The Quincy University Hawks are set to begin their season this Thursday night at Wichita Falls, Texas in a tough matchup against Midwestern State.
Gary Bass was named interim head coach after Tom Pajic left Quincy University for Temple University earlier this year.
“Anytime that you have an opportunity to do something for the first time it is such is the most exciting thing you can think of from the personal standpoint.” Bass said. “The fact that I been here for five years already knowing the players, coaches, and the community and it drives you more to do a phenomenal job.”
The players are ready to begin their new season despite all the coaching changes.
“I am excited and happy with the new coaching staff as we move forward with the program” Chris Harris (senior) explained.
The rest of the coaching changes includes Khanis Hubbard who got promoted to interim associate head coach and will be an offensive coordinator while Sean Kelley got promoted to defensive coordinator for the Hawks.
The Hawks are looking to rebound after starting last season strong going 5-2 before going on a four game losing streak finishing the season 5-6.
“I think we have good offense and defense, but we have to do a better job playing a team game,” Bass said, “we have to do a better job playing off each other along with special teams and playing on all cylinders.”
The defense was ranked in the top 25 in Division II last year, and they return their leading rusher, Nate Rueckemann, who is a senior linebacker.
“I am excited about the first game and see how we have developed during camp and see what product that we put out on the field,” Rueckemann said.
The offense is going to be lead by sophomore, Andrew Rund, who will be the new starting quarterback for the Hawks.
“I am excited to be the quarterback for the Hawks and take the leadership role on the team” Rund added, “We are super pumped.”
The first home game will be on Saturday, September 9th as they face Alderson Broaddus at 1pm.
“They were a great football team with a great record last year,” Bass adds, “We are playing couple non-conference games to get ready for the conference games later in the season.”
The Hawks will play their homecoming game against Robert Morris on September 30th.
They will also be playing three games under the lights at home.
“In college, you do not get the opportunity to play in night games were in high school, you play in all the night games,” Harris adds. “It is always nice to be playing under the lights.”
Harris, Rueckemann are part of the sixteen starters last year that are hoping to make a significant impact on the 2017 season along with the new coaching staff.