UU football opens practice


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The Urbana University football team opened preseason camp this week at UU Stadium.

Coach Tyler Haines enters his fourth year leading the Blue Knights in 2018-19 after going 5-6 (4-6 MEC) last season.

By looking at UU coaching history, that is good sign for the Blue Knights. Haines is the third straight head football coach at UU to go 5-6 in his third year and both previous coaches followed up with winning records in year four.

Haines and his staff once again built a dominant recruiting class with a healthy mix of freshmen and transfers that will look to earn playing time right away. The Blue Knights had over 100 players report to preseason training camp while returning five starters on each side of the ball, along with one specialist.

Along with the roster changes, Haines also added six new staff members.

Joe Nemith was hired over the summer as defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. Nemith brings over 20 years of coaching experience at the collegiate level, including previous stints at Ashland, Ohio Dominican and Otterbein. He replaces former defensive coordinator Stacey Hairston, who stepped away from coaching.

Additional staff hires include Chris Shanefelt (running backs), Dwight Evans (linebackers), Thomas Heffelfinger (special teams quality control), Brad Armstrong (offensive quality control) and Neil Beckner (defensive quality control).

UU was picked to finish 10th out of 11 teams in the Mountain East Conference this fall, following a vote by the league’s head coaches. The Blue Knights tied for sixth last year.

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