Animated and uptempo, Rod Sandberg making his mark at Whitworth


by KREM 2 Sports

Posted on April 24, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 24 at 7:03 PM

SPOKANE -- Coaching changes don't just result in new ideas and philosophies, they also offer a shift in personality. That is certainly the case at Whitworth under new football coach Rod Sandberg, who - in his own energetic and animated way - has made an impression on the Pirates.

"He's a crazy guy," quarterback Bryan Peterson said. "He's a really crazy guy."

Now in their third week of spring football, Sandberg is clearly in his element with the Bucs.

"I'm very relational," Sandberg said. "I like motivating. I like encouraging, inspiring our athletes."

On a typical practice day that process starts when Sandberg address his team prior to film study. From there he breaks down practice video with his defensive linemen. From there he leads a spirited, high tempo practice.

"I think the coaches are trying to make a personal connection with us," cornerback De' Hall said. "I think that transfers in meetings onto the field."

It's on the field where the Pirates take on the personality of their head coach.

"We are organized, we are fast paced, we are going from one thing to the next," Sandberg said. "We coaches have energy. Our players have energy."

In the hour and 45 minutes Whitworth is on the field, they go non-stop. The new staff coaches the players along the way, squeezing as many repetitions and drills in as possible.

"In my experience just these first couple weeks doing it, I love it," Peterson said. 

"I don't really care about X's and O's," Sandberg said. "I care that every time our players leave practice they felt like wow that went fast. We were getting coached, we had a plan, they're excited to get back to the next practice."