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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 D3football.com 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 D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast. The D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast is a regular conversation between Pat Coleman and Keith McMillan and guests covering the wide range of Division III football.

Hit play, or subscribe to get this podcast on your mobile device.

Full episode:

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

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ATN Podcast 272: D-III’s road to the NFL

Keith starts off this podcast by saying, “I think we are sitting on the best offseason podcast in Around the Nation history.” And if you care about Division III players in the NFL, or headed to the NFL, or Division III teams playing in NFL stadiums, you are in the right place.

We are all about the road to the NFL in this podcast. We start with an enlightening interview with Tampa Bay Bucs offensive lineman Ali Marpet, who is entering his sixth year in the league. He talks about his road into the league, whether he has ever shaken the “D3” label and some of the other Division III alumni he has played with for the Bucs.

Marpet also talks about one current D-III alumnus looking to follow a similar path, St. John’s tackle Ben Bartch. Bartch was not available for this podcast, but we talk with Marpet as well as Bartch’s coach, Gary Fasching. He talks about Bartch’s experience at the Senior Bowl. Did you think the Johnnies would never move a home game off campus? You’re not alone, and Fasching talks about how the final Johnnie-Tommie game ended up going to U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Plus, who will play quarterback for the Johnnies in 2020?

We are also joined by a player who also has NFL potential, but didn’t make the cut for the Combine. Berry wide receiver Mason Kinsey has the drive in him to make noise on draft day, however — he’ll tell us about what he had to do in order to get a chance to run the 40 for scouts. Plus, we’ll get a pretty detailed look at what Kinsey’s schedule was at the Shrine Bowl, as well as how he is preparing for the draft.

Pat and Keith discuss that and more in Podcast 272, plus the latest coaching hirings and some of the interesting non-conference games which are new to the 2020 schedule.

Pat and Keith talk about it all in the latest D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast. The D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast is a regular conversation between Pat Coleman and Keith McMillan and guests covering the wide range of Division III football.

Hit play, or subscribe to get this podcast on your mobile device.

Full episode:

Bonus content: Check out Hoopsville’s interview with Brad Bankston about regional realignment, starting at 25:00

You can subscribe to the Around the Nation Podcast in Apple Podcasts, and many other places. You can also get this and any of our future Around the Nation podcasts automatically by subscribing to this RSS feed: http://www.d3blogs.com/d3football/?feed=podcast

Here’s how to find us on some of the major podcasting apps:

Theme music: DJmentos. Mason Kinsey (d3photography.com photo), Ali Marpet (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports), Ben Bartch (Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports)

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ATN Podcast 271: The post-Kehres world

The announcements of the departure of Vince Kehres and Larry Kehres from the Mount Union football program and athletic department are easily the most impactful news stories of the young 2020 season. And depending on how the season ends, those twin departures may well be the most impactful news story of the entire year.

Who might replace Vince Kehres as head coach? Pat and Keith are joined by Adam Turer, and they look at some of the possible names — Mount Union alumni who could well be the next Purple Raider head coach. Plus, we’ll also talk about what sort of Purple Raider program that person will inherit.

In addition, we start our offseason podcasts as we always do, with long-form interviews of Division III coaches. This month, we caught up with Aaron Keen, the new head coach of Washington University in St. Louis — literally on his first day on the job in mid-January. What is on the to-do list for the man replacing another LK — Larry Kindbom? Plus, what did he forget to do on Day 1? And why would a man who could be an offensive coordinator in a power conference, or perhaps a Group of Five head coach, want to come back to Division III? We hear his take.

We also chat with McMurry head coach Jordan Neal. He enters his second year with the program, one which can seemingly only go up after an 0-10 finish in 2019. We talk with Neal about his career on the opposite side of town, as a quarterback at Hardin-Simmons, plus his time as an assistant coach and how he found all of the people who are now on his staff. And then, how do the War Hawks get the program turned around?

And we take your questions: If we could wave a magic wand, where would we put the Stagg Bowl? Who will be the next coach at Wheaton? And who won the decade?

Pat and Keith discuss that and more in Podcast 271. It’s the first podcast of 2020.

Pat and Keith talk about it all in the latest D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast. The D3football.com Around the Nation Podcast is a regular conversation between Pat Coleman and Keith McMillan and guests covering the wide range of Division III football.

Hit play, or subscribe to get this podcast on your mobile device.

Full episode:

You can subscribe to the Around the Nation Podcast in Apple Podcasts, and many other places. You can also get this and any of our future Around the Nation podcasts automatically by subscribing to this RSS feed: http://www.d3blogs.com/d3football/?feed=podcast

Here’s how to find us on some of the major podcasting apps:

Theme music: DJmentos. d3photography.com photos by Ryan Coleman (Larry Kehres), Robert B. Forbes (Vince Kehres); McMurry athletics; Eastern Michigan athletics.