Dan Larson steps down as UW-Eau Claire head football coach

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Director of Athletics Dan Schumacher announced Friday that Head Football Coach Dan Larson has stepped down to take a position on the North Dakota State University football staff.

Larson will join a staff led by Matt Entz, who was named head coach at the conclusion of the 2018 season where the Bison were the unanimous No. 1 team in the final FCS Top 25 poll announced on Jan. 7, completing a 2018 season in which NDSU finished 15-0 and went wire-to-wire in the top spot. The Bison collected all 156 first-place votes in the final national media poll after beating Eastern Washington 38-24 to become the fifth unbeaten and untied national champion in the 41-year history of the FCS playoffs. It was NDSU's seventh national title in eight seasons. The program has also produced No. 2 overall NFL draft pick Carson Wentz and FCS all-time winningest quarterback, Easton Stick.

Larson, a 2003 alum, led the Blugolds to a 4-6 record in 2018, the most wins since 2012. UW-Eau Claire was 2-5 in the WIAC to finish in 6th place, which was the highest conference finish since tying for 6th in 2013.

Eau Claire also saw individual success, with two players earning First Team All-WIAC honors this season -the most for the program since 2013 – and had their first All-American in five seasons.

"I want to thank Chancellor Jim Schmidt and Athletic Director Dan Schumacher for providing the opportunity to be a head coach," said Larson. "I would also like to thank our football staff and the players for their countless hours and commitment to this program."

"To all the our Blugolds, from the athletic department staff, admissions, alumni relations and development office, faculty and support staff, thank you for making this place so special."

"The Eau Claire and Chippewa Valley community have been amazing, thank you for continuing to embrace UWEC and Blugold Football. Lastly, I want to thank the players at UWEC, they are the difference makers with UWEC Football. I am always a Blugold and have no doubt greater things are on the horizon for this program."

Matt Ebner, the Blugolds' defensive coordinator, has been elevated to interim head coach. A national search will begin immediately.