Players, coaches weigh in on new head football coach

Bobby Wallace, who coached at UNA from 1988-97 and led the UNA lions to three consecutive Division II National Championships, returned to UNA in Jan. 2012 after Terry Bowden resigned. 

The UNA football team is headed into the summer under new rule and new faces leading up to the 2012 season.

Former UNA football coach Bobby Wallace takes over the UNA football team once again to restore order after Terry Bowden’s departure. With Wallace in charge, a new coaching staff has been put in place to give the community a new sense of playing style.

“Everything has been overwhelmingly positive,” said returning assistant coach Steadman Campbell. “These kids have taken into the Coach Wallace way. Personalities are the main thing, and we are surrounded by great people, so that makes for a good, easy transition.”

For the players, new coaches mean that every job is open, and it has made for some good competition.

One of the new faces on the team is at the quarterback position. Chris Alexander, sophomore from Lake Butler, Fla., explains that the leadership brings more discipline this season.

“I like the discipline the coaches enforce, and that’s very important,” Alexander said. “It’s something that we’ve been missing. There is a lot of enthusiasm and great energy. You look forward to practice instead of dreading it.”

Other players on the team have also spoken highly of the transition of coaches. Junior wide receiver Daniel Almon said the players have jumped on board to the new staff and also have been allowing the players to get closer as a team.

“As a whole, the new coaching staff has brought a new excitement to the team and seems to bring out the best in everyone,” Almon said. “All of the new coaches have a great knowledge of football and are good men of character.

“I’ve really been impressed with the way they have been pushing us hard in the weight room and on the field, but also stress being good men of character and doing things the right way.”

During Bowden’s tenure, expectations were higher than ever after bringing in Division I prospects each season. The Lions, however, never made it out of the second round of the playoffs. With new leadership, improving on the little things seems to be the new task to get over the hump.

“At UNA, you’re always going to have big expectations to fill,” Campbell said. “We had success the past three years, but it was little things that kept us from achieving the goal.

“Hopefully, with the renewed energy around the program, we can improve on the little things so we could reach our ultimate goal to win a championship.”