No matter if the subject is forced fumbles or final exams, Kevin Bullis has proven to be a major resource for football players at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
“On a personal level, me and him are buddies,” said Jacobs grad Tim Regan, a defensive lineman for the Warhawks. “He was my (academic) adviser. I can talk to him about anything. He’s really a people person.”
Whitewater defensive back Jake Gierlak, a fellow Jacobs grad, called Bullis “very approachable. He’s always going to give you an honest answer.”
Those traits, among others, are why Whitewater’s players are celebrating Bullis’ Jan. 30 hiring as the team’s new head coach.
Whitewater has won six of the past eight NCAA Division III national championships and its current 32-game winning streak is the longest of any team in any NCAA division.
Bullis has spent the past seven seasons on the Whitewater football staff. Last season, he tutored Regan and Richmond-Burton grad John Flood as the team’s defensive line coach. He also worked with Gierlak as a special teams coach.
“He’ll keep your motor going,” Regan said. “He really motivates us. We all like him, and obviously, he’s a good coach.”
Flood, via his Twitter account, said he would “run through 100 walls” for Bullis.
Gierlak transferred to Whitewater this season from D-II Northern MichiganUniversity and played behind a pair of All-American cornerbacks, Warhawk seniors Brady Grayvold and Marcus McLin. So he focused on excelling on Bullis’ special teams units.
“I knew this year that my impact was going to be on special teams,” Gierlak said. “He made me better. He prepared us well. Everything we saw in a game, we had seen in practice during the week.”
Bullis replaces Lance Leipold, who left the school in December to take over as head coach of D-I University of Buffalo.
“I’m really excited (the new coach is) someone who’s been with the team,” Regan said. “It was good not to have to see him leave.”
• BarryBottino writes a weekly column about local college athletes for the NorthwestHerald. Write to him at BarryOnCampus@hotmail.comand follow @BarryOnCampus on Twitter.