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Get to Know your UB Coaches: Coach Mike Dietzel

UB Athletics was kind enough to make the coaching staff available for an interview with Bull Run. I sent each coach five to ten questions and took questions from readers. Right now the coaching staff is busy getting ready for spring ball so I am very grateful for the time they have taken to answer these questions.

If you want some background check out Coach Mike Dietzel's UB Athletics Profile:

Bull Run: I like the motto "quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort and willpower". Where does the effort need to be focused on UB's special teams for greater success in 2010?

Coach Dietzel: Quality not accident - The Key is Intelligent Effort and Willpower. Understanding of our Base principles for the 4 core Special Teams. Learning our system and how to execute the system. Administering our will as a team on our opponents & understanding that 3-4 victories a year will be a direct result of special teams. Either by a winning kick @ end of game, blocking a kick, scoring on a special team that is the margin of victory, etc.

Bull Run: You are picking up one of the most talented defensive backfields in the MAC, what do you plan to bring to the unit that may look different?

Coach Dietzel: There will be some similarities obviously due to the amount of success and the pride that has been a part of this group. I’ve watched a lot of games and practice film drills etc. Many of the skill set and techniques I’ve seen is similar to what we believe. My personality may be different & I believe that a lot of times that your players will reflect that in their make-up. We will incorporate more 2 Deep shell coverages compared to last season. We will still play a lot of the same coverages but our percentage man, 3 deep zones, quarters, will be varied from a year ago. We will be high–energy, aggressive, and an Attacking group back there.

Bull Run: You got to be on the staff of a School which transitioned to division IA and then to the FBS division, what in your experience at WKU helps you plan for success at Buffalo?

Coach Dietzel: UB made the transition in 1999. When I was at Kent State in 2001 & 2002 we played UB. The self-identity now at UB has progressed with the 2008 championship and there is a great positive atmosphere. At WKU we had the facilities in place and needed to recruit the caliber of player in order to compete in the Sun Belt Conference. The actualization of success wasn't there yet but the foundation to be successful was. Here the success has been proven so the confidence of having won is evident . Here at UB it is important to be constantly trying to "Plus" the program. That might be improving football schemes in order to compete with offenses that are changing; It might be improving facilities, teaching tools, etc. The thing that I’ve found is that you have to be continually improving what you do in order to keep competing at the highest level. One portion of your program cannot be the emphasis, it has to incorporate the players first, then encompass the entire program.

Bull Run: Do you think the MAC has changed in the 8 years since you left Kent State?

Coach Dietzel: Not a whole lot since I coached in the league in 2001, 2002. As I watch game film you see a number of teams who can all win the conference. During those seasons - Toledo, BG, NIU, Marshall, Miami were the top teams. CMU, Buffalo were struggling, and the rest of the teams were near 500. Now it is very similar with the replacement of Temple for Marshall, a bowl team for a bowl team. CMU, OHIO, Temple, NIU, BG are Bowl teams and EMU, Ball State, Miami struggled, and the rest of the teams close to having winning records. This is still a league with a lot of great players and among the top players in the NFL. 2001 Roethlisberger, Harrison, Cribbs, Leftwich, plus seven guys on the two teams playing in the Super Bowl. Now with LeFevour at CMU, Hillier at WMU, plus many others it is as competitive as any league in the country and anyone can win the league.

Bull Run: In your 24 years of coaching what is your marquee moment?

Coach Dietzel: Probably one of the most memorable in my career was my 1st team meeting at the University of Michigan with Bo Schembechler. I remember that I could hardly believe that I was actually sitting there listening to this legend address the team. I’ll never forget that moment. Also from an accomplishment standpoint – Winning the Commanders-In-Chief trophy by beating Navy in 1996 going 10-2 earning the birth to the Independence Bowl to play Auburn. Five years of building that program into a championship caliber team was very gratifying.

Bull Run: Who is a better Angler, you or Coach Quinn?

Coach Dietzel: Probably Coach Quinn due to his fishing versatility. He’s much more experienced on the Great Lakes etc. I’ve been more of a Large Mouth fisherman. I’d have to give him the edge. But we’ll have to find out!