Jeff Kolpack, Published September 05 2008
Game about CCSU, not old friendsOne thing about
these Division I football coaches: they’re all thieves.
It’s legal theft, mind you, because they all steal their coaching styles from somebody else, or a combination of others, in the profession.
We know North Dakota State’s Craig Bohl has modeled his approach after former Nebraska coach Tom Osborne. There’s so much Dr. Tom in Bohl that sometimes I feel like I’m interviewing Dr. Tom.
Tonight, A Bohl protégé comes to the Fargodome when Jeff McInerney leads his Central Connecticut State team on the turf. He’s a former Bison assistant coach who has known Bohl for years.
But McInerney didn’t schedule this game because he wanted to chum around with his old friend.
This is more about the big picture for the administration, fans and football personnel of Central Connecticut State. Its Northeast Conference will get an automatic bid to the Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoffs in 2010 and McInerney has hopes that his program will be ready for the national stage.
“We want to show our players how to do things right,” he said. “We want to show our administration and our boosters the recipe for success.”
The coach says his university president, Jack Miller, has the “dream and vision” to make it work. And everybody around these parts knows what can happen when a school president is on board with athletic potential.
“That means we have a shot,” McInerney said.
That means more money, also. The Blue Devils went from 24 to 30 scholarships last April. By 2010, that is scheduled to bump to 40 as mandated by the league.
If you’re going to play somebody like Appalachian State, Northern Iowa, Delaware, Montana or whatever traditional FCS power in the playoffs, you better not bring a water pistol to a gun fight.
That’s why McInerney went to Georgia Southern two years ago and Western Michigan last season. That’s why his team is flying to Fargo today.
CCSU is bringing some school administrators and fundraising personnel to take notes from NDSU’s operation.
Bohl said on Monday he had no plans to talk to McInerney this week. He said he was more concerned about getting his team ready to play.
Same with McInerney, who wants his program to copy NDSU’s road map.
“I’d much rather play this team,” he said. “There’s no better way to learn than to learn from the best. Win, lose or draw, it’s a good way to judge yourself. It could be a blowout or it could be a moral victory – those two are bad – or we could win. The first two are more likely and a moral victory is dangerous to a coach. Just because you play somebody tough means nothing. We’re trying to show our kids that maybe something will rub off on us.”
Readers can reach Jeff Kolpack at (701) 241-5546 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com