Wade Gilbertson

Wade Gilbertson served as defensive coordinator prior to being named head football coach.

Wade Gilbertson is the new head football coach for the Wahpeton Huskies. Although he’s looking to make a few changes in his first season, the priority is continuing the program’s tradition.

“I was not expecting it, but I was excited though,” Gilbertson said. “I’m excited to remain and be a part of the Huskie football family and I’m excited to get to work on continuing the traditions that have been laid by the head coaches of our past.”

Gilbertson served as defensive coordinator on Brian Dokken’s staff for multiple seasons, but he also has experience coaching the offensive side of the ball.

“I thank Coach Dokken for allowing me to step into that role and I think I gained some valuable experience,” Gilbertson said. “I helped out on the offensive side of the football in my early years of my career and helped on the defensive side a little later in my career. I think both roles I played coming up through the system will give me some valuable experience in running the program.”

Along with overseeing the defense, Gilbertson would help put together offensive gameplans. He’s also been a play caller at the JV level.

Gilbertson hasn’t decided on his offensive and defensive coordinators yet.

“I’m going to try to get ahead of this thing and hopefully by the end of next week we’re going to have things all ironed out and ready to go,” Gilbertson said. “I do have a short list of names. I will 100 percent be as loyal as I can be to the people that have been on staff. The people who have paid their dues in Wahpeton Huskies football.”

It’s not Gilbertson’s first rodeo as a head coach after multiple seasons at the helm of the Wahpeton baseball team. His experience as a first-year head coach in that sport gives him an idea of how to help the athletes adapt to a new philosophy.

“I know that change can be hard, but we’re going to embrace it,” Gilbertson said. “We’re going to embrace culture change, install some new things, keep some old things, but really the whole idea and philosophy is we just want to embrace the grind of football.”

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