Sports, Wednesday, April 1st

By: Nathan Bloechl — 

UMAC Seeking Answers Following Closure of MacMurray:

The Upper Midwest Athletic Conference is dealing with the loss of one of its associate members, which will impact the football schedule for teams in that league.

MacMurray College of Jacksonville, Illinois is closing its doors — meaning the U-MAC will be a team short for football.

UMAC commissioner Corey Borchardt says he feels for MacMurray and what they are going through in shutting down.

He says the biggest impact the departure will have on his conference is scheduling, which is traditionally done a few years in advance.

Football is typically done six, seven, years in advance. We are going through contingency plans to get schedules modified to position our schools to move forward. We’ll get through it, we’re already making progress” Borchardt explained.

The UMAC had been a nine-member league for football, including permanent members Crown, Martin Luther, Minnesota-Morris, Northwestern, and St. Scholastica.

Three associate members will remain part of the league, including Westminster (MO), Greenville (IL), and Iowa Wesleyan.

UNI Makes Big Time Coaching Splash:

UNI head football coach Mark Farley rounded out his coaching staff for the 2020 season.

Farley, entering his 20th season as the head coach of UNI football, tabbed college football veteran Shawn Watson as an offensive assistant coaching quarterbacks and former Nebraska quarterback and Youngstown State assistant Joe Ganz as the wide receivers coach.

Watson is especially a strong hire after spending last year as an offensive assistant at the University of Georgia.

Before his time in Athens, Watson was the offensive coordinator at Pitt.

He had also been the offensive coordinator at Colorado, Nebraska and Louisville — where he helped coach Teddy Bridgewater.

Meanwhile, Ganz comes to Cedar falls after spending the last two seasons at Youngstown State where he was quarterbacks coach.

Prior to coaching QBs, Ganz guided the tight ends for the Penguins, a unit that was key in their trip to the FCS National Title game.

Former Hawkeye Scherff Signs Franchise Tag with ‘Skins:

Former Iowa Hawkeye standout lineman Brandon Scherff is heading back to the Redskins on a one-year deal after signing his franchise tender.

A three-time Pro Bowler, Scherff will earn $15 million plus this year.

Agreeing to sign the Franchise Tag requires Scherff to report to training camp on time — that of course contingent on the NFL holding training camps as scheduled.

Scherff missed five games last season due to elbow and shoulder injuries.

Both Washington and Scherff will have until July of this year to continue hammering out the finer details in a long-term extension.