Former Owl football great continues legacy
Edward Rudman – Sports Writer
Whether it’s in Europe or stateside, Chris Bergeski lives and breathes football.
Bergeski, the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Owls, is in his 12th season and continues to be a big part of the football program.
“This fall, we’re focused on working through some tweaks and issues that we may be having and just working on our consistency on both ends, as coaches and as a player,” said Bergeski.
Bergeski played wide receiver for the Owls during his collegiate career and is the third all-time for receptions with 148, fourth all-time in receiving yards with 2,260 and fifth in touchdown receptions with 23, according to the athletic department website.
He earned All-Region and All-Conference honors during his junior year with the Owls.
After graduating from Southern, Bergeski spent a year on the Owls sidelines as a coach and afterwards, went to France to play professionally. He served as a player-coach for Thonon-Les Bains for a year.
“It was a really cool experience, different than anything I’ve ever been around. It’s still football, the rules don’t change, there’s nothing that was different there. The big difference was the variety of competition,” said Bergeski.
When he played in France, Bergeski was competing against many different kinds of experienced players. He said there was a wide variety of talents from all collegiate levels.
“It was just so different having all those different types of talent all paying for one team, each week was so much different from the other depending on who we played,” said Bergeski.
Bergeski helped develop younger players who were a part of the youth program for Thonon-Les Bains.
“A lot of those kids really didn’t know what was going on, we really tried to teach them fundamentals, structure, technique. Anything you could imagine,” said Bergeski.
After returning to the states, Bergeski came back to Southern to serve as the receivers coach. He said his time in France helped train him to become a better coach here in the U.S.
“It was looking at the sport with a whole different lens,” said Bergeski. “Focusing on youth, focusing on a whole different coaching staff, structure and offense, I was able to soak that all in as a player.”
He said it felt great to be back at the school where he played but it took some used to getting to.
Bergeski said, “I was coaching my roommates. I was coaching guys I had played with. At first, it was definitely a different experience for first couple meetings, you know, super nervous, that kind of thing. But the guys made it really easy and I realized that this is just who I am.”
12 years later, Bergeski still finds himself coaching at Southern and his players are grateful for it.
Tight end Dylan Brady, a senior, said, “He puts us in the position to win. He’s never worried about the upcoming game. He’s focused on that day and what we need to do.” a team to get better that day.”
Photo credit: Chris Bergeski