New Head Football Coach Peter Haugen ushered in a new era in Golden Gustie football history by welcoming 120 players into camp to prepare for the 2009 season. The Gusties will have a new look under the direction of Haugen who will change from a spread offense to a two-back set as well as adjusting the approach to special teams. Senior quarterback Jordan Becker will lead an offense that returns seven starters, while senior All-American safety Joe Welch will lead a defense that also returns seven starters.
Since Gustavus does not open its season until Sept. 12 against Coe College at Lloyd Hollingsworth Field, which is one week later than most Division III programs, the Gusties also opened camp one week later than everyone else. The team will have one-a-day practices for most of the first week and then begin two-a-day practices on Friday, August 28.
Coach Haugen will build his squad around 40 letterwinners including 22 on defense, 15 on offense, and 3 on special teams. The returning starters on offense include Becker at quarterback, sophomore Elliott Herdina at wide receiver, junior Cody Sukalski at wide receiver, senior Cam Maurer at wide receiver, center Kevin Geurink, right guard Mike May, and right tackle Chris Martinez. On defense, returning starters include Welch at safety, senior linebacker Tony Palma, junior linebackers Zach Lundquist, Paul Stommes, and Dustin Kammerer, senior defensive back T.J. Ridley, and senior defensive lineman Christian Vanek. The special teams returners include senior punter Matt Knutson, and kickoff returners Greg Lane and Cody Sukalski.