Sauer returns to coach St. Vincent football

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The football coach again will lead the Indians' program after a successful five-year run in the 1990s.

St. Vincent didn't look far for its new football coach.

The Indians hope to recapture some of the magic of past seasons as Paul Sauer was named the football coach.

"I've been looking at different jobs in the area for the last couple of years," Sauer said. "I decided to get back into it. This opportunity just presented itself and the good Lord put me on the path and I'm right back at St. Vincent."

Sauer, 43, coached St. Vincent from 1995 to 1999, compiling a 48-11 record. He led the Indians to the Class 1 state title game in 1998, where they fell to North Platte 30-7. They reached the postseason in four of his five seasons at the helm.

"The man who started before I got there, Mike Thompson, was the coach for two years prior to my arrival," Sauer said. "He was very successful there and we were just able to build on what he had started. It was a pretty good five years there. Success kind of breeds success and we got the ball rolling in the right direction and it just snowballed."

Sauer, who graduated from St. Vincent in 1984, stepped away from teaching after the 1999-2000 school year and worked at the Perry Park Center. But he quickly realized he missed teaching and coaching, although he admitted it was nice at times to enjoy a Friday night in the fall.

"You always miss it," Sauer said of coaching. "There's always that desire to be out there and be the one making the calls. Then there was probably some pretty good times when you got to relax and didn't have all the headaches that go along with it."

He now works as a physical education teacher at St. Vincent elementary school in Perryville.

St. Vincent athletic director Bruce Valleroy said the school approached Sauer after Keith Winkler announced he'd accepted the football coaching position at Perryville High School.

"He was one of the big parts of the way our success has been the last 15 years," Valleroy said of Sauer. "He got it rolling for us. It just worked out well for us. We approached him about it after Keith left to go to Perryville, and he accepted it."

Sauer didn't hesitate when approached.

"I was excited and coach Valleroy said to take a couple of days," Sauer said. "I said that's fine. The next day I said I'm 100 percent ready to do it. There was no hesitation whatsoever."

Sauer knows there are high expectations at St. Vincent, especially since he helped create them. Winkler won the Class 1 state title in 2004, and compiled a 69-33 record during his nine years as football coach. St. Vincent has gone to the postseason nine times since Sauer first became the team's coach in 1995.

"We've got a great group of kids coming up, and it's just going to take a lot of commitment, a lot of hard work and focusing on the fundamentals," Sauer said. "I think we'll be OK."

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