The William Jewell College football team has made many changes that the coaching staff hopes will help them find success in the fall 2015 season.
Three changes to the coaching staff were made early on in 2015. Former assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Shawn Weigel stepped into the role of head coach. New hires include defensive coordinator Trent Figg, a 2008 Jewell graduate, and special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach Matt Trowbridge. Both of these additions are returning coaches to the Jewell team.
In his new role as head coach, Weigel has been working with the team throughout the spring. However, they have not just been perfecting their skills on the field; the team has also been working on confidence.
“One point of emphasis for us during the spring was to establish a sense of pride in ownership with the program and the rich tradition it embodies,” said Weigel.
In addition to ingraining a winning mentality into the players, Weigel expects these early efforts to improve the game outcomes.
“Nothing less than winning in all endeavors is acceptable, and this is especially true when we play at home. We have a 37 percent winning percentage at home, and that has to change and it will,” said Weigel.
Success does not just come from thinking about winning. The team has also been training at every given opportunity in hopes of improving on the field in the 2015 season.
“We spent every allowable spring practice in full pads and played a lot of situational football,” said Weigel.
Weigel expects taking the initiative to practice all aspects of the game early to help lead the team to greater success during the season. Weigel has elevated more than just the standards for the team on the field, as he has also challenged the players to exceed in aspects of student life at Jewell.
“We raised expectations of the team while providing our players with more balance in their academic life and college experience as a whole,” said Weigel.
Along with the 24 recruits who will be joining the roster, the coaching staff maintains that many returning players will be important assets to the team.
“There are several key players returning– and many more that were noticed in the spring, but we all know that we can’t do it without everyone,” said Weigel.
The team will open the fall season Sept. 6 at Drake University.
Photo courtesy of Kyle Rivas.