Head Football Coach
Department: Athletic Department
Office Location: Toller Hall G-24
- B.A., Psychology, University of Utah.
- M.A., Athletic Administration, St. Cloud State.
The 2017 football season will mark Dennis Wagner’s first year as Briar Cliff’s head football coach. Wagner comes to Briar Cliff with experience at all levels of collegiate football, including 20-plus seasons at the NCAA Division I level.
Over the years, Wagner has helped produce numerous all-conference and all-American selections and a dozen of his linemen have been drafted into the National Football League, three of which have become All-Pros. Starting his coaching career in 1980, Wagner has an impressive coaching history that has led him to be a part of 10 NCAA bowl games and the second round of the FCS playoffs in 2014. He was twice named the Omaha World Herald’s Coach of the Year (1990, 1993).
As a coach, Wagner most recently finished up his fifth year at Liberty University, where he served as associate head coach and offensive line coach. Prior to that, he spent four seasons as the head coach at Western Carolina University. Wagner also spent four seasons at the University of Nebraska, serving as the Huskers’ offensive line coach from 2004-2007. From 1997-2003, he served as the assistant head coach and offensive line coach at Fresno State University.
Prior to joining the staff at Fresno State, Wagner spent seven seasons (1989-1995) as the head coach at Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska. There, he turned around the Wildcat program, compiling a 44-37-1 record in seven seasons. In 2005, he was inducted into the Wayne State College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Wagner’s other coaching stops included serving as the offensive coordinator and strength and conditioning coach at St. Cloud State (1985-1988), defensive line coach and assistant strength coach at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (1984), offensive line coach and head track and field coach at William Penn College (1983), tight ends and offensive tackles coach at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (1981-82) and offensive line coach at Luther College (1980).
Wagner and his wife, Cyndi, have two children, Whitney and Joshua.