Thoren promoted at Baker
Baker University football coach Jason Thoren was named the Wildcats new defensive coordinator last week, after Brian Boyle left Baker to take a job at Avila University Wednesday.
"It's something that I've always wanted to do," Thoren said. "I've become really close to the players. I'm really looking forward to it. For me, its a perfect fit to coach, and I'm lucky to have this opportunity."
Thoren was an assistant coach at the University of Minnesota for three years before coming to Baker last season. He was Baker's defensive line coach last season under head coach Mike Grossner.
"I knew hiring him out of the University of Minnesota that I had to do something with him soon from a full-time standpoint, or I'd lose him," Grossner said.
Thoren played football at Lawrence High School before playing for the University of Kansas from 1994-97.
Grossner said Thoren has the skills to be a defensive coordinator and will really help with local recruiting.
"He's got the credentials," Grossner said. "He's a local standout football player and everybody knows him. That helps with recruiting. He's a good football coach and has a great personality."
Thoren said he loves being at Baker, especially because of the people.
"I love it," Thoren said. "I have had the time of my life. The kids, the coaching staff and the people around the university are great. I seem to have fit in pretty nicely with everybody here."
Thoren said he will try to focus his coaching to the fundamentals of football, because those are often overlooked.
"My main focus is going to be on fundamentals," Thoren said. "Too many times you can get caught up in a numbers game. I think a lot of people overlook fundamentals. It has to be simple in order to be fun."
Boyle will leave his position at Baker on March 15 to become the defensive coordinator at Avila. Former Baker assistant Bruce Young is the new head football coach at Avila.
Boyle was defensive coordinator for Baker last season, and is also a 1996 graduate of Baker. He played football for Baker and was named first-team All-Heart of America Athletic Conference in 1994.
Boyle said the decision to take the job at Avila has been hard, because Baldwin City means a lot to him and his family.
Grossner said Boyle's leaving was no secret, but was just a matter of time. He also said that coaches have to experience different places to become better.
"Brian is Baker football," Grossner said. "He grew up with it and is very loyal to this football program. He needs to step out there and get experience elsewhere. That will help him in his professional career."
Baker's new defensive line coach will be Dallas Scrip, who was a three-year assistant coach at Ohio State University.
Thoren said he will bring a love for the game to his new position and hopes his players will adapt that philosophy.
"One thing I will bring is a genuine love for the game and hopefully it will come out in my players," Thoren said.