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UND’s Schweigert chats with team for first time

UND football coach Bubba Schweigert met with his team Monday afternoon for the first time as a group.

Schweigert laid out the plan.

0 Talk about it

“We’re going to talk about how we’re going to run the program,” said Schweigert, who was hired in late December. “We’ll talk about responsibility and accountability. We’re going to do it day by day. We won’t look farther than what we can do today. That’s how you have to approach this.”

Schweigert hasn’t had much time to relax since his hiring. He’s had to put an assistant staff in place and search for recruits with the Feb. 5 national signing day deadline lurking.

On Monday at Memorial Stadium, though, Schweigert had his first chance to get the returning players to buy in to his plan.

“The first message has to be how we do things as a team and part of that is being a good teammate,” Schweigert said.

Schweigert said he’s getting a better handle on his personnel through watching game and practice video.

“I’m still evaluating everything,” Schweigert said. “It’s everything. How are guys doing in school? How are they approaching their treatments? Their workouts? Then, we’ll evaluate the depth chart.”

Schweigert also continued to round out his coaching staff on Monday, announcing the hiring of Joel Schwenzfeier as outside linebackers coach.

Schwenzfeier, who coached running backs at UND a year ago, is Schweigert’s first hire off former coach Chris Mussman’s staff.

Schwenzfeier played for UND from 2007-10 and was a standout defensive back.

“Joel has a special connection to UND football and will provide us with a link to the surrounding area and many former UND players,” Schweigert said. “We are moving him back to the defensive side of the ball where his passion lies. In my short time working with him, I respect his work ethic and commitment to bettering our football program.”

Schwenzfeier made 37 career starts and played in all 44 games at strong safety during a four-year career at UND. He finished his career with 10 interceptions and tied a UND single-game record with three in the 2009 season-opener at Texas Tech.

Schwenzfeier was named to the media’s All-Great West first team following his senior season in 2010. He had three interceptions in that season, including taking one back for a 100-yard touchdown return.

Schwenzfeier’s hire completes UND’s defensive hires. The team is expected to name a running backs coach and special teams coach this week.