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Anderson settling into Cougars DC job
by Dan Eckles
Aug 14, 2013 | 1761 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Brice Anderson (left) may be new to his role as Spanish Springs defensive coordinator, but he's been building relationships with SSHS athletes for years.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Brice Anderson (left) may be new to his role as Spanish Springs defensive coordinator, but he's been building relationships with SSHS athletes for years.
When long-time defensive coordinator Lawrence Quadrio left the Spanish Springs football program at the conclusion of last season, Cougars head coach Scott Hare had a decision to make. He needed to fill the DC shoes of the highly respected Quadrio.

It remains to be seen how easy that will be, but the decision wasn't too tough. Hare turned almost immediately to his defensive assistant coach Brice Anderson and the position was filled.

"I had been a defensive coordinator in Arizona before I moved here," Anderson said. "I had kind of taken a lesser role to be up here at Spanish Springs. So it had always been a goal of mine to get back to that position.

"I'm excited to take the job. It's been a goal. I wasn't afraid to take it. I'm not worried about experience or anything like that. I've always had the confidence I could do a good job."

Anderson's experience as a DC at Benson High in southeastern Arizona, along with his efforts as an assistant at Spanish Springs over the past five years, left Hare confident Anderson was the right man to call the defenses for his gridiron program.

"When we hired Brice five years ago, I felt pretty lucky," Hare said. "Probably for the last three years I'd told him if we wanted to get a DC job, I'd write him a great letter of recommendation. I didn't want him to feel like he had to stay here just because he taught out here and lives out here. So when our job came open, he was an easy choice. He's done a good job for us and definitely earned it."

Anderson is a South Dakota native. After graduating from Dakota State in 2003 with a Bachelor's Degree in Education, he took the teaching and coaching job in Arizona. He eventually moved to Sparks to be with his wife Amy, who had already made her home in the Truckee Meadows. He teaches at Shaw Middle School, just down the street from SSHS.

Anderson has overseen the Cougars' defense throughout the offseason. He said his job has been made much easier due to the solid foundation already in place.

"I think we've made a good transition," Anderson said. "I do things a little bit different but a lot is the same. There hasn't been a whole lot of new teaching. Over the course of spring ball and summer ball and now getting into the regular season, I'm pleased with the changes. I think the kids are picking it up.

"I think our coaching staff is doing a good job of teaching. The kids are learning what we want them to do. The great thing is we've got great kids. They work hard, listen. They're coachable, respectful, adapt while we iron things out. It's just been a pretty smooth transition. 'Coach Quad' definitely laid a very strong foundation over time. I'm just trying to pick up where he left off."

Anderson has not come in and totally revamped the Cougars' defensive system. After the Cougars reached the Division I North semifinals for the first time in school history last fall, there wasn't much need to tear everything down. Still, Anderson is new to the DC role at Spanish Springs and you can bet there will be a few changes from years past.

So just what will those changes be?

"Some of our coverages will be a little different and I'm a guy that likes to bring pressure from different places," Anderson said. "We've blitzed in the past, but I think kind of the way I do it now will be a little different. We'll change up the fronts a little bit with different techniques and give the (opposing) offensive lines a little more to think about it. Again, we have a really strong foundation, but we'll give the kids a couple more tools in their tool box."

Hare reiterated much of that sentiment.

"I'm just not sure we'll be a lot different defensively," the Cougars' eighth-year head coach said. "We're not trying to re-invent the wheel. There were a lot of things we were successful at ... Maybe we'll run some more zone coverage than we have in the past. We'll have to play a few games and see how it goes.

"One thing I know Brice will bring is more in-game adjustments. He doesn't live and die by what he sees on film. If he sees something in the game, he may make a change. He brings that flavor to it."

Anderson said he's in the perfect situation. Teaching at Shaw and coaching at Spanish Springs, he's able to see many student athletes from the time they're 12 to when they graduate at 18. He said seeing the growth in the young athletes and being around them during a long influential stretch of their lives is valuable.

"I love where I am," he said. "I'm doing everything I want to do. I work at Shaw and have seen these kids come through since they were in the seventh grade. I've gotten to build relationships over time and watch them grow up. I'm just in a really good situation."

With just over two weeks remaining until Opening Night, Anderson said there is still work to be done and he plans to use every remaining minute of practice time to get his unit playing at top speed.

"We've got to continue to work on all of our techniques and get all of our positions cleaned up, ironed out to make sure coverage schemes and defensive fronts are smooth," Anderson said. "We want to make sure the kids have the concepts down so we can jump in and out of things quickly, that the kids understand their responsibilities. We definitely have work to do and we'll take advantage of all the time we have."

Anderson's defense will compete in a scrimmage against Carson on Aug. 24 and then it kicks off the fall campaign at Bishop Manogue Aug. 30.

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