UB Athletics was kind enough to make the coaching staff available for an interview with Bull Run. I set each coach five to ten questions and took questions from readers. Today the coaches started to send back their answers and rather than wait for them all I figured I would begin to publish the result to UB Nation.
Coach Marty Spieler's UB Athletics Profile describes him as follows:
Marty Spieler, who will coach the tight ends and serve as special teams coordinator, spent the past three seasons as an assistant at Cincinnati. He worked under coach Quinn handling extensive duties with practice and game plans and
spent the spring of 2008 as the tight ends coach. Prior to Cincinnati, Spieler spent one season as the offensive tackles and tight ends coach at Allegheny College Â his alma mater. He also served as a graduate assistant at Georgia Southern.
He enjoys golf and lists earning his masters degree as the proudest moment of his personal life. The statement he feels reflects his life is "to become a success, fight one more round." He feels that UB offers "the opportunity to promote an atmosphere that our plays will succeed academically, athletically and socially."
Bull-Run: Our special teams seemed cursed last season with inconsistent coverage, turnovers, and kicking that could be erratic. What is priority number one in fixing UB's special teams?
Coach Spieler: Our priority in special teams is to secure the football. Returners whose first priority is to secure the ball gives us the best chance to set up our offense with the opportunity to put points on the board. From a coverage standpoint, trustworthy players who will stay in their coverage lanes, fit the return man properly, and secure the tackle will limit returns and put our defense in advantageous positions. Consistent kicks and players who will do their job will make our special teams units a great asset to the Bulls.
Bull-Run: As the tight ends and special teams coach you are taking over two units badly in need of work. Losing All Conference tight end Jessie Rack is huge, what are the areas that our returning Tight ends need to develop to fill the gap?
Coach Spieler: The tight ends in the Bulls offense are benefiting from a scheme change that will result in an increase in their presence in the offensive game plan. The tight end position is based on versatility. The most useful tight end will be the one who is able to be productive in the run game, pass game, and protections. As a result, out returning tight ends need to continue to focus on their great blocking ability and improve on their ability to stretch the field in the passing game through athleticism. And, most importantly, they must take advantage of every opportunity they have to touch the ball!
Bull-Run: How does the role of the tight end differ in the spread versus what UB fans have been seeing the past couple of years?
Coach Spieler: Tight ends in a power football scheme differ greatly than one in a spread offense. The past couple years, UB fans have seen a transition to some spread concepts. The tight ends in our scheme will be asked to be power blockers on one play and spread out as a receiver on the next play. Tight ends will be aligned on the line of scrimmage, in the backfield, and as wide receivers. In other words, UB fans will see a tight end be an integral player in all facets of our offense.
Bull-Run: Which recruits have you had the most contact with, how are you selling UB to prospective recruits.
Coach Spieler: In the brief time at Buffalo, there are a few selling points that are very obvious to me, and great advantages to prospective student-athletes. First, UB provides the student-athlete with the opportunity to earn a degree that carries a lot of weight in higher academics. Earning a degree from the University at Buffalo is the first priority of the athletic department, and it is a degree that is well respected.
Secondly, we are selling the ability to compete for championships. Coach Quinn has hired a staff that knows how to win, and nothing else. As a whole, we have won national and conference championships at many levels. Football is much more fun for the players, coaches, and fans when you are winning, and we are going to develop our players in a way that gives us the opportunity to experiences that success.
Bull-Run: Being from around the Ohio Valley Region the climate is no real adjustment for you but what are your impressions of Buffalo, Amherst, and the surrounding areas?
Coach Spieler: I grew up in Pittsburgh. I lived the last three years in Cincinnati. I went to school at Allegheny College, just south of Erie, PA. My immediate impressions are that these areas are all very similar. They are hard working communities who take pride in their city and their football teams. They all want their team to reflect the members of their community – teams that play four quarters aggressively and with a lot of passion. Amherst is a beautiful neighborhood. Family is a priority of mine and to provide an area that I know that my wife and child will be safe is important. Amherst and the Buffalo area provide this peace of mind for me and my family.