Entz introduces new hires to Bison football coaching staff
FARGO — Tyler Roehl was happy to stay home.
The former North Dakota State running back stood at the podium Thursday afternoon, Jan. 10, in a suit and reflected on his journey from West Fargo High School to being promoted to offensive coordinator for the NDSU football team, saying he was humbled by the opportunity.
“It’s been a wild ride,” said the 32-year-old Roehl.
Moments earlier, NDSU head coach Matt Entz referred to Roehl as “Mr. Bison” because of his ties to the community and football program. Roehl played for NDSU from 2004-2008, rushing for more than 2,500 yards, and recently finished his sixth season on the coaching staff.
“It’s going to take something really special for me to leave,” said Roehl, who was the tight ends/fullbacks coach the past five seasons. “This is home and this place means a lot to me.”
Entz announced the majority of his coaching staff Thursday at the Fargodome. He took over the program from Chris Klieman after last Saturday’s NCAA Division I FCS championship game with Klieman headed to Kansas State.
“They are definitely the right individuals to be here at North Dakota State,” Entz said.
While Roehl was happy he’s staying put, it was a homecoming for a former Bison linebacker. Grant Olson, who played for NDSU from 2010-2013, was named linebackers coach after coaching at Indiana State and Wyoming the past four seasons.
“It’s just home,” said Olson, who played on three NDSU national title teams, including the undefeated 2013 squad. “The reason I know why I came back is because it’s just home. … I’m really happy to be here. I’m so excited to be back in this room.”
David Braun was introduced as the new defensive coordinator at NDSU after spending the past two seasons at Northern Iowa. AJ Blazek, who spent the past three seasons at Big Ten Conference member Rutgers, is the new offensive line coach. Noah Pauley, who spent the last three seasons at Minnesota-Duluth, is the new wide receivers coach.
Defensive tackles coach Nick Goeser, defensive ends coach Buddha Williams and cornerbacks coach Kody Morgan are among the holdovers from the previous coaching staff. Randy Hedberg, who has been quarterbacks coach, has been promoted to associate head coach and passing game coordinator. Entz said he has one more coaching hire to make to complete his staff.
“The continuity was the main key,” said Entz, who takes over a Bison program that has won seven FCS titles over the past eight seasons.
Roehl said he’s ready for the challenge of being NDSU’s offensive coordinator. He credited multiple former coaches that he’s played for or coached with for preparing him for this moment. That group includes former Bison head coach Craig Bohl and former NDSU assistants Gus Bradley, Tim Polasek, Steve Laqua and Pat Perles. He also credited Klieman and Bison strength coach Jim Kramer in his development.
Roehl said he would collaborate with other assistants on the staff in putting together offensive game plays.
“I told all these guys. I’m not Vince Lombardi and I’m going to need help in this,” Roehl said. “I’m going to bounce a lot off of them.”
Roehl said the Bison offense isn’t going to look much different than it has in recent seasons.
“Not much different than what we’ve done,” Roehl said. “Everyone knows we’re going to run the ball.”
Braun is a graduate of Winona State, where he played defensive line for Entz from 2004-2007. He later coached at Winona State and was also the defensive line coach at UC Davis in 2015 and 2016. From an outside perspective, Braun said the NDSU program is one that garnered respect from the rest of the Missouri Valley Football Conference and the FCS.
“They’re never satisfied and we need to make sure that continues,” Braun said. “I’m excited.”
Olson is married to former Bison standout golfer Amy (Anderson) Olson, who is currently on the LPGA tour. The opportunity to return to NDSU was an easy decision, he said.
“Amy and I have talked about this for awhile,” Grant Olson said. “It’s always something that’s been a goal, not that it needed to be immediate. We’re extremely excited.”