Dale Hertel joined the Cobber staff in 1997 after an outstanding run as a high school coach. He has used his knowledge of the game to mold a tremendous amount of talent over the past several seasons.
Hertel was the guiding factor behind two-time MIAC MVP Brian Schumacher ’06 and has had numerous players earn all-conference honors while under his guidance.
Hertel was a dominant force for the Cobbers when he played quarterback for Jim Christopherson during the late 60’s. He was named the MIAC MVP in 1970 after passing for almost 900 yards and running for 350 yards. He has 26 years of experience as a head high school football coach. His Fargo South High teams won eight North Dakota Class A State Championships.
Hertel has three children, Angie, Jeff and Jason. He and his wife Sandy, who has two children – Jessica and Chelsea, live in Fargo.
Dan Kostich joined the Cobber football staff in 1996 after a long and successful career as the head coach at Moorhead High School.
Since coming to Concordia, he has been responsible for assembling the front unit for one of the best running games in the country. In 2004 and 2005 the Cobbers were among the national leaders in rushing and Kostich’s offensive line charges led the way. He has helped nine offensive linemen attain MIAC All-Conference status and produced the MIAC Most Outstanding Lineman in 2004.
Before his outstanding stint at Concordia, Kostich coached the Spuds to a state championship in 1987.
He graduated from Martin Hughes High School in 1969, earned his B.S. from MSUM in 1973 and received his master’s degree in physical education from MSUM in 1976.
Kostich is a teacher in the Moorhead school system. He and his wife Linda live In Moorhead. They have two sons – Shawn, who is on the football staff at the University of North Dakota, and Blake who recently played for the Cobbers.
Kyle Bakken is in his eighth season as a member of the Cobber football staff and fourth year as a full-time member of the Concordia Athletic Department. Kyle is entering his eighth season as an assistant coach for the Cobbers but his fifth as defensive coordinator.
Under Bakken's tutleage the Cobbers have improved in most defensive categories and have been at the top of the MIAC in several defensive statistical categories.
In 2015 the Cobber defense was in the top 2 of the MIAC in fewest points allowed per game and fewest rushing yards per game allowed. Concordia was also in the top 35 of the nation in both statistical categories.
In 2014 the Cobber "Black Shirt" defense was ranked in the top 3 of the conference in 11 different statistical categories. Concordia led the MIAC in defensive conversion on first and fourth downs. CC was second in the league in total defense, scoring defense and rushing defense as well as "red zone defense, turnovers gained and interceptions.
In 2012 his defense was second in the MIAC in points allowed per game, total yards allowed per game and rushing yards per game. In 2013 he was part of the coaching team that helped defensive end Nate Adams earn the Mike Stam Award for the league's most outstanding lineman. During first two years as defensive coordinator he has mentored 18 MIAC All-Conference honorees.
Bakken was the head football coach at Fargo’s Oak Grove High School from 2003 to 2007. During that time he amassed a 41-12 overall record and won the North Dakota State Championship in 2007. He helped the Grovers to five consecutive appearances in the North Dakota State High School League playoffs. In 2006 he was selected as one of the assistant coaches for the annual Shrine Bowl game.
Bakken received his bachelor’s degree from Minot State University in 1992.He earned his master’s degree from the University of Mary in 1998. Bakken played his college football for Minot State after starring for Oak Grove as a wide receiver and cornerback during high school.
He lives in Fargo with his wife, Jeanne, and son, Jonah.
Dave Klug has been a fixture for the Cobber football team for almost 30 years. Klug played for the Cobbers in the late 1970's and is one of the greatest CC football players of all time. Klug earned All-American honors in 1979 and was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fourth round of the NFL draft in 1980. He went on to play for the Chiefs from 1981 to 1984.
Klug was inducted into the Concordia Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009.
Originally from Litchfield, Minn., Klug joined the Cobber staff in 1988. He has been one of the leaders of the Cobber defense that excels year after year. He was the co-defensive coordinator from 2001 to 2005 and was crucial in helping the Cobbers develop one of the best defensive schemes in the conference.
Klug is currently the outside linebackers coach and JV Defensive Coordinator and will continue to help Concordia student-athletes develop into tremendous players. He also serves as assistant baseball coach and Athletic Facilities Director.
Klug lives in Fargo with his wife, Kathy, their daughter, Lindsey, and their son, Jason.
John Marsh is now in his eighth year of coaching with the Cobber football staff. He brings a wealth of football experience to his position as wide receivers coach.
