Pioneers look to make leaps for year two under Munz

Ryan Munz’s second season in charge at UW-Platteville is full of expectations.
Published: Aug. 21, 2023 at 5:42 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 21, 2023 at 10:44 PM CDT
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PLATTEVILLE, Wis. (WMTV) - Ryan Munz’s second season in charge at UW-Platteville is full of expectations.

His first season saw a 5-5 record, highlighted by an upset over UW-Whitewater for the Miner’s Axe, the Pioneers’ first victory over the Warhawks in 18 years.

“Pressure is always defined by other people,” said Munz. “Like, {[f] you talk to our guys, we don’t feel any pressure to do anything besides what we already do. It’s more of understanding the confidence and knowing that we belong.”

“Coach Munz has been a great leader,” Pioneers senior defensive end Justin Blazek said. “He was part of the reason I came here. He’s been somewhat of a father figure to all of us here. You can really trust him with anything you got going on or off the field.”

Munz said now that the expectations are set, year two is more difficult than year one.

“Now, year two is definitely the hardest because there’s a baseline,” Munz said. ‘We did just enough to put ourselves on the map and get people saying, ‘ok, something’s changing over there.’ Had a few big wins and now we carry this over. Just because you did it last year and it worked doesn’t mean it’s going to work this year. We can’t just be happy being 5-5. We can’t be happy being average.”

With 10 starters returning on defense and nine on offense, things are so far, so good for the Pioneers.

“Our defense, our offense, we’re both flying around,” Blazek said. “The intensity has definitely stepped up, and we got a lot of guys coming back, so we’re really excited.”

And Munz’s and Blazek’s expectations for the Pioneers is simple.

“Win the conference,” Munz said. “100%.”

“We want to win a National Championship,” Blazek said. “That’s our biggest goal.”

The Pioneers’ season begins on Thursday, August 31 at Lakeland at 6:00.

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