John Michaletti, Assistant Head Coach of the Mount Marty University football program, was promoted to head coach Wednesday as current head coach Mike Woodley announced his retirement, effective Aug. 2.
Woodley, who was hired to get the Lancer football program off the ground, is retiring less than two months from the season and program opener at Crane Youngworth Field Sept. 4.
Interim Athletic Director Andy Bernatow said Woodley told him he couldn’t do it if he wasn’t 100% invested. Woodley cited personal reasons for his retirement according to the University’s press release.
“Mike’s a true professional, and he didn’t want to go into the season with his heart not 100% in it,” Bernatow said. “He’s done an excellent job in regards to setting up a quality coaching staff.”
Woodley and company brought in Michaletti as an assistant head coach, with the expectation that once Woodley retired, Michaletti would become the head coach at Mount Marty.
“When I took this job, it was always talked about that I would be the head coach-in-waiting, whenever that is,” Michaletti said. “It was always kind of talked about, just the timing part of it was left open. He told me it was for personal reasons and I respect that and definitely wish him the best of luck and thank him for everything.”
Michaletti now takes over a program that is about to start its first season, and he is doing so with the team and athletic department’s support.
“I was able to Zoom with the whole team last night to break the news to them,” Michaletti said. “It’s going to be a pretty much seamless transition just because of the way coach Woodley allowed us to share our vision.”
Michaletti joined the Lancer staff in early 2020 after spending time at St. Ambrose and Kansas Wesleyan University. He was named the Kansas Intercollegiate Athletic Conference assistant coach of the year in 2017 and 2019 while leading the Kansas Wesleyan defense.
Michaletti said he learned a lot about being a head coach under Woodley, who built up Grand View’s football program from the ground up prior to coming to Mount Marty.
“He’s kind of been all over and no matter where he’s been, he’s been successful,” Michaletti said. “There was obviously a lot to learn from him. I swear every day I came home to my wife and I was like, I feel like I’m growing so much more learning from him.”
Michaletti will look to bring more energy and excitement from the sidelines as he takes over as head coach.
“I’d say I’m a little bit more energetic,” Michaletti said. “I believe in having a good relationship with the players and being more vocal in finding ways to mesh with the players to get more out of them. Also to let the players know that we trust them, love them and get towards our end goal.”
Michaletti will lead the Lancers into their first game against Dakota Wesleyan Sept 4 at 1 p.m. at Crane Youngworth Field in Yankton.
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