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Rocket football: A voice of experience

04/01/2014, 11:26pm EDT
By RYAN AUTULLO BLADE SPORTS WRITER

New linebackers coach Tyson Veidt has got some pipes


New UT linebackers coach Tyson Veidt has a voice that’s loud, distinctive, and authoritative.

Everyone who’s heard it is talking about Tyson Veidt’s voice.

University of Toledo’s new linebackers coach can bark instructions at practice overtop the piercing sounds of rock and Top 40.

“You can hear him from anywhere,” Chase Murdock said of his position coach.

GALLERY: Opening practice at Glass Bowl

Not only loud, Veidt’s voice drips with dialect uncommon in northwest Ohio.

“He’s kind of got that southern twang,” his boss, coach Matt Campbell, said.

Stops along the coaching trail in southern Ohio, West Virginia, and western Pennsylvania “isn’t good on an accent,” the native of southcentral Ohio’s Logan surmises.

Veidt is now as far north as he’s ever been, in both geographical location and in his career. Veidt, who spent the past six seasons as head coach invigorating a wobbly program at Bluffton University, is Toledo’s third linebackers coach since the end of last season.

Veidt, hired March 3 to his first full-time Division I job to replace Stan Watson, had all of 10 days to adjust before the start of spring practice. If he wasn’t analyzing film or devising practice plans, Veidt was fulfilling duties related to his position as recruiting coordinator.

And that says nothing of his increased responsibilities at home. Veidt’s wife, Mandy, delivered twin girls last Wednesday.

“Things are blurry at times when you’re doing things that fast,” Veidt said. “But it’s been a good transition.”

Veidt (rhymes with light) inherits a talented linebackers group that includes All-Mid-American Conference honoree Junior Sylvestre and two others — juniors Murdock and Trent Voss — who have shown themselves capable of attaining such accolades.

Identifying backups for his front line is Veidt’s top spring priority. No other linebackers earned a letter last season, although one of them, Jaylen Coleman, likely would have gotten one had he not suffered a preseason injury that limited his participation to five games.

“We have to develop some depth,” Veidt said.

These challenges are minor compared to those Veidt accepted six years ago when he signed on to be Bluffton’s head coach. The program was coming off a 1-9 season, it’s seventh in a row at or below .500. The previous staff had done a poor job of recruitment and retention, leaving Veidt with a roster of 38 sophomores, juniors, and seniors — a number Veidt more than doubled.

There is no roster limit in Bluffton’s Division III and some programs, including Campbell’s alma mater, Mount Union, stock their teams with 100-plus players.

“Probably the best way to describe it is the guy before me got fired,” Veidt said. “You know it’s not a good situation going in, obviously.”

Brought in after a two-year run as defensive coordinator at Saint Vincent, Pa., Veidt led Bluffton to one win in 2008, and none in 2009.

His record after two years in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference stood at 0-14. Bluffton had surrendered 40 or more points in nine of 19 games. Although the numbers might have suggested otherwise, Veidt’s boss was convinced he made the right hire.

“First and foremost, he’s an extremely hard worker. Tireless worker,” Bluffton athletic director Phill Talavinia said. “His passion for football, and not just football, but winning football, has carried him tremendously far.”

Talavinia sensed early Veidt was committed to winning.

“I would get home at night and sit there with my phone in hand knowing I would get 20 text messages with him asking various questions,” he said. “And that was after being together most of the day. He’s just very good at what he does.”

Bluffton was never bad again.

The Beavers won four games in 2010, Veidt’s third season, and finished second in the conference the next two years. In its final game in 2012, Bluffton outlasted rival Defiance in two overtimes to post the school’s first winning season since 2000 at 6-4. After starting last season with losses in six of seven games, Bluffton closed the year with three wins to finish 4-4. Included in its late-season turnaround was a 24-17 upset of ninth-ranked Franklin.

“Hopefully we left it in a much better scenario than when we arrived,” Veidt said. “We had a lot of work to do all over the place.”

Contact Ryan Autullo at: rautullo@theblade.com, 419-724-6160 or on Twitter @AutulloBlade.

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Tag(s): Toledo