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Updated: Mason City football coach Penner quits


This news story was published on July 2, 2014.
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Former Mohawk football coach Justin Penner

Former Mohawk football coach Justin Penner

MASON CITY – Sources are confirming now that Mason City High School football coach Justin Penner has resigned and taken a job in Western Dubuque.

It has been a rocky stay here in Mason City for Penner with few wins, but the consensus was that Penner was turning the team around with hard work and attention to doing things the “right way”.  Just last week, he took the team to a Notre Dame football camp.

Coach Penner, when reached for comment this afternoon by phone, confirmed the move and his resignation.  He said it is a homecoming of sorts, as he had spent some time in the Dubuque area coaching, previously.  There was a little dejection in his voice, as he said he wanted to see his Mohawk players grow and mature, and he said he did enjoy his time coaching in Mason City.

Mason City Schools Superintendent Anita Micich offered the following comment: “We are sorry to see Coach Penner leave the Mason City School District.  We are grateful for his work as a Teacher and Head Football Coach  as this has established a positive path for our students both in the classroom and on the field. We wish him and his family well in this new chapter in their lives.   Mason City will begin a search process immediately to fill this position.”

Players had a sense of confusion as they are hearing about their coach leaving, and another said the team will try to “keep its head up.”

Late Tuesday, an email went out to Mason City football players and their parents.

“Where do we go from here? Come to an important meeting and find out what is next!” The email said.

A meeting was called for Thursday, July 3 for coaches, players and parents.

“WE WILL PERSEVERE!! WE ARE MOHAWKS!!” the email concluded.

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37 Responses to Updated: Mason City football coach Penner quits

  1. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 6, 2018 at 9:44 am

    Mohawks only got worse after he left. Will they even win a game in 2019.

    • NIT Publisher

      NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      December 7, 2018 at 9:35 am

      The better question is, will they have 22 or more players to even field a team? Shiny new goal posts only go so far in luring unsuspected youngsters into the trap. Wouldn’t surprise me if in the future, the MC football team closes up shop. The sport is dangerous, kids in MC don’t seem to want to play or compete in that game (they do excel in other sports like cheerleading/dance). Then the boosters will have to buy shiny new soccer goals instead.

  2. 2old2fat Reply Report comment

    July 3, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    He should replace “Michic”.

  3. What ? Reply Report comment

    July 3, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    This just in Charlie Brown hired as new Mason City Football coach.

  4. sad but true Reply Report comment

    July 2, 2014 at 11:26 am

    missed, most people could care less about how may “A” are in front of a districts name.
    Do you think 1A & 2A & 3A have poorer teachers? You think smaller schools dont have quality coaches and athletic programs? Do you think smaller schools dont have less problems with gangs, bad kids, bad parents?
    Do you think smaller schools are not better run? MCHS over 30 million in debt!
    There is a reason many people have open enrolled elsewhere. Many are trapped where they are, others…

  5. What you missed Reply Report comment

    July 2, 2014 at 11:11 am

    No raises should have been given this year, a freeze then next year the levy would have been in effect and no one would have had to lose their job this year, however now we have a community that is so negative about everything, filled with mis trust, and our kids are the ones suffering… losing great teachers, coaches and mentors. Most people run to be part of a 4a district, instead people run from our 4a district.

  6. 2old2fat Reply Report comment

    July 2, 2014 at 7:10 am

    Mason City just doesn’t have the athletes anymore. You look at the big guys that aren’t out for football there are many. Kids are lazy these days. Most would rather be playing frisbee golf rather than sweating their asses off for football. Kids don’t want to be part of MC football cause their parents got screwed over when they went out and there was a lot of favorites that got to play. Good luck finding a coach. Krieger would be good.

  7. Really Reply Report comment

    July 2, 2014 at 6:49 am

    High School sports teach students teamwork, internal strength, commitment,humility and perseverance. All traits that are highly sought after by employers. Wins and LOSES contribute to better young adults. As for a new coach, that will be a tough road. Any quality coach is not coming to a school district who doesn’t support their athletics. Call Todd Krieger and see if he will coach our football team. Experience and a winning record while at MC!!!! Great man and respected by the kids.

  8. Iowa Sucks Reply Report comment

    July 1, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    Next we’ll hear about how the school system can’t hire a new coach because the people didn’t vote for a school referendum. Maybe the city can threaten to sell East Park because they need to raise money.

    Those darn voters just aren’t paying enough! LOL

  9. sad but true Reply Report comment

    July 1, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Lets be real, John Lee could coach, Penner can coach, Mason City is going through a run of not so good athlets, it happens.
    Penner touched on a bigger problem, Micich wanted to make some cuts? ITS HER JOB!!! IT IS A SHRINKING SCHOOL SYSTEM. ITS several MILLION in debt. What happened? NOTHING, everybody got a raise, and the can got kicked down the road.
    MCHS has several OVER PAID positions, and they are not going away.
    A lot of dead wood that aint going away. No money for needed change

    • Iowa Sucks Reply Report comment

      July 1, 2014 at 9:43 pm

      Athletes are drug tested. Kids don’t like peeing in a cup like some animal. Do you blame them for not trying out? Cannabis is the only substance to stay in the system long after it’s been used. Stop testing and the great athletes will try out.

    • Matt Marquardt

      Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      July 1, 2014 at 10:17 pm

      Over $30 million in debt if I’m not mistaken.

  10. Mother Nature Reply Report comment

    July 1, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    People change jobs all the time but what poor professional judgement for this coach to make a move into preseason. My concern isn’t the win and loss record but rather the integrity of the man.

    May the “billy goat curse” be upon him!

    • Iowa Sucks Reply Report comment

      July 1, 2014 at 9:45 pm

      Would you turn down an advancement, a chance to move home and get paid?

  11. ONIT Reply Report comment

    July 1, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    The sad Sam looks on the kids faces are too funny. I guess they must have been happy with losing games.

  12. Iowa Sucks Reply Report comment

    July 1, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    “It’s hard to get people to care about football. It’s just not an enormous priority,”

    Exactly. Students, players and their parents probably care. Other than that it’s just not a big priority for most. If you get some ego boost by seeing teams when games, you have ego problems to begin with.

    • Silly rabbit Reply Report comment

      July 1, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      It’s always nice to have a town with some winning mentality. These types of things make people want to move away so their kids have a better chance a success. Why are you such a Richard?

      • Trix are for kids Reply Report comment

        July 1, 2014 at 8:50 pm

        If you’re moving just so your kid can be part of a winning football team, you have your priorities all mixed up.
        I’ve never seen an employer who asks how many football games their high school team won.

        • Silly rabbit Reply Report comment

          July 1, 2014 at 9:07 pm

          It’s not the sole reason. Could be one of many. I’m sure families in Ankeny and West Des Moines appreciate athletic AND academic success that those schools have. Both of those town are in my opinion winning communities. You can throw in waukee, Johnston, bettendorf, pleasant valley. It’s also something for the town to do. Take a look at Parkersburg. Do you not think the football team and former coach benefitted that community in the utmost? Mason city is so far behind those places.

          • Silly rabbit

            July 1, 2014 at 9:11 pm

            http://www.movoto.com/blog/top-ten/best-places-in-iowa/

            http://www.movoto.com/blog/top-ten/safest-places-in-iowa/

            Don’t see MC on either list. Probably bc the community isn’t a community at all and doesn’t give a damn about much.

          • Trix are for kids

            July 1, 2014 at 9:46 pm

            Communities should be judged by how many games their high school football teams win. I’m not following you at all. To have winners their must be losers. No employer asks these kids how many games their high school football team won. And why are you mad that a losing coach is leaving?

  13. 2old2fat Reply Report comment

    July 1, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Our school system has become a laughing joke in the state. Pretty sad we can’t keep a coach more than a few years, but when you are threatened by losing your assistant’s why in the world would you stay. Leadership starts at the top and we all know what out top is doing. It’s another sad day for MCHS.

  14. casino boss maylasia Reply Report comment

    July 1, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    He could not get the job done or found it tougher than he could handle. A good coach can get it done or appear too. Smaller schools win with as little as two coaches. He is trying to make a statement or a jab as he rides out of town with a job undone. The easiest thing to do is blame everybody else. MC is a tough job year in year out.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      July 1, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      So let’s recap here.

      Penner was 8 wins and 30 losses in 4 years.
      Penner had 2 wins and 8 losses last year.
      Penner quits about a month before practice begins.

      Penner says that ““It’s hard to get people to care about football. It’s just not an enormous priority,” so he bails out just before the season starts.

      Some coach, he looks more like a quitter that was just looking for any excuse to skeedaddle.

  15. Nature Boy Reply Report comment

    July 1, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Placing such importance on a coach is disturbing. It reminds me of Sopranos when the soccer coach wanted to leave.

  16. Nature Boy Reply Report comment

    July 1, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    It sounds like he wanted to be closer to where he came from.

  17. Allen Reply Report comment

    July 1, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    It’s news to the players and all the people that wanted to keep him here, and news to others as well….

    • Iowa Sucks Reply Report comment

      July 1, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      What, is this like the Sopranos when they wanted to keep the soccer coach? Let it go, no one cares except dumb parents and players.

      • Silly rabbit Reply Report comment

        July 1, 2014 at 4:23 pm

        People like you are the reason that town is going to crap.

        • Iowa Sucks Reply Report comment

          July 1, 2014 at 4:30 pm

          I haven’t lived in town for 25 years.

  18. Nature Boy Reply Report comment

    July 1, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    How is this news in any way, shape or form? People quit jobs all the time. Big whoop.

    • Matt Marquardt

      Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      July 1, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      You’re just a little on the clueless side, aren’t you?

      • Nature Boy Reply Report comment

        July 1, 2014 at 4:35 pm

        Ok, I’ll except that. How is a football catch quitting more important than other people quitting?

        • Matt Marquardt

          Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

          July 1, 2014 at 5:15 pm

          He is a public figure in charge of children playing the most popular game in America at the largest high school within 80 miles.

        • Silly rabbit Reply Report comment

          July 1, 2014 at 5:42 pm

          Nature boy, People like you are the reason people should have to pass a test to have kids because yours clearly would not have passed.

          • Nature Boy

            July 1, 2014 at 6:02 pm

            Parents should be the child’s most important coach.