State college football: UCO returns 14 starters, hopes to improve on 2-8 record

Coaches and media selected Central Oklahoma to finish in the lower half of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association. It is what it is if you ask second-year Bronchos football coach Nick Bobeck.
by Scott Munn Published: August 8, 2013
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Coaches and media selected Central Oklahoma to finish in the lower half of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.

It is what it is if you ask second-year Bronchos football coach Nick Bobeck.

“We probably deserve to be there, too.” Bobeck said Wednesday afternoon at UCO Media Day at Wantland Stadium. “We're not shy about it. We finished 2-8 last year. It's just up to us to improve on that.”

UCO returns 14 starters, including all-conference running back Joshua Birmingham. But coaches tabbed UCO to finish 10th in the 14-team league. Media chose the Bronchos for 11th.

“We've had the honeymoon with the new coach,” Bobeck said. “We know where we want to be in this conference, but we're very excited.”

Like last season, all 10 of UCO's opponents will be within the conference. The opener is Sept. 5 at Missouri Southern in Joplin. The Lions are one of seven teams on Central Oklahoma's schedule that had winning records last season.

“We understand the kind of depth and size you have to have to play in this league,” Bobeck said. “We've had kids who have put more of an investment in the program — we've had 80 kids working out during the offseason. We're proud of what they've done so far.”

DIAMONDS

*Genny Stidham has resigned as softball coach after guiding Central Oklahoma to the NCAA Division II championship. Stidham is taking the head job at Texas Woman's, a Division II program in Denton.

UCO was 475-289-2 in 16 seasons under Stidham, who starred as a pitcher for the Bronchos in 1990 and 1991. She is a member of the UCO Athletics Hall of Fame.

“This was the hardest decision I've ever had to make,” Stidham said in a release. “Having the success we did here was something I'll cherish forever, especially the national championship team that will always be so special to me.”

Stidham, a native Texan, said the opportunity was too good to pass up.

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by Scott Munn
Sports Assistant Editor
Scott Munn joined The Oklahoman/Oklahoma City Times sports staffs in October 1982. He spent a year as a formcharter, three years on the desk and 16 as a reporter. Scott has spent the last nine years as an evening assistant sports editor. Scott's...
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