Former NDSU FB Players Reflect on The Previous NDSU Coaching Change
Safety Tre Dempsey and Defensive Tackle Nate Tanguay give their advice to current Bison players
FARGO, N.D. — This has been a chaotic week for the Bison football team.
It started with the news that their head coach had accepted another job, and it ends with the FCS semifinal against South Dakota State, plus a whole lot in between.
Last year’s senior class was the last NDSU group to experience a head coaching change.
After the 2013 season, Craig Bohl left for Wyoming, opening the door for Chris Klieman as head coach.
“The same thing that’s happening now happened my freshman year with coach Bohl leaving and then Klieman took over,” former NDSU safety Tre Dempsey said. “When coach Bohl left, I’m sure there’s people on the team now who felt like I felt. I didn’t understand how it was such a business.”
“I remember being a freshman with all the stuff with Bohl. We didn’t feel stable,” former NDSU defensive tackle Nate Tanguay said. “We had no idea what was going to happen. We were really nervous. Was it going to be a new scheme? Where were we going to fit it? I thought we had a relationship with our coaches, but now are these position coaches going to go? But with [Matt Entz] being there, everyone is going to feel safe, secure and that’s the biggest thing.”
Plus, it all goes back to a team mantra: the strength of the Herd is the Bison, and the strength of the Bison is the Herd.
“Some great advice I have for those guys is that the people in the room are the people in the room,” Dempsey said. “Whether it’s a coach, whether it’s one player, the bison is a group of guys. It’s a team, and we never take that role of ‘I.’ ‘I did this, I did that,’ even if it is the head coach. He got the job as head coach. No disrespect to Klieman, he’s a great coach. But when he leaves, that’s not going to be the end of bison nation and everything we believe in as bison. We’re not going to stop winning just because we lost the head coach.”
There is also a lot of excitement around Entz taking over, given his success with the team as a defensive coordinator.
“It’s really cool to see the community kind of all on the same page,” Tanguay said. “They threw out other options, but everyone was like ‘Entz.’ you know, everybody knew who they wanted. It’s pretty exciting, because when you have that backing from a community, and your confidence level is going to go through the roof. I bet he’s feeling really great, and I bet his family is feeling really great. It’s just really cool to see all of this stuff happen for a really good person.”
And, there is one trait in particular that makes Entz the perfect fit, especially given all of the changes going on right now.
“Loyalty, I think,” Tanguay said. “He’s going to have everybody’s back. He’s going to go to bat for you. Even when you screw up, he’s going to be mad at you. He’ll be like that fatherly figure. He’s going to help you work it out and make it a life lesson. ‘hey, how can we make you better as a person? How can you learn from this?’ and I think that’s the really cool thing about him. We’re getting the same thing, just like we had from Klieman. We’re getting that good, all-around person, a family man and he’s going to care for the players. He’s going to want them to be good people first, rather than good players.”