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Defensive duty: UJ coach Frank gives up playcalling on ‘D’

University of Jamestown football coach Shawn Frank adjusts his head set at Mayville State last year. Chris Aarhus / Sun File Photo

Giving up defensive coordinators duties wasn’t too difficult for Shawn Frank.

The University of Jamestown head football coach had been calling the defensive signals the past six seasons, including doing double-duty the last two years.

But Frank turned that job, and title, over to Jared Schwanz and is confident of a smooth transition.

“My college coach Jim Driscoll use to say, ‘You have to surround yourself with people that know a helluva lot more than you do,’” Frank said of the former University of Mary head coach. “I have a lot of confidence and trust in the coaches we have. That’s what this is about. We have a great staff that I have total faith in.”

There’s still plenty on Frank’s plate, of course. He’ll serve as special teams coordinator, and instead of focusing primarily on the defense, will now have time to dabble elsewhere, including the offensive side of the ball were Josh Kittell is a first-time offensive coordinator.

“I’m going to be more active on the offensive side of things. Certainly, the defense I’ll still be involved with, but I’m not a micromanager,” he said. “I’ve been through that and it’s not fun.”

It also frees him up to focus more on the action on the field on Saturday afternoons, instead of just one side of the ball.

“It’ll allow me to be a better game-day manager. My back won’t be turned when it’s third-and-four,” he said.

Frank said offseason workouts have gone well, but getting outside for spring practices is particularly important for the offense with a new play-caller and new schemes being implemented.

“Every coach probably says the same thing about how the offseason workouts are going, but we’ve had a really good offseason,” Frank said. “Our kids are committed. I’m confident we’ve gotten better.”

The Jimmies went 3-7 last season, but tied for the North Star Athletic Association title with Valley City State at 3-1.

The season will start a week later than last year. The Jimmies open on a Thursday night (Aug. 28) at Shelly Ellig Field against the Vikings in a non-conference tilt. Fall camp kicks off Aug. 6.

Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be

reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail 


Dave Selvig
Selvig has been a sports writer at The Sun since 1999 and sports editor since 2009.
(701) 952-8460