Over the past three seasons, KU has seen its most productive and exciting football in its 97 years of its existence. KU went from a mere 3-8 in the 2009 season to an impressive 10-2 in 2010, with the first nine games all being wins. In that time, KU has set records for both the school and the PSAC, starting with a record 8 wins to start the season off. Also in the past three years, KU’s offense has set single season records for points scored, most recently the 490 points posted by the 2012 Golden Bears. Since 2009, KU is 28-8, by far the best stretch in nearly a century. In those 28 wins is the school’s first ever PSAC championship and their highest tally of conference wins in a single season (6). While all this was achieved at the hands of the entire Golden Bear team, it was largely masterminded by former KU head-coach Raymond Monica, who has now passed the torch to his former assistant and quarterback coach, Drew Folmar.
This season, coach Folmar will begin his first season as a head-coach, and he has a lot to live up to. Folmar was a huge part of KU’s offensive success, which arguably could be traced back to the outstanding performance of former Golden Bear quarterback Kevin Morton. Folmar was a crucial part of grooming Morton into the great quarterback KU saw him become, where his offense ranked at least 12th in scoring and 10th in total offense in the past two seasons alone. Obviously starting any new job—especially following up the best three years in a century of football carries with it some nervousness—but coach Folmar doesn’t show it.
“To say the very least, I’m excited,” Folmar said about his new head-coaching gig. “I’m looking forward to working with a really great group of kids.”
Folmar went on to discuss that he and his coaching staff are already well into the process of building the Golden Bears new team with an incoming class of approximately 30 new student-athletes. Coach Folmar also said that he is confident that the Golden Bears have addressed some of their needs this year, but added that there aren’t too many needs or issues, as most of the team is returning for this season.
About the incoming freshman, Folmar said, “It’s usually 2 or 3 years down the road before we know what we really got, but we feel pretty good.”
One might think that coach Folmar is confident in his team’s ability to win due to their recent status as one of the true offensive power-houses in the PSAC, but he is actually most confident in a more intangible aspect of the game. While Golden Bear wins in the past few years include several blow-outs, they also included extremely close games with incredibly tough teams, and a few thrilling victories due to missed field goals and last minute drives. Coach Folmar said those victories are what makes him most confident, due to the character shown in those victories by the Golden Bears.
“Our biggest strength doesn’t necessarily have to do with any position group or play, but I think the strength we have is that this is a team, and they are a cohesive unit,” Folmar said about his teams relentlessness. “They like to be around one another.”
That mentality is surely enough to make any Golden Bear fan proud of their past, present and future as a team, and coach Folmar had this message to deliver to fans about upcoming games for his team: “We may have teams we’ll play that have better overall records, but we will play.”
That “refuse-to-die” mentality surely is what brought the Golden Bears success in their past, and although many players will be returning to the team this year, and even two or three years down the road, the team will miss the leadership of great offensive players like break-out running back Josh Mastromatto and gun-slinging quarterback Kevin Morton.
Coach Folmar, as with any other coach that was involved with Morton’s amazing career at KU will acknowledge the fact that Morton was a true leader, but they are also quick to dismiss the notion that KU will have trouble filling that leadership role.
“We knew Kevin was leaving,” Folmar said, “We’ve got players [. . .]we recruit for two to three years down the road. At pretty much every position, everyone has a chance to compete and be great.”
Coach Folmar is confident in the entire team, from the returning seniors to the incoming freshman, whom he said “…anywhere between five to eight of them will contribute.”
Regardless of what area the team is struggling or succeeding in now, coach Folmar and the entire Golden Bear team is ready to put on yet another exciting, and hopefully continually historic, season for KU fans.
By Nick Carson