The new offensive line coach is excited about the upcoming season.
By PETE MOLLICA
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
YOUNGSTOWN -- Chris Bache has coached on the sidelines at Stambaugh Stadium before.
Now he gets to do it on the home side of the field.
Bache was named the Youngstown State football team's new offensive line coach a month ago, replacing John Klacik, who left the Penguins to become head coach at Lock Haven University.
Bache has spent the last six seasons at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, the last three as the offensive line coach.
In 1999, Bache's first year with IUP, the Indians played the Penguins in the third game of the season as they gave the Penguins a battle before dropping a 13-7 decision.
Has playoff experience
Bache helped lead the Indians to four Division II playoff appearances during his tenure at his alma mater. IUP won at least seven games in every season, including a 7-3 mark in 2004.
Bache coached the linebackers his first three years at IUP before taking over the offensive line duties prior to the 2002 campaign. He also served as the program's recruiting coordinator.
Bache has been impressed with the overall program at YSU in the short time he's been here.
"Everything is run so orderly, but on the same basis it is also run on a very fast pace," he said. "Practices are run quickly, a lot of things are done on the run and I've found at this level there is a lot more times for meetings."
Impressed with Penguins
Bache inherits a veteran offensive line and he's been impressed with what he's seen so far.
"The players are much more athletic here than what I had before," Bache said. "There is also a much smaller difference between your starters and backups. At IUP, there was a big drop between the two."
Bache feels that he can brings some things to the table that will help the Penguins next season.
"I feel that I can bring some techniques in here that will help this team," he said. "I've worked with a lot of professional players and coaches and I've learned a lot over the years."
Bache said that he's looking forward to the team putting on pads this afternoon when the Penguins hold their first full contact drills, including the annual "Hoot 'n Holler" drill at 2:30 p.m.
Heacock happy to have him
YSU head coach Jon Heacock said Bache brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to the program.
& quot;Chris has been familiar with our program throughout the years, & quot; Heacock said. & quot;He has 17 years of overall coaching experience and that is an important factor.
"He has been involved in a similar running game, and has some background with the West Coast Offense," Heacock said. "We are excited to have him here and he really wants to be here. & quot;
Under Bache at IUP, offensive guard Khiawatha Downey was a Division All-America selection in 2003 and a free agent signee by the San Francisco 49ers.
While coaching linebackers, he helped develop Mike Borisenko into a first-team Associated Press All-American in 2000 and a two-time PSAC West Defensive Player of the Year.
In 2003, the Indians were 10-1, but failed to qualify for the postseason.
During his first four campaigns (1999-2002), IUP qualified for the playoffs every year and advanced to the Division II semifinals in 1999. IUP was 11-2 in 2002, 8-2 in 2001, 8-3 in 2000 and 9-4 in 1999.
Also coached at Kutztown, Wooster
Before returning to IUP, he spent four seasons as an assistant coach at fellow PSAC member Kutztown.
Prior to his stay at Kutztown, Bache spent five years as an assistant coach at The College of Wooster, where he served at different times as linebackers coach, offensive line coach and offensive coordinator.
Following his playing career, he worked as a graduate assistant at both IUP and Temple.
A 1987 graduate in criminology of IUP, he starred at inside linebacker from 1983-86 while finishing with 337 tackles, including 118 as a junior in 1985. He is one of only 12 players in IUP history since 1960 to record more than 300 career tackles.