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New coach brings structure to Seton Hill football program

| Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

A long day of training camp was winding down for the Seton Hill football team. Players and coaches wasted no time in getting changed and heading to the dinner line.

It was, at least, a short reprieve from another tough grind before a final roll call took place.

“Yes, roll calls are an important part of this organization,” first-year Seton Hill coach Isaac Collins said. “My family instilled in me early on the importance of being organized. Today, I can say I'm a very organized person, and I expect the same from these guys.”

Apparently, Collins is getting it, too. Players and coaches had little time to stop and talk, concerned about the possibility of being late for the impending roll call.

“With the new coach coming in, he brought in a lot more structure,” said Seton Hill sophomore Josh Falatovich, a former Greensburg Salem star.

After everyone had dined, Collins remained in the area until all were out the door and into an adjacent room for the short gathering to conclude the day.

Outside, darkness was setting in. The doors closed and Collins' could be heard clearly conducting the business at hand.

“It's hard to be the best,” he told his team, his voice radiating through the walls. “It takes a long, long time.”

Seton Hill was far from the best at anything in 2012, limping to an 0-10 record in its final year in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and suffering its fourth consecutive losing season.

Collins was brought in to straighten out the program, something he also accomplished previously at Widener.

Now comes the fun part. The Griffins are moving in on their 2013 season opener on Sept. 5 at Fairmont State, which represents their first game as a member of the highly regarded Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

“The easy way out is to blame the coaches for what happened last year,” Seton Hill quarterback Andrew Jackson said. “The players needed to be held accountable, also.”

Collins cleaned house by setting high standards and weeding out those who didn't want to abide by them. In all, there were about 13 players from last year's squad who abruptly quit, he said. Another handful left school for various other reasons.

“I cared very much about everyone when I got here,” Collins said. “I didn't want to see anyone leave, but I also let them know this is who I am. It's about building men of character. The ‘zero tolerance' will work.”

Jackson, who sat out one season at Miami (Ohio) on a redshirt, eventually migrated to Seton Hill before the start of last season after other stops at Kilgore (Texas) Junior College and Division I FCS Jackson State.

He stepped into the starting roll in the fourth game after an injury to original starter Ryan Morris and ended the season with 2,131 yards passing.

Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at dmackall@tribweb.com.

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