BISMARCK, N.D. - When you're rebuilding a program, it's important to take advantage of every practice you get, but the University of Mary football team did not get all of its on-the-field chances to improve this spring.
The coronavirus shut down spring ball but it did not shut down the opportunity to learn.
Head Coach Craig Bagnell says they were prepared for the audible thrown at the Marauders by the pandemic: "We knew we were probably going to lose some practice because initially it was going to be until April one, so we actually went in as a coaching staff and we videoed all of our install tapes and teach tapes and how we do it so we kind of already had a lot done. And then what we did when we could do the virtual stuff we came back and hopped on Google hangouts and we showed the guys, shared the screen, showed the install and teach tapes and just pretended like if we were in the room with them."
Bagnell says they had meetings three days a week with the guys but the next step is an important one and the coaches will not be there during off-season and on-your-own workouts.
Bagnell said: "Usually in spring ball we teach them how to do that but we didn't get to do it this year, but we have enough guys coming back that they know how to coach each other which is important. It's going to come down to the guys that are going to be committed each to the program from around the country because they're going to have to do themselves to get ready for the new year then hopefully things clear up and we can get back to the guys and working out June 1 with our strength staff but we're crossing our fingers and we'll see what happens."
This fall will mark the start of Bagnell's third season leading his alma mater so it'll be the first year the majority of the players will be guys he and his staff recruited.