2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

AFA alum Tim DeRuyter settling in well as Fresno State’s head coach

Published: April 24, 2012, 4:30 pm, by admin

Former Air Force player and assistant coach Tim DeRuyter was an assistant for more than two decades, waiting for his shot to be a head coach.

You don’t get too long to celebrate when the dream job finally comes. DeRuyter was hired by Fresno State to be the Bulldogs’ head coach this offseason. He found out that the responsibilities of being a head coach are a lot more than they are for the defensive coordinator.

“It’s been a little like taking a sip out of a fire hydrant,” DeRuyter said.

DeRuyter has had a busy few months. He put together a staff and landed a recruiting class. He met with fans and became active on Twitter. He had more media requests, and then had to coach spring practice, where he and the staff installed entirely different schemes on offense and defense.

“We’ve got a much better feel for who we are and where we’re going,” DeRuyter said about the end of spring practice.

As busy as he may be, he’s enjoying it. He said he liked putting together a staff of assistants he knew and respected. He enjoyed getting to know the players, before spring practice started, then seeing what they could do on the field once those practices started.

Although he wasn’t entirely ready for how busy he would be, the experience has been what he hoped for.

“It’s been fantastic,” DeRuyter said.

There are still more milestones for DeRuyter to come, such as when Air Force comes to Fresno to play the Bulldogs on Nov. 24. That will be an unusual experience for the former Falcon.

“You always have mixed emotions when you go to battle against your alma mater and guys you know personally,” DeRuyter said. “That part is tough. I owe a ton in my coaching career to Troy Calhoun and guys on his staff, in addition to Gen. (Mike) Gould and Dr. (Hans) Mueh. But when you tee it up, it’s like going out in the backyard with your brothers. You compete as hard as you can, and after you wish them well and go from there.”