UND FOOTBALL: Bubba, staff prepare for beginning of a new era
The calendar page hasn’t yet been turned to August. For all practical purposes, however, summer is over at Memorial Stadium.
Today, UND football players report for fall camp.
And this fall camp will be different, as coach Bubba Schweigert has returned to UND to take over a program still trying to gain a foothold in the Big Sky Conference.
“We’re excited to get started,” said Schweigert. “We have a lot of new guys coming in. And our challenge is to mold these guys into a team, mixing the new guys with the old.”
The UND coaching staff expects 33 new players today. Overall, 93 players are expected to report to fall camp.
Meetings are expected to take place Friday, with the first practice of fall camp scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
“We still have a couple of roster spots open,” said Schweigert. “And things can happen late these days. We’re always recruiting. We’re always going to try and make our team better by developing guys and bringing in new players.”
But the new UND coach said the program won’t bring in players at this late date unless they can contribute right away.
Looking to contend
Schweigert, who was a North Dakota assistant for 15 years before leaving Grand Forks in 2004, took over UND football in January. He replaced Chris Mussman and his task is to lead UND to a contending status in the Big Sky — one of the top FCS leagues in the country.
UND is 5-11 in its two Big Sky seasons. Last season, UND lost four home games against Big Sky competition by a combined score of 184-58.
The league — led by preseason national favorite Eastern Washington — hasn’t become any easier. But it’s a step-by-step process for UND to climb the Big Sky ladder.
“We’re going to stress to the guys that all jobs are open,” said Schweigert. “Hopefully, that creates a great work ethic and competition throughout practices and throughout film study and meetings.”
The spring season ended well, said Schweigert, adding that it could serve the program well during the upcoming fall camp.
“We were really happy with our guys in the spring,” he said. “The last week of the spring season, they seemed to settle in and understand how we’re going to do things.”
UND’s opener is Aug. 28 at San Jose State, which finished 6-6 last season. The Spartans are picked to finish fifth this season in the West Division of the Mountain West Conference.
Single-game tickets on sale
UND announced Wednesday that single-game football tickets will go on sale Friday, beginning at 10 a.m.
Additionally, UND Champions Club members can participate in a pre-sale for football single-game tickets today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Champions Club members will be e-mailed a pass code and instructions prior to the pre-sale.
Single-game ticket prices for the Robert Morris (Potato Bowl), Stony Brook, Weber State and Northern Arizona games are priced $15 to $20 for adults and $10 for youth. Single-game tickets for the Montana (Hall of Fame) and Portland State (homecoming) games are $20 to $25 for adults and $15 for youth.
Season tickets are still available, starting at $75 for all six home games. These can be purchased online at UNDSports.com/Tickets, in person at the Ralph Engelstad Arena Box Office, or by calling 701-777-4689.
Tickets can be purchased at the Alerus Center Box Office, UND Box Office at Ralph Engelstad Arena or via Ticketmaster.com.