College Fball: New U-Mary assistant Mike Van Diest arrives on campus

Local Sports

Monday, the Marauders’ newest assistant coach was in town, and it’s a huge name if you follow college football — Mike Van Diest, who retired from being the head football coach at Carroll College and winning six NAIA national titles.

During that time he won over 200 games. He left coaching for a bit after the 2018 season. He said he spent his time being a dad.

“My youngest son had moved away from home at 16 to go play hockey up in Canada,” Van Diest said. “Two years of high school and three years of juniors. It was his senior year at St. Norbert’s in Green Bay, Wisconsin. I wanted to be a fan. I wanted to be a dad and go tailgate with the other parents and follow his career.”

For U-Mary, Van Diest will be over outside linebackers. The Hall of Fame coach said he likes the collegiate level because there is more hands-on coaching. He also said learning the terminology in the program is a big adjustment.

“Studs and Bucs to me are Sams and Bandits for the last 35 years I’ve coached,” Van Diest continued. “Terminology is going to be a big thing. I’ve got to learn terminology. It’s easier for one person to learn than for all of them. So there’s some things in place with Coach [Ben] Davis, the inside linebackers coach. I’m excited for that. So what I want to do is try to learn somethings. Maybe I might sneak a few of my words in underneath and it’ll be just between me and the outside backer. We won’t tell anybody else.”

Coach Van Diest said he has texted the players in his position group and he is excited to put names to faces.

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