ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Building a program as a first-year college head coach can be challenging. It’s even tougher when that first year falls in the middle of a pandemic.
The University at Albany’s Dwayne Killings led his first summer workouts this week, in year one as a college head coach. With six returners, Killings brought in nine players, a mix of freshmen and transfers.
COVID-19 restrictions made recruiting even more difficult, forcing Killings and his staff to think outside the box. “It’s been hard,” Killings said. “It’s been a little bit different. We couldn’t go into high schools and spend some time with them. We had to be a little creative. Virtually we did things, we did some home visits last month. It’s been a little bit different from how you’d typically go about building a program.”
Despite the challenges, Killings believes the Great Danes have the right players in the building. “I think we hit it right because as soon as the kids got here they were excited to be here,” Killings said. “They’re honored to wear the jersey. They connected to each other so fast because it was a great fit. I think that’s what’s most important to me and my staff was making sure these 15 guys become a family as quickly as possible, as fast as we can be.”
The Great Danes are looking to improve on a 7-9 season last year.