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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

Eagles’ Head Coach Doug Geiser prepares for first year at the helm

The Eagles went 10-2 in the 2022 fall, with aspirations looking to match those efforts once again
Mike Hopkins
Head Coach Doug Geiser talks with his team after a practice in the preseason training camp.

In Jan. 2023, Doug Geiser was introduced as Ashland University’s next man at the helm of the prestigious football program. Naming a new head coach had not been a process familiar to AU, because of the 19-year tenure of the now-retired Lee Owens.

With the success of the program in recent years, specifically running the football under the leadership of Geiser as the run game coordinator, a new head football coach was promoted from within. The transition to the head coaching position for Geiser has been very smooth, because of nearly all of the same football ideology as Owens.

“In my mind, my transition to head coach has been seamless, we are not reinventing the wheel, we will not be changing things just because I now have the head football coach title next to my name,” said Geiser.

The need to not change things comes from the long-standing parallel careers between both Owens and Geiser. In 2004, when Owens was hired at Ashland, Geiser was a tight ends coach at the University of Akron and followed Owens on the 50-mile South West journey to join his staff on a mission to rebuild the Eagles program.

After the past nearly two decades under Owens, players on the team are being reminded that nothing is truly changing, this is still relatively the same system and program under Geiser.

Coach Geiser has reminded us that if we work as hard as we did in previous years we’ll end up in the same place that we did. If we want to reach our higher goals, we need to exceed what we’ve done in the past and that has really been the case for us,” said defensive tackle Collin Strong.

One change that is coming for the team is the guidance style starting from the top.

Geiser, the more vocal leader of the two, is adding flavor to an already energized team.

“I have a different leadership style for the players than Lee, it’s more a personality thing than anything else,” said Geiser. 

Whatever change or lack there of Geiser provides, one fact remains the same.

Former Head Coach Owens trusts him to continue the legacy of the Ashland football program, “Doug has been there since I came, if anyone knows the principles that built our program it’s him, and he will continue to build on them,” he said.

Geiser’s first chance for a win as the Eagles’ head coach comes against the same school that was the last opponent of Owens career, Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP).

In the 2nd round of the playoffs last year the Eagles fell to the Crimson Hawks, but its chance for revenge comes in the opening game of this year on Aug. 31, 2023, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. from George P. Miller Stadium.

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