As was reported on Christmas Eve, UND selected former Southern Illinois DC Kyle “Bubba” Schweigert to be the next head coach of the football program. The formal introduction will take place on Friday, December 27th at the Alerus Center.
Schweigert is best known as a member of the defensive staff that turned around the fortunes of the UND Football program in the early 1990’s by installing the 3-4 defensive system. Schweigert was originally a defensive back coach at UND from 1989-1996 but added the title of Defensive Coordinator in 1997 and held that title until 2003 when he left to be the Head Coach of Minnesota-Duluth for four seasons.
As most UND fans remember, Schweigert led some of the best/most aggressive defenses in school history. Throughout the late 90’s and early 2000’s, Schweigert gradually brought more and more pressure from different avenues, whether it was zone blitz schemes or secondary blitzing. The peak was obviously in 2001 when the UND defense led them to a national championship by holding down damn near every offense it faced that year, giving up only 12.5 pts/game.
With all this being said, what do we expect to see from the new regime at UND? Here are a few thoughts:
- When looking at the list of candidates/applicants, it was apparent that Schweigert was a real contender from the beginning. Ties to the upper midwest is crucial to this job and the majority of the applicants did not have that. A coach that can recruit immediately without having to re-create the wheel was a must. A coach with a no-nonsense attitude was a must. IMO, the FBS assistants that applied were going to be long shots in that they have not proven themselves as head coaches or even coordinators, for that matter. We have heard that multiple BCS level assistant coaches called on the job but never formally applied due to the assinine application/open records laws in ND. They too, would have been long shots though due to our previous comments above.
- The defense will stay a 3-4 scheme (duh!). We believe they ran things a bit different down at Southern Illinois, not a lot, but somewhat. The defense will look the same to the average fan, though. First order of business will be recruiting defensive and offensive lineman. Whether that is Juco or FBS dropdowns, they need alot of each.
- We are expecting a pro-style offense. Meaning a lot of two back sets with multiple tight ends at times. We do not think he will bring a pistol/spread scheme. Whoever is named the offensive coordinator will obviously be the key indicator as to what offensive philosophy will be installed. UND needs to get back to running the ball while the defense is revamped.
- Eric Schmidt could be named the defensive coordinator. The former great UND outside linebacker coached at UND for a couple years before heading down to Carbondale with Schweigert and Lennon to be the inside linebackers/special teams coach.
- There are currently around nine players that have announced they are leaving the program as of Xmas break (Golladay, Jackson, Brown, Isenberger, Cain, Edwards, Peterson, Adams (injury), Fletcher. That number seems alarming but we are hear to tell you that by the end of spring ball there will be many more than that. New regime means new rules and culture. There will undoubtedly be players that do not like the new environment and will want to move on.
- UND currently has four commitments to the Class of 2014. Develyn Ferguson (Wauwatosa, WI), Joe Montague (Minnetonka, MN), Drew Greely (Wayzata, MN), Deion Harris (Hibbing, MN). There will be three recruiting weekends in January for Schweigert and his staff to try and get as many uncommitted recruits on campus as possible. Not a lot of time but there is a chance to salvage the class if they are able to get the staff together in the next week and get organized.
- Lets remember, SIU recruited alot of the same areas that UND does – Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Chicago, etc. Schweigert already knows of many of the same names that will be in the UND database and it should help him get a jump start for January.
- Schweigert’s history in North Dakota, being born and raised there and going to college there (Jamestown College), will lend him immediate credibility and familiarity with high school coaches in the state. He certainly still knows his fair share of high school coaches and it should help him make in roads during recruiting. Schweigert’s first order of business once signing day is over should be to head out to all ND high schools and engage them once again, like he did back in his UND days of being the state recruiter.
What are your thoughts on the hire? What type of offense would you like to see at UND? Any comments would be appreciated on this fine “day after Xmas”!