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MSU-N to interview three more head coach prospects

Andrew Rolin, John Leister, Jeff Podzimek will have on-campus interviews for Lights football job


December 14, 2017


Three new names have emerged for the vacant head football coaching job at Montana State University-Northern. And they’ll be in Havre in the coming days.

Northern Athletic Director Christian Oberquell said Wednesday that Libby assistant football coach Andrew Rolin will interview for the position today, and former CMR standout John Leister will be in Havre to interview for the position Monday. Jeff Podzimek will also interview for the job next Wednesday.

Rolin, who is assisting Libby head coach Neil Fuller, has an extensive coaching background that included stops at the University of Washington, working for then head coach Steve Sarkisian where he was a graduate assistant, coaching running backs and tight ends. He then spent four years at another NCAA Division I program, San Jose State, where he was the wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator.

A native of Southern California, Rolin played quarterback at the University of San Diego from 2005-2008, starting his career at USD with then head coach Jim Harbaugh. At San Diego, Rolin helped the program to three straight Pioneer League championships and a 40-6 records his last three years. He then became a graduate assistant at USD.

Leister meanwhile, also has a storied athletic past, which included high-level success in both football and baseball. Leister was a star quarterback for Jack Johnson and the CMR Rustlers in Great Falls, and while he also starred on the baseball diamond, he went on to play college football for the Michigan State Spartans. In his time in East Lansing, he set several MSU passing records. Leister was also drafted by the New York Mets right out of high school, but opted to attend MSU instead. He pitched for the Spartans’ baseball team as well, as was drafted by the Oakland A’s in 1983.

After graduating from Michigan State, Leister spent one training camp with the Pittsburgh Steelers, before moving on to a career in professional baseball that included five seasons in the minor leagues and two seasons as a relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox.


After his playing days Leister has had extensive coaching experience in both football and baseball. At Alma College, an NCAA Division III school in Michigan, Leister was for a time, the head baseball coach and served for many years as the football team’s offensive coordinator. He helped the Scots to three MIAA championships and his teams set multiple school and conference offensive records. From 2007-2014 Leister also served as Alma’s Athletic Director. Following that position, Leister moved to Chesaning Union High School in Michigan, where he was the varsity baseball coach and offensive coordinator. Currently, Leister is the assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at NAIA Lindenwood-Belleville, Illinois.

Podzimek, a native of South Dakota, has extensive NAIA and area coaching experience. A coach mainly on the defensive end of the ball, Podzimek has had stints at Peru State and Hastings in Nebraska, as well as the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He also worked at Cisco College in Texas, McPherson in Kansas and the University of Mary. He’s currently serving as a defensive and special teams consultant at West Mesquite High School in Mesquite, Texas.

Today’s public forum with Rolin will take place at 4:30 p.m. Leister’s public forum is set for Monday at 4:30 p.m. and Podzimen’s public forum will be held at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. All forums takes place in the Hensler Auditorium.


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