ATN Podcast 273: A silent spring

The fields will stand empty this spring, as college campuses across the country are devoid of student and athlete alike. The Division III football spring practice will be even more non-existent than usual.

Dozens of new coaches won’t get to see their teams in action, even if that action had been without helmets and pads. Hundreds of quarterback hopefuls won’t get to show off their skills in an organized setting.

And yet, all this pales to the threat each and every Division III coach, player and fan, across all sports, faces from the COVID-19 virus — a virus that even helped bring a school to close its doors permanently, with perhaps more to come. In this edition of the podcast, Pat Coleman and Keith McMillan talk with three coaches who are all helping their student-athletes face likely the most significant adversity of their lives.

That starts with MacMurray coach Chris Douglas, whose entire team and school was disbanded out from under him last week. He talked with us less than 24 hours after the new broke, to talk about how he and the school were helping his student-athletes and what plans they might have for continuing to play in 2020, for different programs.

We also talked with Jeff Thorne of national champion North Central. His spring practice would have been spent helping figure out who would take the quarterback reins from Offensive Player of the Year Broc Rutter. Instead, it is spent sheltering at home, meeting with players online and looking for innovative ways to upgrade the Cardinals’ X’s and O’s. And we also talked with FDU-Florham coach Jimmy Robertson, who just took over the program six short weeks ago — or maybe it seems like longer than that. His vision for turning the Devils around starts with a plan, one which the team will have to start by working out at home.

Pat and Keith discuss that and more in Podcast 273.

Pat and Keith talk about it all in the latest Around the Nation Podcast. The Around the Nation Podcast is a regular conversation between Pat Coleman and Keith McMillan and guests covering the wide range of Division III football.

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Theme music: DJmentos. North Central athletics photo by Steve Woltmann.

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