Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- First-year head coach Curt Wiese and the University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD) football team hit the field at Malosky Stadium on Monday afternoon for the start of spring drills ahead of next fall's regular season.
It is the first time Wiese has been on the field with the team since taking the head coaching job this past December, that after former head coach Bob Nielson took a job at Western Illinois.
"It's different, but in the same way it's still football, and we still have an opportunity to get out here and coach the guys," Wiese said. "We're excited as a team to see what we're all about in 2013."
Wiese had spent the previous five seasons as the Bulldogs' offensive coordinator, helping UMD to five straight Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) North Division titles and the 2010 NCAA Division II championship.
There were nearly 80 players out for the start of spring practice on Monday, with the Bulldogs returning 16 starters from a 2012 team that posted an overall record of (10-2).
"We're trying to have as many people get going as we can," 2013 co-captain and senior offensive lineman Tom Olson said. "Get the younger guys along, and get the older guys a little more experience, a little more game-ready so we're ready to roll next fall."
UMD will practice 15 times over the next three weeks, with spring drills culminating with the 39th annual Maroon-White scrimmage on April 26 at Malosky Stadium.