Russ Radtke is leaving New Prairie to become the football coach at Portage. His hiring was made official by Portage on Monday. Radtke was 78-20 in eight seasons at New Prairie, winning four sectionals, a regional and a semistate.

"Coach Radtke’s experience and proven success could not be overlooked," Portage Athletics Director Fred Joseph said in a statement. "We believe Coach Radtke embodies the very essence of Portage High School and its community, with an emphasis on instilling the virtues of Loyalty, Pride and Dedication (LDP). Coach Radtke has managed to foster and cultivate a winning mentality everywhere he’s been, as evident with his accolades."

Radtke, whose 368 career wins rank second among current coaches in Indiana, had not yet spoken to the team at New Prairie.

"Just shock," sophomore lineman Hunter Whitenack said. "Everybody kind of knew, but I didn't think he was actually going to do it. It's not like he needed the money. It's not like we're not going to be good next year. Right now, everyone's just talking back and forth, yeah, we're upset but it'll just give us more motivation to do good to show him what he's missing out on. His motto is loyalty, pride and dedication and there is no loyalty in this at all."

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