Chad Stadem has stepped down as head football coach at Washington High School to accept the activities director position at the new Jefferson High School in Sioux Falls.
Stadem, who accepted the job Monday morning, will officially take over on July 1, pending approval from the Sioux Falls School Board.
“I needed the change. I needed the challenge,” Stadem said. “I’m at that point where I need to do more things. I need to coach coaches, to tell them what I’ve learned and the experiences I’ve had, then share that with them and help them nurture to be the best that they can be, too.”
Stadem said he planned to coach until he retired, but when the opportunity was presented to him to take over as AD at a brand new school, he couldn’t pass it up.
“It’s mixed (emotions), because I dearly love being a Washington Warrior,” he said. “I love my players, all my coaches — it’s just a great place…but at the same point, working with (former Washington principal, new Jefferson principal) Dan Conrad, who I highly respect, then being able to build a new culture is just going to be awesome.”
Stadem went 125-53 over his 17 years of coaching with five titles. He won Class 11B championships at both Howard (2004) and Flandreau (2010), before being tabbed to replace Brian Hermanson at Washington prior to the 2013 season.
Though his predecessor set a lofty standard going 47-3 with three Class 11AA titles in his final four seasons, Stadem established his own dynasty, becoming the first coach to win three consecutive Class 11AAA football titles from 2015-17.
The Warriors have produced multiple Power 5 recruits under Stadem’s watch, including Nebraska offensive linemen Matt and Will Farniok, as well as Iowa linebacker Seth Benson. Junior linebacker Randolph Kpai committed to the Huskers earlier this year.
As for his current players, Stadem informed them via a Zoom conference Monday afternoon.
“I’m always up-front with my football players about life and making decisions,” he said. “Sometimes you have to make decisions because it’s the best decision for you and your family… I told the guys, I have to bring what we do, why we are successful, over to a new school, to influence more kids.”
For his part, Stadem expressed excitement over the opportunity to help build a new high school from the ground up, noting the last time it happened in Sioux Falls was at Roosevelt 30 years ago. “We’re on new ground,” he said.
“It goes back to building a championship culture,” Stadem later added. “That’s not necessarily winning championships, but building a better part of what we do to help kids go on and be the best they can possibly be.”
Follow Brian Haenchen on Twitter at @Brian_Haenchen.