According to Waldorf University, football coach Will Finley has stepped down to pursue other coaching opportunities. In three years at Waldorf, Finley went 20-10 overall.
Will Finley joined the Waldorf coaching staff in the spring of 2019 as the defensive coordinator, an impressive hire for then-head coach Josh Littrell, who was rebuilding the program. After just one season, and Littrell taking a new job in Texas, Finley was named the head coach in the spring of 2020.
Finley was successful over his three years as a head coach. In his first season, Will guided the Warriors to a 6-3 overall record and fell just short in the big games against Valley City State and Dickinson State. A unique season because of the COVID-19 pandemic – Waldorf only played against conference opponents. After opening the season with a wild 50-40 win at Mayville State, Waldorf lost a heartbreaker the following week against Valley City State University 17-16. The Warriors won three straight games before once again falling to Valley City State, 25-21, and followed that up with a loss, 28-13, to eventual conference champion Dickinson State.
Dickinson and Valley were Finley’s weaknesses during his tenure. He lost all eight games against the two conference front runners, with his other two losses coming this past season to NCAA Divison II National Champion Ferris State and Dakota State to end the season.
The departure of Finley means Waldorf began searching for a head coach that can continue the consistency the program has built over the past six seasons. In those years, Waldorf has gone 40-21 and has had no losing seasons. The Warriors went 5-5 in 2018-2019; the rest of the seasons since 2017-2018 have been winning years.
“For the past six seasons, Waldorf Football has been hard at work every day to establish a winning culture and become a nationally relevant program. Through the efforts of many players and coaches, the program is built up now to a level where we can train our own replacements, as Coach Finley has done with Coach Paramore. Everyone in the building gets what being a Warrior is all about, and that will not change”, said director of athletics Chad Gassman.
Offensive coordinator Chase Paramore has been named that next coach.
“I can not thank Coach Will Finley enough for hiring me as his offensive coordinator,” Paramore said. “When I met Coach Finley, I knew there was something special about him. He is a fierce competitor and a great leader. I know he will continue to make an impact on and off the field.”
With signing day just weeks away, Waldorf is currently finishing up their recruiting class. Though letters of intent are non-binding in the NAIA, signing day is still a way to celebrate that year’s class.