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UND Head Football Coach Bubba Schweigert, left, meets UND cheerleader Macy Allaire Tuesday evening during the football coaches meet and greet outside Scheels at Columbia Mall. Photo by Kile Brewer/Grand Forks Herald

UND FOOTBALL: Coach Bubba Schweigert and his staff hold a meet and greet for fans

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With less than a month before UND begins a new football era under coach Bubba Schweigert, North Dakota fans are eager to see what he and his new staff will bring to the table.

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Some UND fans got the chance to do that on Tuesday as Scheels hosted a meet and greet with the coaching staff.

“Scheels was kind enough to support us in many ways,” said Schweigert, “so we wanted to reach out … We’re doing as much as we can to get out in the community.

“Really, our mission is to serve the community and serve the university as a coaching staff because we know a lot of people help us by buying tickets. We just feel like we’re giving back for the good things that the community does for us.”

Fans were treated to hotdogs, autographs and games.

Attendance attracters

Schweigert said that events such as the meet and greet are a good way to interact with the fans on a more personal level as well as attract more fans to the games.

“Obviously, the more people we know, we think it’s going to help our crowd … so it’s a win-win for everybody involved.

“About every event I’ve been at the last five months … I get the question ‘how can I help.’ Get in the seats. You bring recruits on campus and bring them to games and it’s impressive when they see a facility with a great atmosphere that would draw them to want to play in front of that type of crowd support.”

Schweigert, who was an assistant at UND for 15 years before returning in January, spoke of his previous experiences at the Alerus Center that gave UND an edge during home games — something that has been missing as of late.

“We have a wonderful facility with the Alerus Center,” said Schweigert. “It’s a really big home-field advantage when we can get that filled up. 

“I remember it from my times before here in Grand Forks … And I’ve experienced it from the other side as a visitor when I was at Duluth. It plays a part and it’s tough for opponents to come in when you get that type of atmosphere.”

 With UND players reporting for fall camp on Thursday, Schweigert is looking forward to getting to work. UND opens the season Aug. 28 at San Jose State.

“We’re going to coach the heart of these guys,” said Schweigert. “We’re really going to coach the heart hard and make sure we’re playing with something extra and not just going through the motions.”

UND receives commitment

UND received its first commitment for the 2015 recruiting class on Tuesday from New Town, N.D., lineman Elijah Grady, who is 6-foot-5 and 285 pounds.

Grady also was the starting center for this past season’s New Town basketball team that qualified for the state Class B tournament. In the spring, Grady won the discus title at the state track meet.  

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