missed one game this season due to scheduling conflicts.

“Dan is very organized,” Cobbers women’s assistant coach Betsy Olesen said. “He is always thinking ahead about something.”

Weiler’s Monday played out something like this:

In the morning, he compiled his NCAA regional rankings, watched film, met with two players and finalized travel plans.

In the early afternoon, he had a committee call with the NCAA to finalize the weekly regional rankings. From there he put together a rooming list for the men’s team to send to the hotel and followed that with completing practice plans for both teams. Weiler was on the practice field from around 4-7 p.m.

At around 7:45 p.m., he boarded the bus with the men’s team for roughly a three-hour trip to the Twin Cities. Once at the hotel, more film study and last-minute game planning were on the agenda.

“It extends the amount of time I work, but we love what we do so it doesn’t seem like work to me,” said Weiler, who doesn’t teach classes during the soccer season, but does the rest of the school year.

For Weiler, making sure he connects daily with all players on both rosters is tough to manage.

“The biggest challenge for me is I have twice as many players,” he said. “So for me to really connect, especially on a daily basis, is next to impossible.”

Weiler credits his staff for helping make both programs run smoothly.

Olesen and Megan Rice are his women’s assistants and Matt Stucke and Matt Klein both help with the men’s team. Joe Larson is the goalkeeper coach for both teams.

“That’s why it’s crucial that my assistant coaches are good quality coaches, and they are,” Weiler said.

“There is just really good communication from him down to the assistants,” Olesen added.

Both Concordia’s men’s and women’s teams are poised to earn NCAA berths with strong MIAC tournament showings.

If that happens, Weiler is hopeful the schedule would allow him to be able to coach both teams. He wouldn’t want to have to decide on coaching one team or the other if the games were played at times that conflict.

“It would be an impossible decision,” Weiler said. “I will do everything I can to prevent that. We will just have to see how it stacks up. … We haven’t really thought about it. It’s nice to think about because we are actually there now, but we don’t know how all those things are going to look.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blogs can be found

at www.areavoices.com