Released: July 24, 2000
|Keasler to talk ULM football in Bastrop|
As year two of the Bobby Keasler era in University of Louisiana at Monroe football begins, the Indians' head coach views the 2000 squad as much improved over last year.
When Keasler discusses the 2000 season in Bastrop on Aug. 1 as part of ULM's "Athletics and Academics Building Partnerships," his optimism for the coming season will likely be tempered by the fact that this Indian squad will be a very young one. And that the schedule includes road dates with Minnesota, Arkansas and Tennessee, among others.
"We have made a lot of progress with athletes in two good years of
recruiting," says Keasler, the 10th ULM head football coach since ULM became a university, but the first who graduated from the University. "We're better now, but there are always concerns."
Much of what Keasler and his staff have accomplished since he was named head coach in December 1998 have been with an eye toward 2001 when the Indians will compete in the Sun Belt Conference. It will be the first time ULM has been in a football conference since moving to Division I-A in 1994.
"We're looking forward to 2001 and competing in the Sun Belt Conference," Keasler said. "Going into a conference has really created excitement for us as a staff and as a football team."
Keasler and the Indians hope that the momentum that they finished 1999 with will carry over into the new season. ULM won three of its final four games last year, including an impressive road win over Tulsa in the season finale. The Indians return 14 starters and are also excited about a solid recruiting class.
"We recruited some quality players," Keasler said. "But youth is our depth. We're going to have to count on a lot of young players."
The ULM staff has also had to adjust some attitudes since they arrived, and Keasler says that process is on-going.
"People need to understand the direction we're taking, it's a challenge," Keasler, who was assistant coach on ULM's 1987 I-AA National Championship team, says. "Our players understand what we're trying to accomplish. These players and coaches want to win and so do the people who have supported us."
Keasler will be just one of the guests next Tuesday at the Bastrop Municipal Center. ULM President Lawson L. Swearingen, Jr., and Director of Athletics Warner Alford will be also be on hand to discuss athletics and academics at the University.
The program will begin with a social from 6:00-6:30. For more information, contact the office of Charles McDonald at 281-8121.