Kewanee High School appointed Brad Swanson to be its 32nd football coach on Monday. He was quick to express his eagerness to bring the program success.

“I’m very excited to get the ball rolling,” Swanson said.

Swanson, 33, was a varsity defensive line coach last season at Galesburg High School, where he has been employed as a physical education, driver’ s education and health instructor since 2007.

“Brad is going to bring a lot of excitement and energy to the program,” said athletics director Tim Atwell. “I know he is excited to be a Boilermaker and can’t wait to get started.”

Swanson said a series of meetings with Atwell for later this week are on the agenda. They will plan meetings with players, meetings with parents, arrange the summer calendar and the procedure for hiring assistant coaches.

“It’s getting close to June 1,” Swanson said. “We’ll get it all squared away before the summer hits.”

Swanson played football at Stark County High School and then at Monmouth College, where he also earned his bachelor’s degree. He was running back in high school and a linebacker and defensive lineman in college for a team that won conference and reached the NCAA Division III playoffs in 2005.

He first got involved with the Galesburg football program in 2008, serving as freshman coach. He was involved in off-season strength and conditioning. He also has coached at Mid-County coop in Oneida and Galva in 2016 and 2017, and was the assistant defensive line coach and assistant special teams coordinator at Monmouth College in 2015.

He wants to share his love of the game with his players, just as he’s done in Galesburg. His initial task at Kewanee is to encourage students to come out for the program.

“One of my biggest strengths is building those relationships with any student or player,” Swanson said. “Hopefully they can enjoy the game as much as I did and have a lot of fun with their experiences.”

Swanson called the team experience a brotherhood. Fostering that team-building experience could potentially involve time spent with the players over the summer, perhaps team camps or even an overnight activity, such as a camping trip.

“Those are the memories the guys are going to remember for the rest of their lives,” he said. “Friday night is just the product, not the process. Focus on the process and the product will be there.”

As the varsity softball coach at Galesburg, a position he’s held since 2011, Swanson led his team on a spring trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. They played a four-game series, then took in some fun activities, miniature golf and go-karts.

There are parallels between softball and football coaching, he said.

“Scheduling. Fundraising. The lower level programs. Off season. Getting my girls to college to play at the next level. It’s all the same thing,” he said.

Swanson was a student in the Kewanee school district as a first-grader before his family moved to Stark County. His mother is a KHS grad; his father and grandfather live in Kewanee.

Growing up in Stark County, Swanson always considered Kewanee a destination. “We went there for McDonald’s, Walmart, all that good stuff. And Hog Days, of course.”

Swanson is married. He and Bridgette have three children, a son, Patrick, 3, a daughter, Casey, 1, and a daughter, Grace, 6 months.