Coach Profile: Rockhurst Asst. Eric Berg 6/19
By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
It’s easy to look at a successful program like Rockhurst and see a successful head coach like Tony Severino. The Hawklets have been the best football program in the state for much of the last 30 years and for 28 of those years Severino has been the head coach.
But for a program to be as successful as Rockhurst it needs outstanding assistants who help lead the program year after year. Eric Berg is one of those assistants. Berg has been at Rockhurst since 1981, two seasons before Severino came, and has been a part of eight state championships.
In that time Berg has coached linebackers for all but one of those seasons. The long-time assistant came to Rockhurst right out of college in 1981 and hasn’t second guessed his decision to join the Hawklets one day since that time.
Berg is one of the longest tenured assistants in the Metro and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I came to Rockhurst in 81-82 and I’ve been there ever since,” Berg said. “I came in under coach Jerry Culver and then Tony came in two years later.”
During Berg’s time he has seen the state titles and Simone Award winners. Several of those Simone Award winners were players he coached including linebacker Sean Doyle who is one of the few defensive players to win the award.
With a roster of players that are almost a who’s who of Metro athletes, Berg said it is hard to pick a favorite.
“I figured out pretty quick I’m a pretty good coach when I have pretty good players,” Berg said. “I don’t know where to begin. Once you start naming one guy you are going to forget somebody else just as worthy. I’ve been very fortunate they have made me look good.
While he is a coach he is also a father. Berg has two daughters and two sons. His daughters have gone on to finish college while his oldest son Scotty is currently a student at MU. His youngest son Kevin is a senior defensive back for the Hawklets.
Scotty Berg played soccer and that enabled Eric to have a different experience as just a parent and a coach. With Kevin now a player on the team he is coaching Eric has had a chance to share a state title with his son.
“The dream was that he (Kevin) would have a chance to experience winning a state title,” Berg said. “I’ve got to say that was one of the sweetest.”
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