Stoughton is in the market for a varsity head football coach after Dan Prahl resigned late last week.
Prahl stepped down as the Vikings coach on the morning of Friday, June 5. The Oregon native and 2007 OHS grad accepted a job as a high school mathematics teacher and offensive assistant coach at St. Cloud High School in Florida.
“It’s bittersweet because I wasn’t really looking to leave, but the opportunity to teach high school math is big,” Prahl said. “I really feel terrible for the incoming seniors because of all the hard work they’ve put in for me. But at the end of the day, I’ve got to do what’s best for me and my family. We’re excited to give this a shot. It might be one year, two years, three years or 30 years.”
Prahl, 32, was also offered an opportunity to be a math teacher and defensive coordinator at Lincoln High School in Tallahassee, but had already committed to St. Cloud. He taught seventh grade math at River Bluff Middle School in Stoughton.
Prahl served as Stoughton’s freshman defensive coordinator for the 2014 season and was promoted to varsity defensive coordinator the following December. He was named the Vikings varsity head coach on June 1, 2015.
He took over for Jason Thiry – who went on to become the Dean of Students, varsity football coach and varsity wrestling coach at Prairie du Chien High School and is now the athletic director at Onalaska High School.
Stoughton had only made the postseason twice before 2016, but made four straight playoff appearances to close Prahl’s five-year tenure as head coach. He finished 31-20 overall and led the Vikings to their first two playoff wins in program history (2017 vs. Oregon in Division 2 and 2019 vs. Sauk Prairie in Division 3).
“Dan was an incredible coach for the kids in the program,” Stoughton athletic director Mel Dow said. “He connected well with the kids and understands the game of football really well.”
The 2019 Badger South Coach of the Year led Stoughton to an 8-3 record and its first conference championship since 1975 – clinching a share of the title with Milton.
“I’m most proud of the relationships I built with the young men coming through the program and the coaches,” Prahl said. “We had some great memories on the field, but those relationships are what I’ll remember.”
St. Cloud is located in central Florida, about 26 miles south of Orlando. The high school had an enrollment of 2,476 last year.
Stoughton posted the varsity head coach opening last Wednesday and took applications for seven days. Dow said the school’s plan was to gather a pool of candidates and begin video conference interviews with the top candidates.
“We’ve already received some phone calls about the position, so I feel optimistic that we’ll find a great replacement,” Dow said. “We’ll take a look at every candidate. We have some people on staff that have great capabilities and would bring great things to our program, but we’d be doing a disservice to the program, kids and community if we didn’t look at every option.”
Wisconsin high school football teams can begin practice Aug. 4, barring any delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.