Best Chance To Win

When Houston head coach Dana Dimel was fired last November Dick Bumpas knew he'd be looking for a new place to call home in 2003. Fortunate to have several opportunities to choose from he chose to come to Western Michigan to replace departed defensive coordinator Jim Knowles. The reason? According to Bumpas the Broncos offer the best chance to win. He talks about it in this interview.

Having worked with head coach Gary Darnell at Notre Dame, Kansas State and Tennessee Tech, Bumpas felt very comfortable coming to Western Michigan to take over the Bronco defense.

"When Dana [Dimel] was fired I knew I was going to be looking for a new place to go and I had several opportunities but Western Michigan was number one because they offer a chance to win right now," said Bumpas.

Bumpas originally installed the current defense the Broncos use (4-2-5) with coach Darnell years ago and knowing that system was in place here at Western Michigan also made his decision to come to Kalamazoo an easy one.

"The is no doubt having this package in place helps," he said. "It is a big plus and coaches Woods and Ake have done an excellent job with it."

Though he knows the system well, it will take time to evaluate the players and find how best to utilize them. Bumpas says it will take several 11-on-11 situations to fully evaluate his defensive roster but there are still some players that he knows will have an impact.

"I think one guy that sticks out is Jason Babin," he said. "It is obvious he is going to be a good player for us this year."

For Bumpas, the goal of the spring is to teach and improve each and every player and evaluate them on an ongoing basis. He says the best eleven will be on the field come game time.

"It is a personnel issue in the spring," he said. "We'll find out who the best players are and develop a pecking order for the fall."

Bumpas speaks very highly of fellow newcomer J.C. Harper who takes over as defensive line coach.

"J.C. has been very successful wherever he has been and I really feel good about having hi with us here," he added.

How might the Bronco defense change in 2003? Bumpas says he has not locked himself into anything specific but there is no question they will be an aggressive defense that will expand on some things they have done in the past and limit some other areas. Early on in spring drills, Bumpas is also loving the facilities at Western Michigan.

"There is no doubt that this is first class," he said emphatically. "The facilities are second to none in the MAC and everything is very self-contained and we are getting a lot done."

Bumpas says he has no set coaching philosophy but watching him lead defensive drills it is easy to see that he expects things done right or they will be worked on until they are.

"I've never really thought about [my coaching philosophy]," he said. "There is a bottom line to everything you do and that is my concern when working out there, that we do things the right way and at the right pace."

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