Missouri Valley Vikings/Roe returning home to win
Monty Roe is ready for a homecoming Saturday, with the worst of intentions.
The Missouri Valley College defensive coordinator grew up in Brandon, S.D., a mere eight miles from Sioux Falls - where the fifth-ranked Vikings will face Roe's former team in the semifinals of the NAIA Championship Series.
Roe began his professional career as a restricted earnings coach on the staff of Bob Young, who retired in 2004 after a 22-year tenure, and was a teammate of current Cougars field boss Kalen DeBoers.
"I know a lot of those guys," Roe said. "When I go back I stop in, hang out and talk football."
Roe graduated from South Dakota State after playing linebacker there for three years, but spent the fall semester of his senior season playing football at Sioux Falls.
Since he "didn't want to sit a year" by transferring to another school in the same conference and it was close to home, Roe had the distinction of playing on the last Cougar team with a losing record. It was the year after he coached there that Sioux Falls won its only NAIA title, in 1996. "I'm not good luck," he quipped.
He hopes that the Roe Curse, which has been a boon for the 13-0 Vikings -- with the nation's top-ranked run defense -- continues to plague No. 2 Sioux Falls (12-0). With his parents and friends from home in the stands, "there's some deep down pride" in Valley's achievements.
"I always wanted a shot at them with some athletes who could match up with them," Roe admitted. "Now I feel pretty good."