CALDWELL — The College of Idaho officially put a face on its re-instated football program Wednesday morning, as Mike Moroski was introduced as the Coyotes’ 17th head football coach, accepting the challenge of starting a new program at the Caldwell college.
“It’s a big one because the football program grows from the heart and you’ve got to have somebody with a big heart, and Mike Moroski’s got a big heart,” C of I president Marv Henberg said of the newest member of the Coyote coaching staff, and first C of I football coach since the program was suspended after the 1977 season.
“It feels awesome, especially being here,” said Moroski, who becomes a head coach for the first time after a 25-year career as an assistant coach at UC Davis, his alma mater. “I’ve really enjoyed the process and being here, and the anticipation.
“I’m looking forward to the next steps.”
The next steps are plentiful for the Coyotes and their new coach, but those steps proved to be the biggest draw for Moroski, who admits he wasn’t constantly looking to be a head coach, but was looking for the right situation for himself to lead a program.
“Being able to start from the very beginning and have my fingerprints on everything,” he said of what drew him to Caldwell. “I know what I want, I know what I want in the way of people and staff.
“And then to be able to mold the program in the way you want from the first recruiting class. … It’ll be my involvement with each of those young men and their families and making things work, and navigating through the difficulties of just all the things that come with being a college football coach. You’re dealing with real people and real families, and that’s exciting to me.”
It’s Moroski’s potential to deal with both staff and players that sold Henberg and the C of I on their new coach.
“The selling point was character,” Henberg said. “We stressed that we had to recruit for character, for academic ability, for entering into the life of the college, and almost from the moment I met Mike and talked to him I realized that he had that character. And you can’t recruit for character unless you have it yourself, that was the main thing.”
Recruiting will be one of the first big steps for Moroski, who says he expects to have all the details of moving into his new job done by the end of the week, and plans to start building the C of I program beginning Monday morning.
Henberg believes Moroski’s background at UC Davis, an NCAA Division II school until moving to the FCS ranks in 2007, will help the new coach in understanding how to recruit the unique student-athletes the College of Idaho is seeking.
“Not only was academics a high priority, but we knew that he could recruit athletes who were going to come for modest scholarship support,” Henberg said. “We don’t give 85 full-ride scholarships (like an NCAA FBS program) at the College of Idaho, it’s not that kind of place. So he knows the kind of players he has to recruit for.”
Of course, Moroski admits he’ll have to adjust to some of the details of NAIA rules, but in terms of the game on the field, it’s the same no matter what level.
And for the former NFL and star college quarterback, that means offense.
“The fact that he’s an offensive guy and he’s got that, he’s going to put a team out there that’s going to be entertaining, there’s no question about that,” Henberg said, looking forward to the inaugural Coyotes game, tentatively set for Aug. 30, 2014 at Simplot Stadium against Eastern Oregon.
“Offensively, it will be balanced,” Moroski said of his planned style of play. “I think you have to be balanced. I think you have to be flexible and creative in order to utilize all the different talents you have on the team.”