Lance Pedersen

Head Coach (Varsity)
At Mt. Vernon since 2014

Coach Pedersen is the proud father of Dominic (17), Dakota (13) and Zavier (8).  He is also happily married to Brenda Pedersen and has three step kids Hannah(18) Hunter(16) and Henry(13).

Coach Pedersen is in his 6th year as Head Coach of the Mount Vernon Football Program and 28th year overall. Over the past fifthteen seasons his teams have compiled a 119-48 record.  In 2017 Coach Pedersen lead the Mount Vernon Mustangs to a 9-2 season and a back to back District title. In 2016 Coach Pedersen lead the Mount Vernon Mustangs to a 9-3 season and the state semi-finals. In 2015 Coach Pedersen lead the Mount Vernon Mustangs to an 11-3 season and the state title game.  His team finished the season as the state runner-up in class 2A.  In 2014, Coach Pedersen's first season he lead the team to a 6-5 finish where they won their first playoff game in over 10 seasons.  

Before coming to Mount Vernon, Coach Pedersen was Head Coach for the Wilton Beavers. The Wilton Football Program had its first playoff appearance in Coach Pedersen's first year as their coach in 2004. Under his direction, Wilton was an undefeated District Champion three times and made the playoffs eight of his 10 years as head coach.

Coach Pedersen brings with him two state championship experiences (one as a coach and one as a player) and has been a coach or player in 35 state play-off games.

Coach Pedersen is also a 5th through 8th grade Wellness instructor.  Coach Pedersen also coaches junior high girls basketball.  Coach Pedersen enjoys spending time with his kids, and loves the outdoors.

Coach Pedersen's Awards

District Coach of the Year: 2013, 2012, 2007, 2006, 2005

Ed Thomas Award Winner

Board of Director Iowa Football Coaches Association

2009 SE Iowa District Coach of the Year (Softball)

2008 Iowa Shrine Bowl Assistant Coach

Coach Pedersen can be contacted via email at

Matt Haddy

Defensive Coordinator (Varsity)
At Mt. Vernon since 2015

Coach Haddy will enter his fifth year as the Mustangs Defensive Coordinator. During his tenure the Mustangs have been playoff qualifiers three times, District Champions twice, been to the State Semifinals twice and were State Runners Up in 2015. 

In 2017, the Mustang defense improved dramatically from the previous years, finishing second in Class 2A in points allowed at only 11 ppg. During the 2017 season, five players were named to All State honors on the defensive side of the ball.

Prior to coming to Mount Vernon, Haddy served on the coaching staffs at Lisbon and Independence. As Defensive Coordinator at Lisbon, the Lions won two District Championships and in 2011 finished 14-0 and Class A State Champions.

Coach Haddy is also the Head Girls Basketball Coach at Mount Vernon.

"I feel very fortunate to be at a school with the reputation that Mount Vernon has. Being a part of Mount Vernon Football has given me the ability to work with some of the best coaches in the state, but more importantly develop relationships with some great student athletes. There is never a day where I don't look forward to coming to practice because of the kids I get to hopefully impact every day."

Coach Haddy is married to Lyndsi who is an elementary teacher at Lisbon.

Dan Ketchum

Offensive Line/Linebackers (Varsity)
At Mt. Vernon since 2015

Coach Ketchum is entering his 5th year on the Mount Vernon Football Staff.  Coach Ketchum is a graduate of Platteville High School in Platteville, WI where he played football, basketball and baseball.  Coach Ketchum was heavy involved in coaching youth sports in Mount Vernon before he started coaching at the High School level.  

Coach Ketchum and his wife (Susy) have two children, Mackenzie (18) who will be starting school at Luther College in the Fall of 2019 and Brady (15) who will be a Junior on the 2019 Mustang Football team.  Coach Ketchum enjoys spending time with his family and friends, as well as many outdoor activities.

Matt Appleton

Running Back/Asst. Defense (Varsity)
At Mt. Vernon since 2016

Coach Matt Appleton enters his forth year as an assistant coach for the Mustangs.  Coach Appleton is a graduate of Union High School in La Porte City where he played football as a quarterback, basketball and track and is also a graduate of Wartburg College where he earned a BA in Biology.  He works in sales for a manufacturer of home medical equipment.  

Coach Appleton has been involved with all youth sports including tackle football for the last ten years.  

Coach Appleton and his wife Emily have three children, Ike (16), Leo (14), Elsa (12).  Coach Appleton and his family reside in Mount Vernon for the last 15 years.  Coach Appleton enjoys spending time with family doing many outdoor and athletic activities.

Preston Pedersen

Defensive Line/ Receivers (Varsity)
At Mt. Vernon since 2016

Coach Preston Pedersen is in his forth year of coaching football at Mount Vernon and is also the Strength and Conditioning coach for the Mustangs. Coach Pedersen is a graduate of Northwest Missouri State University (Maryville, MO) where he studied Health & Physical Education and played football for the Bearcats.

