PLATTSMOUTH – Plattsmouth’s football program will have a familiar face as its new leader when the Blue Devils take the field in 2022.
Curtis Larsen will guide the team at practices and games throughout the upcoming campaign. The Plattsmouth alum will take over for veteran coach Bob Dzuris, who announced his retirement on Nov. 30 after 37 years on the sidelines. Dzuris came to Plattsmouth in 2007 and led the Blue Devils to nine playoff berths. PHS reached the Class B semifinals in 2020 and went undefeated in the regular season this past fall.
Larsen credited coaches like Dzuris for inspiring him on the field. He earned multiple district, conference and state awards at Plattsmouth and starred at Peru State. He collected Heart of America Athletic Conference recognition for his abilities as a linebacker before graduating in 2014.
“Football has always been a huge part of my life,” Larsen said. “I have had the opportunity of a lifetime to be able to have a career playing for many who I consider mentors in my life still today. The game of football definitely helped shape me to become a better person in life.
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“It is also the ultimate team game, and there’s so many working parts that have to work together and that’s the fun part. But, at the end of the day football teaches a lot of young men how to become better, whether that be dependability, respect or hard work.
“I just want the opportunity to continue to build relationships with young men, and continue to help shape and mold them to become better in life.”
Larsen graduated from Plattsmouth in 2010 and took part in many activities during his time there. He participated in football, wrestling, track and field, Spanish Club, Letter Club and Spirit Club. After earning his degree at Peru State, Larsen spent three years outside of Cass County before joining the PHS staff in the 2017-18 academic year. He currently teaches special education classes.
Larsen will enter the 2022 season with the benefit of having head coaching knowledge on his resume. He became the head boys wrestling coach at Plattsmouth in 2020 and is leading both the girls and boys wrestling programs this season.
“Any head coaching experience is a great opportunity to grow,” Larsen said. “My experiences have helped form the type of leadership that I want to continue to develop, and the experiences learning from my coaches on my wrestling staff will definitely help me moving forward.”
Larsen said one of his goals for the football program will be to help students develop important personal qualities such as respect, discipline and responsibility. He said being a good teammate who is thoughtful and helpful will also be an important trait for future Blue Devils.
“The game of football is selfless,” Larsen said. “There’s 11 working parts to it, so our athletes have to learn to be selfless for the greater good of our team. Something that the coaching staff will really hammer home is ‘How you play without the football determines how much you love your teammates.’”
Larsen said PHS players will also continue to embrace a blue-collar approach to practices and games. He said that philosophy would help the program remain a major landmark on the Class B football map.
“For the last decade, Coach Dzuris has implemented a tough-nosed football program,” Larsen said. “We plan to continue to play tough football, focus on playing elite defense – whether that be forcing three-and-outs or earning two first downs every drive – winning the turnover and red zone battle and by putting a big emphasis on special teams. Our best players will embrace special teams.”