Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Crusader football got a new face Saturday when it named Jamey Chadwell its new head coach.

NGU President Dr. Jimmy Epting introduced the new coach at a press conference in the President’s Board Room in a time he deemed as exciting.

“We looked high and low for just the right person that could fit North Greenville University,” Epting said. “Our mission statement here is a commitment to quality education and a biblically sound, Christ centered environment, so not just any person could fit at North Greenville.”

Epting also cited his character and will to win as other determining factors in the hiring.

“He really loves the Lord and sees this as a ministry,” Epting said. “He’s going to try to whoop everybody…. He’s one of those coaches that knocks you on your hiney, and then he’ll tell his boys to pick him and he’ll be back in just a little bit.”

Chadwell quickly noted that he was humbled in his first day as head coach by the turnout at the conference. He also said he would take full accountability for his players and cited Colossians 3:23 as his life verse. Chadwell wants to use the football program to draw students to NGU.

“Athletics is the front porch of a university,” Chadwell said. “Athletics brings people in who don’t know a lot about your university. Our football team is going to be that front porch.”

After expressing that he was not actually looking to leave CSU, Chadwell said a door was opened and that it was a good fit for him. He said his experience at a sister school has prepared him for North Greenville. However, the sentiments of the day did not stop him from getting into football strategy.

Chadwell plans on running an up-tempo, no huddle style offense that will blend the spread, used famously by Texas Tech, and the option, harking back to the golden days of college football. Both schemes are considered difficult to defend.

“We’re going to try to get the ball in space and see what [our players] can do,” Chadwell said.

Though he expects to let his coordinators handle the defense, Chadwell said he wants to run a 3-4, the same Super Bowl XLIII champion Pittsburgh Steelers run.

“I think it’s easier to recruit three defensive linemen than it is four,” Chadwell said. “I’m an offensive guy… I’m going to trust the people I hire. I’ll give them some parameters, but what I want to see is the guys play hard and do the things they’ve been coached to do.”

The job will be tough, according to Chadwell, and he understands that NGU will not be for every stand out player that could compete for a spot on the team, but he feels God has prepared him. He was officially hired the day after college football’s national signing day, and he says that even though the program is behind, the job can be done.

His determination is creating quite a buzz in the NGU community.

“We are extremely excited to have James Chadwell join our program as the new head football coach at North Greenville University,” athletic director Jan McDonald said in a press release. “We expect him to bring excitement and spiritual growth to the football program as well as NGU.”

Judging by the media turnout Saturday, Epting believes NGU’s athletic program has a bright future.

“Sports folks are getting even more interested in what’s happening here at North Greenville,” Epting said. “I think it’s a sign of what’s going to happen in the future.”

Chadwell comes to NGU after spending the last five years at Charleston Southern University, where he started as the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator. He also coached the wide receivers for the last four years, served as passing game coordinator in 2006 and was assistant head coach for the last two years. CSU’s 28 wins over the last four years is tied for first in the Big South Conference.

Prior to coaching at CSU, Chadwell was a standout quarterback at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tenn. He began his coaching career with ETSU in 2000 with the quarterbacks. He then added the title of tight ends coach in 2002, and tacked on the titles of running backs coach and recruiting coordinator in 2003.

Chadwell replaces former head coach Mike Taylor after a 2-9 2008 season.