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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

A week into practice, DPU coach Lynch right back at home on sideline

Thursday, August 22, 2013

DePauw football coach Bill Lynch gathers his team in a huddle following Wednesday's practice. Lynch is less than a week into training camp for his second stint with the Tigers.
(Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN) [Order this photo]
It's been nine years since Bill Lynch patrolled the sidelines at Blackstock Stadium as head coach of the DePauw football team.

But while many things have changed outside the team -- in the community, around the world -- the athletic program at DPU has remained remarkably static.

Many of the coaches, both on the football team and in other sports are still around, and long-time DePauw coach Nick Mourouzis, who Lynch succeed in his first stint at DPU, still walks the sidelines at practice.

"It was a great place the last time I was here and I get the same feel now," Lynch said. "I'm having a great time. It's been a lot of fun. They're great kid to work with. We're only a week into it but I think we're making good progress."

At this time of year, the progress is extremely important. During camp, when the Tigers' are the only students on campus and classes haven't yet begun, it's easy to focus on football.

That'll change on Saturday when the rest of the student body moves in, Lynch said.

"Starting Saturday, the new students come on campus so you'll lose the first-year players to freshmen orientation," he said. "The older guys will have some other responsibilities on campus when everyone else comes back. So we really have to make good progress up through Friday afternoon."

The training camp period will come to an end that day with an intra-squad scrimmage.

After that, the DPU coaching staff will begin making decisions about personnel, positions and a depth chart.

Because Lynch was hired in January he was able to get to know some of the players in the spring. That was valuable time to help evaluate talent, but the coach still couldn't be sure what he had until training camp began last Thursday.

"We've learned a lot in a week," Lynch said. "When you're installing a new offense and a new defense, with new terminology, it takes a little bit of time, but so far they've responded really well."

The season is coming up quickly and the Tigers won't have long to get to know their new coach and, with 45 new players joining the program (including 42 freshmen), the coaches won't have much time to figure out what they have.

DePauw will travel to Franklin College on Saturday, Aug. 31 for a scrimmage at noon, then begin the regular season a week later at Sewanee.

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