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Schweigert says no staff changes as UND turns to 2018

University of North Dakota football coach Bubba Schweigert. Eric Hylden / Grand Forks Herald

With the UND football team having a bye during the final week of the regular season, the Fighting Hawks now turn the page to 2018 sooner than most.

Although the Fighting Hawks finished a disappointing 3-8, despite starting the season as a national contender, coach Bubba Schweigert said on Monday he doesn't plan to make any coaching changes.

"I love our staff," Schweigert said. "We work hard, and they're committed to being here at UND."

On Sunday, UND's staff and players met to thank the seniors of 2017 and talk about expectations for the offseason.

"(The seniors) were a big part of our program and will remain a part forever," Schweigert said. "They accomplished some unique things here."

Schweigert said he stressed to the team that you win games in the fall but that championships are won during practices and workouts in the winter, spring and summer.

"We need to take a look at how we can learn from this situation," Schweigert said. "There'll be no finger pointing. We need to identify what we need to change so this doesn't happen again.

"We need to improve our roster. We just aren't as deep of a football team as we need to be to overcome the type of adversity we faced this season."

UND was dismantled by injuries throughout the year, starting with All-American cornerback Deion Harris, who injured his Achilles in the preseason and missed the entire year.

The hits kept coming as only five UND players started every game this season between the offense and defense.

Recruiting will be a little different this offseason, as college football has added an early signing period for recruits.

UND will sign a partial class just before Christmas, rather than the entire class on the first Wednesday of February as was done previously.

"We're pleased with how that's going so far," Schweigert said. "The plus for us is we've communicated to our recruits that they'll sign in December. We'd still like more commitments before that time, but then you spend the rest of December and January finishing up that class. I like the timing, but we'll see when we actually get there."

Schweigert targeted defensive backs and the offensive line as positions of need for this recruiting class.

Tom Miller

Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department for the past 13 years. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate. 

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