After receiving his bachelor's degree, Coach Pedersen continued his education at Northwest while accepting a Strength & Conditioning graduate assistantship. Coach Pedersen worked with many different sports but stayed very active with football, traveling with the team and helping with sideline operations.

Coach Pedersen and his wife, Emily, had their first child, Jayce, in August 2018.

Brad Meester

Offensive Line Coach (Varsity)
At Mt. Vernon since 2018

Vance Ellsion

Rec/Safties (Varsity)
At Mt. Vernon since 2018

Ed Timm

Scout Team Coordinator (Varsity)
At Mt. Vernon since 2018

Jason Nosek

JV Defensive Coordinator (Varsity)
At Mt. Vernon since 2015

Coach Jason Nosek is in his sixth year of coaching football at Mount Vernon.  Coach Nosek is a Mount Vernon Alum (’89) and a graduate of Luther College (2003), where he graduated with a B.S. and had the opportunity to play football, and wrestle for the Norse. 

            During his time with Mount Vernon he has had the opportunity to coach Quarterbacks, Special Teams, Outside Linebackers. In 2019, coach Nosek will be coaching Tight Ends and Outside Linebackers at the varsity Level and serve as the Defensive Coordinator for the JV Squad.

            Coach Nosek and his wife Julie also a Mount Vernon Alum (’90)  have two sons Aidan 16 and Brody 12.  Coach Nosek and his family reside in Mount Vernon where he enjoys family and children’s athletic events and spending time at our family cabin fishing.

Ben Knake

JV Offensive Coordinator (Varsity)
At Mt. Vernon since 2015

Coach Knake is entering his fourth year of coaching with the Mustang Football program. In his tenure with Mount Vernon, Knake has coached Special Teams, Receivers and Defensive Backs.

Under his tutelage, Knake’s Receivers have ranked in the top 3 in Class 2A in TD receptions and receiving yards the past 3 seasons.  In 2015, the Mustangs led the state in TD receptions (38) and receiving yards (3428). On the opposite side of the ball, the Mustang Defensive Backs ranked 2nd in the state in interceptions in 2016; they were ranked in the top 15 in this category in 2017.

In 2018, Coach Knake will be entering his second season as the Special Teams Coordinator and his first season as the Quarterbacks coach. He will continue to work with the Defensive Backs in the Fall. Along with his Varsity responsibilities, Coach Knake serves as the JV Offensive Coordinator for the younger Mustangs.

Coach Knake is a Lisbon High School graduate where he was an All-State selection in 4 sports (football, basketball, track & baseball). Knake also graduated from Cornell College where he played football for four years and earned a BA in Kinesiology.

Lance Schoff

JV Scout Team Coordinator (Varsity)
At Mt. Vernon since 2019

Coach Schoff is an alumnus of the Mount Vernon Community School District where he was privileged to learn and play football for Jim Bellamy.  After graduating from Mt. Vernon he earned his BS in Psychology and Statistics from Iowa State University and MBA at the University of Iowa.

He and his wife Sue lived in Minneapolis, Columbus, and Chicago before moving back to Mt. Vernon seven years ago.  They have two children, Cooper (15) and Samantha (12).  

Mike Jones

8th Grade
At Mt. Vernon since 2013

Coach Mike Jones is in his 2nd year coaching football at Mount Vernon. Coach Jones officiated football for the past 17 years. A graduate from Mt Vernon in 1992. Coach Jones lives in Mt Vernon with his wife Tricia and 3 daughters Sydney, Abby, and Zoey.

Todd Murakawa

7th Grade

     Coach Todd Murakawa is a 7th and 8th grade Physical Education teacher and a paraeducator at Mount Vernon Middle School.  He is a Cornell College graduate where he earned a Bachelors in Education and Kinesiology and played four years of football.

     This is his second year of coaching football at Mount Vernon. Also coaches high school wrestling and middle school track.

Coach Maurakawa currently lives in Ely with his significant other Danielle.

Bob AxtellScore Board Operator
Dr. Greg BatenhorstSuperintendent
Jim BatyMusic Coordinator
Valerie BinsfieldAct./Asst. Principal Secretary
Steve BrandHigh School Principal
Mike CranstonScore Board Operator
Blue DahlstromChain Gang
Jeremy ElliottAthletic Trainer
John HaleChain Gang
Kraig HunterF/S Chain Gang
Mike KragenbrinkChain Gang
Molly LouwagieHead Manager
Troy LouwagieJV Chain Gang
Trista LynnerCheerleading Coach
Chris NollMaintenance
Dave RoeChain Gang
Dave RyanVoice of Mustang Football
Matt ThedeActivities Director
Ben WalkerScoreboard Operator
Scott WeberMarching Band Director
Marty WilliamsField Maintenance and Painter
Kirk WischmeyerSpotter
Kenny WoodsVarsity Stats