He is currently entering his 38th season of coaching. He has served as an assistant coach at Fargo South High School since 1978. During that span he has been involved with the football and track programs and was the defensive coordinator for the Bruins from 1990 to 2006.
Marsh recently retired from his position as a teacher at Fargo South High School.
He earned his undergraduate degree from MSU Moorhead and then went on to get his master’s degree in business and marketing from MSU Moorhead in 1976.
He is a long-time resident of Fargo where he lives with his wife, Barb. They have three sons, Chad, Ryan and Jason.
Co-Offensive Coordinator / Co-Recruiting Coordinator / Fullbacks
Aaron Willits was hired as a full-time staff member in 2011 and has grown in his role as one of the key members on the Cobber staff. In addition to his roles as recruiting coordinator and fullbacks coach, Aaron was named the Co-Offensive Coordinator in the summer of 2014. The added job description came on the heels of helping the Cobber fullbacks having banner seasons in 2012 and 2013. The 2012 campaign saw one of Willit's tutelages, Brett Baune, earn MIAC MVP honors.
His high-energy enthusiasm helped the Cobbers produce outstanding numbers in recruiting as well as on the field. In addition to his two positions within the program, Willits also acts as the football equipment manager, taking over for Bucky Burgau who resigned the position in the spring of 2013 after spending more than 30 years in the position.
Willits came to Concordia after serving as an assistant coach at a high school in Illinois. Before that he was an assistant coach at Knox College in Illinois for two years. Willits starred for Knox during his college career. He earned All-Midwest Conference honors in his senior year when he rushed for 648 in only eight games. He was voted the team’s Most Valuable Offensive Player in 2007. For his college career he rushed for over 1,600 yards and carried the ball 345 times.
Aaron lives in West Fargo with his wife Marissa.
Slotsbacks / Tech Coordinator / JV Off. Coordinator
Terry is entering his fifth season on the Cobber football staff. He cames to Concordia after spending 10 years as an Assistant Coach at Litchfield High School.
Luschen brings a wide life experience to his position as Technical Coordinator and JV Offensive Coordinator. He started his football journey by playing for Central College in the mid 1990's. After graduating in 1995, he spent two years volunteering in the Peace Corps in Cameroon and then returned to Minnesota to work for Minnesota Life .
Luschen, and his wife Tifani, then went to Jamaica to volunteer at a local grade school. He came back to Minnesota in 2001 and started his coaching duties at Litchfield HS.
Luschen now works for Sundog and lives in Fargo with Tifani, daughter Azahna and son Ayden.
Defensive Backs / Co-Special Teams / Co-Recruiting Coordinator
Brian Mistro is in his fourth season as a member of the Cobber football staff and carries on the trend of young enthusiastic coaches. He was hired in the summer of 2012 as the team’s defensive backs coach.
In the summer of 2014 he added the titles of Co-Special Teams Coordinator and Co-Recruiting Coordinator to his job title. The added responsibility is a testament to all the hard work and positive influence that Brian has made on the program.
Mistro came to the Cobbers after serving two seasons as the coach of the safeties at Northern State University.
Mistro graduated from Jamestown College in 2009 and was a standout safety for the Jimmies. He earned All-Conference Honorable Mention honors in his senior season. He finished his career with over 50 total tackles and three career interceptions. He is originally from Gilbert, Ariz., where he was named to the All-Conference Team as a safety in his senior season.
Mistro earned his master’s degree from Northern State in 2012.
Eric Issendorf is the newest member of the Cobber football staff. He joined the program in the spring of 2015.
Before signing on at Concordia, Issendorf spent 10 seasons with the Fargo South HS program. He was the defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach from 2010-14. He started out as the defensive line and assistant offensive line coach in 2005.
During his 10 years as assistant coach at Fargo South, the Bruins won the North Dakota State Championship four times and were the runner-up on three occasions. While he served as the team's defensive coordinator, the Bruins won two state titles, played in the state semifinals on two occasions and he mentored seven defensive players who earned North Dakota All-State honors.
Issendorf, who is a native of Hawley, graduated from North Dakota State University in 2001 and earned his master's degree in Leadership in Physical Education and Sport from NDSU in 2013.
Eric, and his wife Trisha, live in Fargo with their sons Isaiah and Gabriel.
Jake Lehman is in his first year as part of the Cobber football program. He is the next coach to fill the shoes of young, up-and-coming defensive assistants. He also carries on the tradition of former Fargo South High School coaches stepping into the Cobber program.
Jake was the defensive backs coach for the Bruins for the past two seasons.
Jake played collegiately at MSU Moorhead in the fall of 2011.