New head football coach Rob Boss came to chat about the future of Finlandia University football this week on Finlandia Fridays. Boss stated “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here,” when asked about his Finlandia experience thus far. Boss joined Finlandia’s staff last fall as an assistant, and was promoted to head coach on November 6.
When asked about his first season at Finlandia, Boss said that the “tremendous group of kids” is what really set it apart for him. The football team ended the season with a 3-3 record, the team’s first .500 season in just its third season. With his returning players, Boss is looking for his team to carry the successes over from last season, but also looking for his players to continue to grow and shape the program.
Boss is originally from Charlevoix, Michigan, where he played football, basketball, baseball, and track. Boss studied at Northern Michigan University, where he also played Division II football for the Wildcats. Being a college athlete in the U.P. was something that had a profound impact on Boss’s life, and the relationships he made as an athlete have left a positive mark on him as a person. Boss stated that U.P. football is special in its own right, having a rich history and many successful programs. Having coaches that care and who want to help their players develop both on and off the field, is important to Boss, who has seen this first hand.
Boss is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities involved with being accepted into the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). With the new conference association, Boss is excited about taking the football program to the next level. The MIAA is the oldest athletic conference in America, and winning the conference title gives teams the opportunity to play in the NCAA Division III playoffs.
With new locker rooms and a state-of-the-art training center, the Lions have everything needed to continue to build the program. Boss mentioned that he appreciates how the team and everything for the team have come together so far. He plans to continue improving the team’s perks by working on a positive environment that makes it “feel like home.”
Boss and assistant head coach Travis Wiltzius, have recently filled out the coaching staff. Joining the Lion family is Robert Garth and DJ Pirkle. Boss is excited to round out his coaching staff and to start recruiting with them. Pirkle is the new defensive coordinator. He played for NCAA Division I Northern Illinois University. With several years of coaching experience at larger schools, Boss stated that Pirkle is going to bring a lot to the team’s defensive game. Garth, originally from Flint, played at D-I New Mexico State and was active in the Arena Football League (AFL) in Green Bay, with multiple years of coaching under his belt.
To stay in the know with Finlandia football, Coach Boss can be followed on Twitter at CoachBoss4FU. Follow the Finlandia Lions on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or check out the website at fulions.com.
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