Monday, December 8, 2008

English thankful to stay at Wyoming

Richard Anderson photo
Wyoming defensive coordinator Marty English is being interviewed by Cheyenne Tribune-Eagle sports editor Robert Gagliardi, left, and Laramie Boomerang sports editor Bob Hammond on Monday.

By Richard Anderson

Marty English was in coaching limbo when former Wyoming head football coach Joe Glenn was fired after six years at the helm.

He was out of a job for about a week and a half.

English, the linebackers coach under Glenn at UW, will stay with new head coach Dave Christensen as the Wyoming defensive coordinator.

English said that it has been a strange last couple of weeks. He said he went from being as low as you can be in this profession and heartbroken, to getting a chance to visit with Christensen when he came in to take a look at the head coaching position.

Why is English still around? Christensen had researched the Wyoming program and staff and English said that with his ties recruiting up and down the Front Range, the new Wyoming coach wanted to keep some of the continuity.

“The promotion to the defensive coordinator is something that I have had before (at Northern Colorado) and had been very successful, and is something that I had been looking forward to getting a chance to do again,” English said. “I’m just grateful to him that he was going to give me that chance."

This was the first time in his 22 years of coaching that English had been let go.

“You are always tested for some reason or another by a higher power,” he said. “I would say that with the support of my family, there was quite a bit of peace, with the feeling that we could find a job or do something. My wife is working and my family is established here, so we were willing to do whatever we need to do. Our goal was to keep our family in tact. I have always made my family first in the decisions I have ever made.”

It has also been a bittersweet for English. Although he is being retained at Wyoming, his coaching colleagues under Glenn are still looking for employment.

“My heart goes out to all of them. That part is hard,” he said. “They are hanging in there. They are looking for jobs. Honestly, Coach Christensen said it best one time: ‘It doesn’t mean you are a bad coach when you get fired, the circumstances weren’t right for you right then.’ They are going to find jobs and they are going to do well. They have all been super supportive of me. I can’t say how much I appreciate them at this point.

“I owe Coach Glenn and all of those guys I have been with. We had been together for quite a long time. It is just another phase in my life right now and I look forward to another chapter with Coach Christensen and the other coaches on this staff.”

The new chapter will be similar to the old chapter, as English and Christensen will stick with the 3-4 defensive alignment that was implemented a few years ago by then defensive coordinator Mike Breske.

“Marty has a scheme and we have personnel in place,” Christensen said. “We sat down and we visited about it a little bit, and right now we feel with that scheme and personnel-wise, that fits us best. I also know that there are a lot of things we can do from a blitz standpoint that creates issues for offenses.”

Senior linebacker Westin Johnson said that he is not only happy that English is back, but he is pleased that they will stick with the 3-4.

“I’m fortunate to have him as my defensive coordinator now, he’s a great coach and we’re lucky to have him here,” Johnson said. “Every year our goal is to be a top defense in the nation, at least a Top 25 defense, if not a Top 10 team. Everybody can expect the same thing from us. We’re going to have the same scheme and it is going to play at our favor. We have the players and the athletes to run a 3-4, it suits us well.”

English said that every coach who runs a program will put their own twist or initials on it, and he plans on doing the same.

“We have been pretty good here defensively and there has been a good foundation laid,” English said. “We’re not going to have to change a lot, but there are probably a couple of things in my experiences of coordinating before that I would like to do. It will not be anything major, but I feel it is going to be enough as to where it is going to give us a chance in some of the games where maybe we got hurt by some things.”

Other coaching news
Along with English, Christensen mentioned four other coaches who he has hired as assistants. A few others will be announced as soon as their current teams are either finished with a playoff game or a bowl game.

The other announced assistants include tight ends coach Jim Harding (high school), secondary coach Alex Grinch (New Hampshire), outside linebackers coach Mike Fanoga (New Mexico State) and running backs coach Jason Ray (Missouri).

No comments: