By A.J.W. Ewers
In an effort to further better the football program, Olivet Tiger Football signed 27 new players on National Signing Day for the 2014 football season, according to an ONU Athletic Department press release sent out Feb. 10.
Brian Fish, head football coach, collected letters of intent from students originating from places like California, Texas and Ohio on Feb. 5, also known as National Signing Day among the collegiate football fan base.
The players are all part of Fish’s overall plan to revitalize and rebrand the Tiger Football program as more than just football.
Fish, who will begin his third season this fall, has made a noticeable difference in the program in the short time he has led the team. He said he feels the program is much further in the development process than when he first took over.
“The exciting thing for me, as head coach, we feel like we have moved our team past the point where the guys are recruiting have to come in and produce right away,” he said.
One such player, future offensive lineman Nathan Wells, will be joining Tiger Football in the fall. Wells is from Aurora, Ill., where he attended Aurora Christian High School.
“I feel very excited. Not only to be a Tiger, but because I’m still able to play the game of football,” Wells said. “I am very thankful that Coach Fish pursued me as a football player and I want to help the program as much as I can.”
Fish not only intends to instill a love of football in his players, but also an awareness of faith. This desire to grow a love of faith in his players stems from his belief about football in general. In a personal biography of Fish on the ONU Athletics website, Fish is quoted as saying, “I believe football is a gift that helps us grow in our faith, not the other way around.”
” I believe football is a gift that helps us grow in our faith, not the other way around.” – Coach Brian Fish
While faith is something that ONU is founded on, Fish understands faith cannot be forced on someone. “Re- cruits understand that faith will be a part of it,” Fish said.
Fish’s goal is to develop a program that will not be remembered simply for its football experience, but for its faith.
“A hundred years from now it does not matter what game we won and what game we didn’t win. A hundred years from now, faith will matter,” he said.