Skip Eckhardt hired as new grid coach
Wed, 02/14/2018 - 11:08am admin
CRESCO - A new but familiar face will be roaming the sidelines this fall during Cadet football games.
Skip Eckhardt, a 1977 Crestwood graduate, was recently hired as the new Crestwood Head Football Coach for the 2018 season at the Feb. 12 Howard-Winneshiek School Board meeting.
Eckhardt played football for Crestwood in the mid-1970s, and he helped the Cadets win the Northeast Iowa Conference title during the 1976 season. After playing football at the University of Northern Iowa from 1977 to 1980, he began coaching high school football.
While coaching at Schleswig High School, he won the State title in 1984 and led the team to the playoffs in 1986. In 1988, he coached North Tama to its first playoff appearance in school history.
From 1993 to 1995, Eckhardt was the head coach for Crestwood. In 1993, he helped the Cadets snap a 34-game losing streak and finished at 2-7. In 1994, the Cadets posted a 5-4 mark. In 1995, the Cadets won the district title, earned their first playoff berth and tallied a stellar 8-2 record. Eckhardt left Crestwood in 1996 to coach at Davenport Central.
In recent years, Eckhardt coached at AGWSR from 2011 to 2015. He led AGWSR to the playoffs in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, he returned to Crestwood to serve as an assistant football coach. During the 2016 season, the Cadets posted a 7-3 mark, won the district title for the first time since 1995 and qualified for the playoffs. During the 2017 season, Eckhardt was an assistant coach at Cedar Falls High School.
Crestwood Athletic Director Greg Hiemstra said he was impressed with Eckhardt when he met him.
“I put a committee together to hire the coach,” Hiemstra said. “We had some players’ input, some parents’ input and my administrative input. We had a number of candidates that applied, and from that group, we decided who the top candidates would be.
“I was impressed with Skip’s history with Crestwood, and his past (coaching) success at Crestwood. He ended that long losing streak and turned things around in three years.
“During the interview process, we could tell he is very passionate and that he can advance the program to the next level. He will expect a lot from the kids, and he will expect to win. All these factors led us to believe he is the right guy for the job,” Hiemstra said.
Hiemstra added he was impressed with Eckhardt’s success not just at Crestwood, but at all the schools where he has coached.
“When I talked to Skip, I was impressed with his knowledge of the game,” Hiemstra said. “He has seen a lot in terms of the transformation of football over the years. He has a strong belief in Crestwood, the kids and what he can do for the program. His passion for football helped lead us to the decision to hire him. It wasn’t an easy decision because we had a lot of good candidates,” Hiemstra said.
Hiemstra noted that in the upcoming months, the assistant football coaches for the Cadet varsity squad will be hired.