"I've had 3-6 seasons, 4-5 seasons and even 5-4 seasons, and I'd say those seasons were more rewarding because of the progress the kids made during the season," said Steurwald.
On paper, Shen would not appear to be headed for a losing season in 2011. The Plainsmen return several key players from a squad that reached last year's Section II Class AA Super Bowl, where they lost to eventual state runners-up Troy. And with Troy moving to Class A this season, the door to the Class AA championship is wide open for Shen to march through.
"We want to go out with a bang with him," said McQuade.
Still, Steuerwald's announcement means that there will be some possible distractions that he and his team must deal with -- primarily, all of the tributes that Shen's opponents will lavish upon Steuerwald as the team makes its way through the regular season.
"I think I'd better be prepared," said Steuerwald. "The one thing I have to do is make certain that my kids are ready to play every game and to enjoy the experience."
Culnan said the school will pay its tribute to Steuerwald during the final regular season home game Oct. 7 against Steuerwald's high school alma mater, Christian Brothers Academy. And Shen Superintendent Dr. Oliver Robinson added that the timing of the final regular season home game should allow many of Steuerwald's former players to attend the festivities.
"We're going to have the [Shen] Hall of Fame dinner the night before, so I think there will be a lot of people still up here on [Oct.] 7th," said Robinson.
Once the 2011 season is over, Steuerwald said he will have to find something else to do with himself. One possibility he said he might explore is writing a book about his experiences coaching and being an athletic director -- a post Steuerwald held at Shen from 1968 through 1996.