Though Washburn’s football season is over, the work of putting together a team capable of competing in the MIAA conference continues for the Ichabods.
With the end of play on the gridiron comes the challenge of getting a team put together for the coming fall of 2011. That task falls to Washburn head coach Craig Schurig and his coaching staff.
The work in the offseason begins for the coaches with recruiting new players to replace graduating seniors. That process has a rhythm to it as coaches are only allowed to recruit players during certain times of the year.
“The last couple of weeks have been very busy for us,” said Schurig. “This is one of the busiest times of the year where we are getting kids on campus for visits.”
Specifically, the Ichabods are currently targeting the offensive line in their recruitment efforts as they attempt to restock their talent pool along the offensive front.
“We try to stay a year ahead in our recruiting but sometimes you just have a position where you have to address a need,” said Schurig.
In addition to the recruiting going on, current players, like their fellow students, are returning to school with seven weeks of strength and conditioning awaiting them. The program will begin to prepare them for the rigors of the upcoming spring practices.
“We’re looking forward in our efforts in the strength room,” said Schurig. “Getting into our nice, newer facility we have will help us get ready for spring activities.”
With the offseason activities that come for the Ichabods comes the inclusion of a new face on the defensive staff. With former defensive coordinator Chris Brown departing Washburn to take the head coaching position at Fort Hays State University, Schurig looked to fill the vacancy created on his staff.
Brock Luke, a former graduate assistant returns to Washburn to fill a slot on the staff as a defensive line coach, with last year’s co-defensive coordinator Cooper Harris taking over the reins as defensive coordinator. Luke served as a graduate assistant from 2005-06 on Schurig’s staff before leaving to take a position with Northwood University. Since returning, Luke has stepped back into the fold.
“I mean it was just fortunate that this opportunity opened up,” said Luke. “Many of the players I helped recruit [as a graduate assistant] are still here so the familiarity I have with the team is a real positive.”
Luke recognizes that this opportunity puts him on a staff that will be competing against top talent each week.
“I mean, top to bottom, the MIAA conference is really one of the best conferences in the nation in division two football,” said Luke.
Luke looks forward to embracing the new challenge that lies before him as he works to make Washburn a top contender.
“I feel privileged to be a part of this staff,” said Luke. “It feels great to be back at the WU.”