A Q&A With MSU Football GA Eric Stuedemann

A Q&A with Mississippi State football graduate assistant coach Eric Stuedemann.

Where were you born and raised?
"I was born and raised in Tinley Park, Illinois. I went to one of the bigger high schools in Tinley Park. Our classes go up to 8A and we were 8A. I was a three-sport athlete, football, basketball and baseball."

Where did you go to college and did you play football in college?
"I went to North Central College which is located in Naperville, Illinois. I played there for four years. We won our first conference championship my senior year. We were the first team in the history of the college to win a conference championship. After my senior year there, I was a graduate assistant for a year."

When did you realize you wanted to coach?
"I knew I wanted to be a coach my senior year in college. I always wanted to be around football but when I really figured out the business behind college football was when I really started liking it. Right after my senior season was done I went to the head coach and told him I wanted to help and be around them. I helped coach tight ends and help break down film. We won another conference championship. This past year we won another conference championship and I was a full-time coach then coaching the defensive backs and I was also the assistant strength and conditioning coach.

"A lot of those same coaches are the ones that (MSU head strength) Coach (Matt) Balis grew up around. That's ultimately how I got in contact with Coach Balis."

That leads me into my next question. Why did you give up a full-time job as an on-the-field assistant coach for a graduate assistant position at Mississippi State?
"This was a step back financially but being a a division-I coach has always been my number one goal. And I hope to be one of the best some day. I have coached at the division-III level but I have always wanted to get to the top."

How did you wind up at Mississippi State?
"One of the coaches at the school knew Coach Balis. And he said Coach Balis needed help and he is a really good guy. He told me if I truly wanted to get to the next level, give him a call and talk to him. We got in contact and I told him a little about myself.

"We continued to have conversations back and forth. It was just a matter of whether he could create a position for me. He called me on a Wednesday night and wanted me to come down Thursday and stay Thursday and Friday. I got off the phone and booked a flight and got down here Thursday afternoon. That was the first time I had met him face to face. I watched the workout Friday, flew back to Chicago that Saturday morning. I felt like it went really well. He said they would be touch with me, and he called me back about two or three days later and said a position was open and asked me if I wanted to be a Bulldog. I said absolutely."

You are working with Coach Balis right now as a graduate assistant strength coach, but you are about to move over to the football office in the Bryan Building aren't you?
"Yes, I will be working with the offense as an off-the-field graduate assistant. I'll help Coach (John) Hevesy with the offensive line by breaking down film and anything else he needs."

What are your short-term and long-term goals?
"My short-term goal is to do exactly what I did when I first got to Mississippi State and that is to learn as much as I can from people who I can trust. Coach Balis is a great guy and I have learn so much from him in a short period of time. I asked questions when I didn't know the answer and did what I was told under any circumstances. And that is what I will bring over here in the football office. Hopefully, whatever path I wind up taking, I will take a big chunk of knowledge that I learned from guys who have won a national championships at the highest level.

"My long-term goal is to be a head football coach at the D-I level."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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