New coach joins the football team

Edward Rudman Sports Writer

The new academic year has also brought a new defensive coordinator to the football team.

Rob Eggerling was named the new defensive coordinator in August of 2020 and will be returning to the same program he played for during the 1997-2000 seasons.

“An opportunity like this doesn’t come along all the time,” said Eggerling. “When this opportunity came across, I definitely was very intrigued and was pretty adamant about trying to get it and wanted to come back here. I’m thankful for it and I won’t take it for granted.”

Eggerling was named a captain in his senior year and earned All-Northeast 10 Conference First Team Defensive Honors as a punter in 1999. He is the second most in punts (147) and second most in punt yards (5,135) in program history.

Eggerling has been coaching for 19 years, starting his career at St. Lawrence University as a graduate assistant in 2001. He spent seven years at NE10 adversary Saint Anselm College from 2008-2015, acting as the associate head coach and defensive coordinator. He was named 2014 NCAA Division II Assistant Coach of the Year by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston, according to the Owls’ athletic website.

His prior job before coming to Southern was serving as the safeties coach at Bowdoin College for four years.

“He’s a guy that I’ve known obviously with the Southern football ties. We’ve had to coach against him when he was at St. Anselm’s and I was an assistant and later on, a head coach. He always had complicated, diverse schemes that, to an opposing coach, was very complex. And he’s just a good man and it’s a good hire for our program,” said Head Coach Tom Godek.

Eggerling will look to help bolster Southern’s defense and improve weaknesses. Southern allowed 25 points per game to their opponents last year. A total of 1,566 net rushing yards were also gained on Southern’s defense for an average of 156.6 rushing yards per game, according to Southern’s athletics website.

When it comes to coaching defense, Eggerling said he does not like having the opponent’s offense dictate what they can do on the other side of the ball.

“We’re going to run what we want to run, and they will have to adapt to what we do. We’re going to be attacking, we’re going to be blitzing and we’re going to be a multiple coverage team,” said Eggerling. “We’re going to do what we need to do to be successful but we’re also going to be very basic and emphasize technique.”

On top of being the new defensive coordinator, Eggerling will have to make the transition during COVID-19 pandemic which has created less than ideal training conditions.

“I have reached out to every student athlete when I was officially hired just to talk to them and try to get to know them a little face to face, and it’s been difficult,” Eggerling said. “Way more so than when you’re the new guy under normal circumstances and you see the players two or three days in a row. You pick all of it up way faster.”

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