Experienced coordinators hoping to help take Hardrockers to the next level.
By Jeff Budlong, Journal staff | Monday, August 03, 2009
Dan Dieringer, who will help guide the offense, and defensive coordinator Charlie Giangrosso bring a wealth of experience to the Rapid City campus as well as a familiarity with Hardrocker head coach Dan Kratzer. "I worked with coach Kratzer at Lindenwood University (in Missouri) and he has done a great job of building up the personnel and program, which is kind of what I expected because we did that at Lindenwood," Dieringer said. Dieringer gives Mines a full-time offensive coordinator with 19 years of college coaching exerpierence. Giangrosso most recently served a three-year stint at NCAA Div. III Bethany College in West Virginia. He was coaching in Missouri at the same time Kratzer was at Lindenwood meaning the three are familiar with each other's styles. "I was excited to get back to this area to coach and have a chance to coach with coach Kratzer again because I know what he expects of his program and his coaches," said Dieringer, who previously coached at Chadron State College. Giangrosso said he was glad to get back on the field after taking some time away from the game. "I just love being around the kids and coaching football," Giangrosso said. "My family was always asking me when I was getting back in so when the opportunity arose ... I took it." While the two coordinators are still getting acclimated to the school and team, they like what they have seen so far. "I think working with these kids in spring ball, they have a lot more confidence in themselves and they are ready to roll," Giangrosso said. "The senior leadership has been real good so far and that is the mainstay of a good program." With some new faces on the sidelines, players will have to prove themselves once again and earn the playing time they want this season. Offensively, Dieringer said the system that was used last season and allowed then freshmen quarterback Nick Russell and running back Jamie Dale to enjoy breakout seasons for Mines. "We are just trying to amplify it a little more with the development of the players," he said. "It is going to be exciting and we have high expectations right now." The new coordinators come to their positions in a time when the Hardrockers have a lot of young playmakers on both sides of the ball, which potentially could lead to success for years to come. "We just have to keep setting those goals and standards high for them to reach those expectations," Dieringer said. "For us to be successful, it is a process and it is a step by step thing where you are not successful until you reach that goal."
Dan Dierigner (offensive coordinator) Both coaches see talent at all of the positions on the field and now they have to find a way to fit all of the pieces together. Giangrosso he has been pleased with the hustle shown so far on the defensive side of the ball. Working with intelligent players also makes it easier to implement the tweaks to the defense he is getting ready for the new season. "Most of the kids we are dealing with are overachiever type of kids which is awesome because they are going to scrap and do what they have to do," he said. "They are going to do what they have to do to be successful." Looking ahead to this season, both coaches see plenty of challenges that will test the Hardrockers, including three DAC schools ranked in the preseason football top 25 in No. 12 Dickinson State, No. 20 Minot State and No. 24 Jamestown College. But Giangrosso said improving on the 5-5 record is attainable. "I think this team can get over .500 and I don't see why not," he said. "If I didn't think we could then why are we here? Now we have to quite talking about it and go do it." With a young team and two new coordinators the Hardrockers are in the process of building something. "We are building a tradition which I think is the first phase of any successful program," Dieringer said. "You have teach the group how to win and how to have success."
The Hardrocker student-athletes report to fall camp on Saturday and then will kick off the season Aug. 29 in a 6 p.m. non-conference contest against Montana Tech at O’Harra Stadium in Rapid City.
Charlie Giangrosso (defensive coordinator)
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