Varsity football coach Gerry Romberg leads team both on and off the field

As Westminster football has kicked off their season with a 2-2 record, the games played under the Friday night lights is all we see. What we do not see is all the behind the scenes work that the players put in everyday to get ready for game day.

These players are led by head coach Gerry Romberg, who has been at Westminster teaching and mentoring the team for 27 years.

“I don’t think people realize how hard it is to be a head football coach for 27 years. He is here all summer and manages the weight room during the summer, which leaves him no vacation time outside of the game of football,” said offensive coordinator Jim Collis.

Romberg is just one win shy of his 200th career win, and is the winningest Westminster coach in history.

“What the 200th win really means to me is that I have had the opportunity to coach at a great school, and coach lots of great players,” he said. “Hopefully it means that I have established a successful program in not only wins and losses, but also building men of character who will become successful adults.”

While obviously a very talented and gifted coach, Romberg looks to improve and work on other aspects of the players’ lives, not just their football skills. Wins and losses aren’t the most important thing in his book, but rather that the players are good people off the field as well.

“Coach Romberg genuinely cares about the guys on the team,” said senior Charlie Edmiston. “He’s always checking in on us outside of football.”

Romberg’s tenure at Westminster was not always as successful and easy as we may all think it was, as when he first arrived in 1991, they had recently gone through three different coaches. He was hired in the spring of that year; which meant that he didn’t have lots of time to get to know the players and have spring practice before the season began.

“When I first got here, the first thing I had to do was change the overall culture of the team,” he said. “I had to work tremendously hard to develop a culture of not only winning, but doing things the right way, paying attention to the little details of football, and a family atmosphere.”

Having been here for 27 years, Romberg has had many different memories and accomplishments that have stuck with him for so long. His first career win as a coach after starting the season 0-8, making the playoffs in his third year, along with winning a state championship in 2015 are just a few of his many favorite memories as a coach. This progression from being a below average team, to consistently making the playoffs, to winning a state championships demonstrates how Romberg turned the football program around, and made it into the dominant force we know it as today.

“My goal every year is to make the state playoffs, and the wins and losses aren’t as important to me as making the playoffs. Consistency and meeting that bar of the playoffs every year is what really matters to me,” he said.

Making the playoffs is always the first and most important step, because once you get into the playoffs, anything can happen. When Westminster won the state championship in 2015, they only made the playoffs by winning their last game, and had to win four games on the road in order to reach the championship. That not only goes to show how making the playoffs is the most important thing, but also the persistence and determination of Romberg as a coach.

Romberg preaches that everyone should be invested in the team as a whole, and not just their own personal accolades and stats. He also tells the players that no matter how big or small their role is, that they need to work hard to perfect it. It doesn’t matter if someone is a star player or a backup. Each player needs to hone and polish their own talents in order for the entire team to be successful.

Romberg’s success on the field is also due to his work ethic and passion for the game. The work and effort that he puts into the team each and every day is the main reason why he is such a successful coach.

“His success comes from his motivation to make the team compete and play hard,” said junior running back Will Hallmark.

His preparation for each game is the key to winning, and pushes the players to play to the best of their abilities. The mindset he has of never being outworked by his opponents drives the team to win games. Romberg knows that if they lose, they know it wasn’t because they weren’t prepared, but because the team they played was bigger, faster, and stronger.

“He has a passion for the game and invests more time in the program than any other coach in the state,” said Edmiston.

Romberg’s high expectations for the players push them to be great every season. He has also learned how to coach different players in order to get the best out of them.

“One of the things I say is treat them all the same different. What I mean by that is to know how to coach different kids. Some kids I may be able to get on in order to bring the best out of him. Some other kids I may not be able to get on as much as it may affect them negatively, and not allow them to reach their full potential,” he said.

What sets Romberg apart from others is his defensive coaching. When he first started the program, his philosophy was to create a good defensive team as that is one constant that you will always have.

“His defensive schemes and ability to make adjustments is what has allowed him to be so successful,” said Collis.

As we watch the team perform and play on Friday nights, we know that during the week,

Romberg has prepared and has readied the team to win.