Conor Riley. Nick Goeser. Jamar Cain. Joe Klanderman. Tyler Roehl. Atif Austin. Matt Entz. Tim Polasek. Randy Hedberg. Who are the Bison assistant coaches for the start of their third straight spring practice? That kind of continuity was once considered rare when the school began its Division I football quest in 2004 but head coach Chris Klieman has kept his staff intact since he got the job following the 2013 national title.
All of them own houses, too, which says something to their rooted expectations.
“That’s unheard of in FCS football,” Klieman said. “When you’re renting, it’s easy to pick up and go. When you own a house, it makes it a little tougher.”
The Bison start spring ball on Wednesday morning (all workouts will be in the early a.m. because of too many conflicts with afternoon classes). Klieman also has done away with Saturday practices with the exception of the clinic weekend and the Spring Game, something he got while visiting Clemson and head coach Dabo Swinney. It will put more intensity into the weekly workouts with Thursday being added to the Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule. I asked Klieman if he’s getting soft in his old age.
“Some of it is our coaches, some of it is the fact of getting away on that weekend,” he said. “It will give our guys more energy during the week as well. Now we’re going to grind these guys for five days. We start in the morning at 5:45 whether it’s a meeting and then practice at 7:30. Not only that, with class conflicts … we have classes all the way up to 5 and then some evening classes. It’s something we’re going to go to and see if it works.”
It’s another young team with 11 seniors, meaning like last year those 11 will have to assume the bulk of the leadership with a big assist from some underclassmen.