BUTTE — Football has returned to Bob Green Field.
Montana Tech football opened its 2022 spring camp on Friday, over four months after capping off its 2021 season with a 41-0 shutout over MSU-Northern. That win gave the Orediggers a 5-5 record to close out the season.
"It's a great feeling to get back out here," said head coach Kyle Samson, coming off his first full season. "Guys have had a great offseason working hard and in the gym. This is why you coach and this is why you play, to get back on the field."
The Orediggers return plenty of starting talent, including four starting offensive lineman, quarterback Jet Campbell, running back Blake Counts and wide receiver Trevor Hoffman.
Tech's defense will have a new look under first-year defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Aric Williams who replaces Nick Brautigam after a two-year run at the position.
Williams brings an impressive resume to Tech. A 2005 Oregon State graduate, Williams was a defensive back for the Beavers from 2001 to 2004. He was then signed as an undrafted free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles before playing for the Philadelphia Soul and Arizona Rattlers of the Arena Football League before spending a season with the Cologne Centurions of NFL Europe.
He was then the cornerbacks coach at Montana for five seasons, a grad assistant at Arizona State and then the cornerbacks coach at Idaho from 2015-17. His latest stop was at San Jose State where he was the defensive backs coach.
"It's exciting getting the new guy in here," said linebacker Ben Windauer who returns to Tech's defense after suffering an ACL tear last season. "He's been doing a great job with us the past couple of months. We gotta learn a new defense but we got a lot of good guys."
Tech's spring camp will conclude with a scrimmage on Friday, April 22. The next month will be about fundamentals, implementing a new defensive scheme and competition.
"Spring ball is an opportunity to test some new things," Samson said. "The biggest thing we want to see is our guys coming out and competing every single day. The depth chart's not set by any means. So we want to see what we can do and get some competition going."