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Mike Kramer Era Starts at Idaho State
For Mike Kramer, new head football coach at Idaho State, four years in football purgatory was almost too much to bear.
Kramer, a four time Big Sky Conference coach of the year, was dismissed by Montana State in 2008 after issues involving some of his players off the field. When you love to do something and can’t, the fact that you get another chance is meaningful and as the Bengals completed their first day of fall camp under his leadership, he reflected back on what the moment meant.
“I called my attorneys last night who helped make this possible for me, along with friends and some other coaches,” he said. “It was very poignant, and I got a little emotional. Just to be back out here, I appreciate the chance that Idaho State has given me.”
Kramer seemed to be everywhere the first day, running around on the brand new, state-of-the-art field inside Holt Arena. His players sure noticed him.
“The energy he brings to the field is amazing,” said punter David Harrington. “He’s always talking. We can’t seem to keep him quiet.”
Burley graduate Braeden Clayson, expected to be one of the leaders on the offensive line, noted the energy Kramer brought to the program but also something else.
“He’s in total control of everything that’s going on out on the field. He sees everything and if you aren’t doing what you’re supposed to he’ll tell you exactly what needs to be done … and he’ll keep doing it until you do,” Clayson said.
A.J. Storms was one of the top linebackers in the nation last year. The senior has been one of the bright spots in a program that’s won all of two games the last two seasons. He was asked what was going to be different about the program this year under Kramer.
“Our discipline is so much better than in the past, the people care about one another and as seniors we don’t want to go out with a legacy of failure,” Storms said. “That drives a lot of us.”
“I’m having fun right now,” Kramer said with a grin, “and I want my players to have fun. I think we will and I think you’ll see a better effort as we get ready for the season.”
The Bengals open that season on Sept. 3 at Washington State. For right now they are unsettled at a lot of spots. Over the next ten days those situations will become clearer and Kramer and his staff will know what they have to work with for the upcoming season. For the Bengals, small steps are important and realistically maybe all they can expect, but the first step usually is the most important.
That step came with the hiring of a coach who wanted to do nothing more than coach, and is getting that chance again.