Alumni Spotlight: Greg Schoenberg ’08
Greg Schoenberg ’08, assistant football and strength and conditioning (S&C) coach for the past three years, recently assumed leadership of the S&C program for the 2015–16 school year. One of former S&C Coach Dave Schall’s first students, Greg was quick to grasp his vision for the program. “When I was a student, Dave told us, ‘You may think you’re working as hard as you can, but you don’t know how much harder you can work. For those wanting to play in college, you may be in for a surprise,’” says Greg. “This hit home because I was a gifted athlete in high school but didn’t really know what it meant to take it to the next level. Dave helped me realize my potential.”
Greg’s background in S&C spans most of his life. From a young age, Greg watched his older brother compete in and win bodybuilding competitions and eventually own his own gym. “All my life, and particularly throughout my journey at Westminster, I was always in and around a weight room, and I spent a lot of days before or after school training,” says Greg, who had played linebacker, fullback, and kicker on Westminster’s football team. Greg even held the single-season field goal record until senior David Williams broke it in 2014. “It was fun coaching David and seeing him break my record!” says Greg. “Kicking is a tough position because as coaches, we expect every kick to be good. That leads to a lot of pressure. David and I tried to focus on one kick at a time; he did a great job and has certainly left some big shoes to fill.”
After graduation, Greg went onto play on a full scholarship at Washburn University—a Division 2 school in the MIAA Conference—in Topeka, Kansas. As a fullback on Washburn’s team, Greg says, he felt blessed to be coached by a strong Christian man. “Coach’s actions always pointed to Christ,” says Greg. “He always drove home his motto, ‘FAITH, FAMILY, FOOTBALL.’” Greg’s senior year, the team made it to the second round of the playoffs and lost to the eventual national champions but ended the season as one of the top 20 schools in the country. Greg was named first team All-Region and received All-American honors while studying to become a physical education teacher, a role he will assume in 2015-16 along with leadership of the S&C program.
Before approaching Coach Schall about returning to Westminster to help coach, Greg worked at a granite company where he was able to apply his gifts. “I enjoy working with my hands and doing physical labor jobs,” says Greg. “I see it as a ministry. God has blessed me with the ability to do some jobs that require hard physical work, and it’s an act of worship when I’m able to use the abilities He has given me.”
Greg also served as physical education teacher at Covenant Christian School for one year. “It was a great opportunity because I had a chance to teach many kids who will likely attend Westminster, so I’m excited to get to see and coach them again one day.”
When working with athletes, Greg says one of his goals is to create a fun and welcoming environment. He wants all students to feel comfortable signing up for S&C or coming into the weight room to work out after school. “I want kids to know more about S&C and nutrition; I want them to take hold of the truth that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, and we are responsible to take care of them to the best of our ability.”
Greg says Westminster students have a greater chance to thrive in S&C now than they ever have before. “When I was a student here, there was almost no S&C culture,” he says. “Yes, we had sports, but the athletic program was nothing like it is now. Westminster athletics have been growing and improving rapidly because many coaches like Dave have poured themselves into the program and into athletes. I’m very excited for the opportunity to do the same.”
Greg married his wife Rebekah in July 2015.