Head coach Bill Lynch and Tigers football begin spring practice

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“Honesty builds trust; trust builds team.” This is the new motto for Head Coach Bill Lynch and the revitalized DePauw football team. A sense of collective and directed energy for this new look program has already been manifested on multiple fronts.
First, Blackstock Stadium field’s grass surface has been extracted, awaiting the arrival of a new turf surface. Second, the coaching staff has been restructured with the hiring of one of the faces of Indiana football, Bill Lynch. Another marked change is a feeling of immense optimism, evident even in April.
“Regardless of what happened last year, it doesn’t matter. Whatever you know from the past is off,” junior defensive lineman Mike McManis said. “We don’t want a rebuilding year. We want to win now.”
Spring football started Monday and will conclude in early May. The period serves as a learning buffer for players adjusting to new schemes from Lynch and new defensive coordinator, Jay Hood, who came from Western Carolina University.
Lynch also brings aboard Colin Johnson, a former recruit for Lynch at Ball State University, who was also a graduate assistant under his tenure at Indiana University. The staff will be around a 50/50 split between those on staff last year and new coaches.
“It’s a new system. New terminology,” Lynch said. “It’s a chance to really work with the players and introduce the system.”
Although, Division III rules do not allow the Tigers to wear full gear with contact, it’s not stopping the team from hitting the weight room, watching film and participating in a new drills geared toward competition.
“All of our conditioning drills have been a lot different than the past,” McManis said. “It seems like all of the drills have been competition -based, making sure that not only are we getting the physical part of it, but we are getting in the football mentality.”
Looking forward to a jam-packed conference schedule in the fall, the Tigers are bringing together new looks on offense with a host of capable wide receivers and a young but talented offensive line.
“It’s just the first week, we’re as new to it as anyone else, but it’s a spread [offense],” junior wide receiver Nikko Sansone on the new Tiger offense said. “Guys are moving around and playing different positions. We’re trying to get everyone versatile.”
Defensively, DePauw loses seven seniors, and will have a young secondary. It is likely the Tigers will maintain the basic 4-3 look on defense with some changes.
There is no doubt that the framework of the entire Tiger program feels different. It starts with ideology and although it’s early, Lynch wants this team to be in the right place before school ends.
“Honesty builds trust; trust builds team,” Lynch said. “By being together you can do that. That’s our number one goal.”