Alex Pfannenstiel

Carroll College's Alex Pfannenstiel works with players during spring football in 2018. Pfannenstiel was promoted to offensive coordinator as the Saints solidified their coaching staff.  

HELENA — Alex Pfannenstiel has always looked up to Carroll College’s offensive coordinators over the years.

He mentioned influences such as Bob Petrino, Paul Petrino and Nick Howlett.

So when Pfannenstiel found out he was getting promoted as Carroll College’s new offensive coordinator, he wasn’t just honored to be in such company, but he wanted to continue being that mentor to younger players.

“I like how I have the opportunity to coach more of our guys,” Pfannenstiel said. “We have so many great players who are not only talented athletes, but great kids. To work with all of them on a personal level is pretty awesome for me.”

Pfannenstiel’s promotion was one of the final steps as Saints coach Troy Purcell solidified his coaching staff for the 2020 season.

“After evaluating their talents and commitment to Carroll football, this was a great opportunity to increase their workload,” Purcell said.

Earlier this offseason, Purcell also hired Wesley Nurse as the team’s new defensive coordinator and Ryan Springer as the head strength coach to replace Patrick Haynes and Alex Kastens, who had each accepted coaching jobs with other programs.

Purcell completed his first season last November as Carroll finished with a 6-4 overall record and fourth in the Frontier Conference.

He served as the team’s offensive coordinator, but said that was never the long term plan.

“Last year, I didn’t feel like I fully understood what the staff could do,” Purcell said. “That first year, you kind of have to micromanage some stuff to get inside what is going on all over. Now, I know what is going to happen and the expectations have been set.”

Purcell doesn’t have any plans to change the offense as many key players will be returning, such as quarterback Devan Bridgewater, running back Matthew Burgess and wide receiver Shane Sipes.

“As an offensive staff, we did a great job. Everybody works together,” Purcell said. “There will be some freedom, but I will still do the majority of the calling on the field.”

Pfannenstiel graduated from Carroll, where he won a pair of National Championships under Mike Van Diest. He coached at Capital High School for two seasons before coaching at Lindenwood University from 2013 to 2015. He returned to Carroll in 2016 as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.

After Van Diest announced his retirement, Pfannenstiel remained on Purcell’s staff.

“We got along pretty well right away, and it turned out to be a match,” Pfannenstiel said. “I wanted to stay at Carroll but I knew it also had to be the right fit.”

As of now, Pfannenstiel will also keep his role as recruiting coordinator, since the duties happen mainly after the season ends.

Bandelow promoted to special teams coordinator

Purcell also announced that he has promoted Randy Bandelow to the Saints’ special teams coordinator.

Bandlow is entering his second year at Carroll. Last season, he coached outside linebackers.

“It’s a special recognition from Coach Purcell but, anytime you are given a bigger role, it’s nothing you take lightly,” Bandelow said. “I’m just grateful and will take full advantage of the opportunity.”

Previously, Bandelow coached three seasons at NCAA Division II University of Mary, as well as time spent at Scottsdale Community College and Raymond S. Kellis High School in Glendale, Arizona.

Start of the season

There have been no delays or changes to the upcoming college football season yet to be announced by the NAIA as a result from the coronavirus pandemic. The Saints will open up their season on Aug. 29 against Montana Western at Nelson Stadium.

Ryan Kuhn covers Carroll College athletics and high school sports for the Independent Record and Follow him on Twitter at @rskuhn

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