Mike Rader to Fill Nowak’s Shoes as Head Coach; Players Laud Choice

Madison Polack, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

NDA’s very own Coach Mike Rader, father of freshman Molly Rader, junior Matthew Rader and senior Michael Rader, recently accepted the position as head football coach. Rader becomes the second football coach in school history.

Rader worked on the sidelines with Coach John Nowak, who retired as head coach, for 19 seasons. He was the offensive coach for many years. Rader said, “I not only worked with him, but I had him as a coach for two years too. It was a 19-year learning process for the both of us. I learned different sides of him that were very cool. I grew from a former player to a co-worker.”

Rader mentioned that there will not be any significant changes. He stated, “It is hard to make changes when the program has been so successful for such a long time.”

However, there will be some changes with the personnel and the coaching staff. He has a couple of those people identified on his staff, but he is still working on putting it all together. Also, he said that most of the changes come from the kids on the field and that the kids dictate some of the choices made during the season.

Coach Rader said, “I am looking forward to just getting back out on the field. I am in the planning process for our summer activities which is all tedious work. I just want to get on the field.”

Rader had the opportunity to play college football at UW-Madison as a center.

“I had a phenomenal experience,” he said. “It was awesome. I was part of Barry Alvarez’s third recruiting class. So, I was there at a very cool time in Wisconsin football history because we were a part of the upswing of the program from many years of not-so-good performance. To be able to go to the Rose Bowl in 1994 was just such a great experience. Although I was not a very good college football player, I am really fortunate I had the opportunity.”

Many of the players are looking forward to having Rader as their head coach.

Junior Andrew Grusen said, “While having an insane amount of football knowledge, Coach always develops a great relationship with his players that lasts on and off the field. I am really excited to be playing for him this year.”

Junior Max Pallini also complimented the selection, saying, “Mr. Rader is the most intelligent football coach I have ever had. He can look at a play and tell you what you did wrong, which truly helps me improve as a player.”

“I am really excited for this upcoming season with Coach Rader,” said junior Jack Allen. “He is a great guy and a great coach. He knows the system well, so it will be a really easy transition. Coach Rader helps us become better athletes, as well as better people. Everyone respects him and loves playing for him. I cannot wait.”