March 15, 2007
St. Ambrose University football coach Todd Sturdy has decided to leave his post to take the offensive coordinator position at Eastern Washington University, EWU head coach Paul Wulff announced Tuesday (March 13).
Sturdy was 85-40 in 12 seasons as head coach for SAU, which is located in Davenport, Iowa. Sturdy, 39, was selected as NAIA Region 2 Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association after coaching the Fighting Bees to a perfect 10-0 regular season finish. The team's season came to an end with a 38-31 double-overtime loss to Morningside in the first round of the NAIA Championship Series.
Wulff has known Sturdy for seven years, dating back to when Timm Rosenbach joined the EWU coaching staff after a stint at St. Ambrose. Rosenbach is now the quarterbacks coach at Washington State University. Jody Sears also worked for Sturdy at St. Ambrose.
"He has a proven track record as an assistant and has accomplished even more as a head coach," said Eastern head coach Paul Wulff. "I first met him seven years ago and it's a great fit. He's going to bring great leadership, passion and work ethic to our program. He's an excellent worker"
Besides serving as offensive coordinator, Wulff said Sturdy will also coach quarterbacks, assist with special teams and serve as the team's academic liaison. He replaces Beau Baldwin, who left Eastern to become head coach at Central Washington University.
Sturdy was named the Mid-States Football Association Midwest Division Coach of the Year in 2006 and is the school's winningest coach. His teams won five Mid-States Football Association-Midwest League championships in the past seven seasons. The 2006 season marked his sixth playoff appearance as a coach.
During the last six seasons, Sturdy led the Fighting Bees to a 58-20 record overall and a 42-8 record in conference play in the last seven years.
Sturdy has accomplished some tremendous achievements in the coaching ranks while at St. Ambrose. Sturdy spent six seasons as an AFCA National Rater for NAIA football. In 1996, his first full season as head coach, Sturdy led the Fighting Bees to a 9-1 season, with their only loss coming from the eventual National Champion, Findlay University, in a close 41-31 game.
As a head coach, Sturdy has had the opportunity to coach 64 first team All-Conference players and 28 All-Americans. His players have broken virtually every offensive school record.
Sturdy's most memorable coaching experience came during the 1993 season, as the Fighting Bees knocked off Western Illinois University in a thrilling 27-25 victory. Sturdy called the victory, "maybe the biggest win in school history, a huge win for St. Ambrose."
Sturdy began his coaching career after his freshman year of college, as he took over the Tipton High School sophomore baseball team in summer 1987. He continued to coach Tipton baseball for the next four seasons as the head sophomore coach and assistant varsity coach.
Sturdy began coaching football in fall 1990 as a graduate assistant for St. Ambrose University while student teaching at Assumption High School. Sturdy coached under Ray Jauch as the defensive backs coach, along with being the assistant baseball coach. In spring 1991, Sturdy was named the director of facilities at St. Ambrose University. He then coached the secondary and special teams under Mike Woodley in 1992 and 1993. Sturdy was then named defensive coordinator in 1994, where he turned the defense into the tenth ranked unit in the nation.
While serving as the defensive coordinator in 1995 under Chuck Schrader, Sturdy was asked to fill in as head coach for the remaining seven games of the season. In December 1995, Sturdy was named head coach of the St. Ambrose University football team.
As a player, Sturdy was a quarterback for St. Ambrose University from 1987-1990, while he earned a bachelor's degree in history education. His most memorable moment during that time was in 1987, when he scored a touchdown in a 14-7 national playoff victory, the first playoff victory in school history. Sturdy received the 1988 L.G. Friedrichs Outstanding Player Award after being named the team's MVP. In 1989, as a team captain, Sturdy received the Moon Mullins Coach's Appreciation Award.
Sturdy came to St. Ambrose via Tipton High School, where he played four sports and accumulated 14 varsity letters. Sturdy earned three in football, two in basketball, four in track, and five in baseball, including one as an eighth grader. Sturdy's greatest accomplishment as an athlete spanned three years, as his Tipton High School track team won three consecutive state championships. As a high school senior, Sturdy led the football team to its first ever playoff appearance. He was also named All-State as a quarterback and started at quarterback for the South team in the 1986 Shrine Bowl.
Sturdy's wife, Gina, is a school teacher They have a 6-year-old son, Keegan Joseph, and a 3-year-old son, Carson.