Stoffer Family Stadium


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November 25, 2013

The Program as It Stands Today: An Update from Coach Casey

With the holiday season upon us and the semester nearing a close, the football team is wrapping up its fall practice season this week. Players had their last scrimmage of the fall on Saturday and will turn in their helmets and gear Tuesday to take a break for Thanksgiving. 

When we return to school after the holiday we'll enter what Coach Chris Casey calls "a transition phase," moving from practices and scrimmages to a regimen that focuses on strength (lifting) and conditioning. We'll do that for two weeks, then take a hiatus for finals week and the Christmas season.

What coach Casey and company won't stop doing is meeting for study hall three times a week, for two hours each session. This ties into his belief that athletes are students first. What it entails is that every player attend each scheduled study session or check in with the coach overseeing it to be excused to attend another approved session (engineering lab, etc.). 

"There is no sense in candy-coating it - being a student-athlete is hard work," coach Casey says. "I think the demands of being a student-athlete have caught some of the guys off guard, but we're young, so we'll learn. We don't have that junior and senior leadership yet. We'll get there."

Coach reports that numbers remain solid - about 70 athletes. Ultimately, our goal is to suit up about 130 come kickoff next fall, which would give us some depth as we set the foundation for the program.

Get to Know the Coach: Wide Receivers Coach Gabe Haberly

In this week's "Get to Know the Coach" feature, we're meeting assistant Gabe Haberly. It was Haberly, not head coach Chris Casey, who was the first hire on the university's football staff. But he wasn't initially hired for football.

Haberly joined the school in 2012 as an assistant coach of the men's and women's track and field program under head coach John Smith, working primarily with pole vaulters, javelin throwers and sprinters, five of whom won Northwest Conference individual events. His work helped the Bruins earn their third consecutive NWC women's track and field crown. He will continue in that capacity while working with football as the wide receivers coach and film coach while assisting Ken Ingram in the team's strength and conditioning program. 

A native of Florence, Ore., and a graduate of Siuslaw High School, Haberly earned three letters in football as a quarterback and defensive back at Linfield College, helping the Wildcats win a Northwest Conference title and advance to the NCAA Division III quarterfinals in 2005. He also lettered four times in track and field, competing as a decathlete and winning NWC championships in the javelin in 2006 and the pole vault in 2009. He took 13th in the NCAA National Championships in the javelin in 2006 and was an all-academic honoree in 2006 and 2009. He graduated from Linfield with a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 2009 and later earned a master's degree in biomechanics from Oregon State University in 2013.

Haberly remained at Linfield from 2009 to 2012 to coach the wide receivers, with eight of them earning all-conference honors. He also coached the pole vault, javelin, and multi-events for two seasons, coaching one NWC champion, one NCAA national champion and two NCAA All-Americans in the pole vault.

Haberly also taught calculus at Sheridan (Ore.) High School from 2009 to 2011 and was the head coach of the track and field program there in 2010, coaching nine all-state athletes, a state runner-up in the triple jump, and state champions in the 100-meter dash and javelin.

In addition to his coaching duties at George Fox, Haberly is an adjunct professor in the health and human performance department. He is also a certified athletic trainer.

Construction Update

Following is an update on progress with Stoffer Family Stadium and, specifically, the Duke Athletic Center: Last week we continued to pour concrete site sidewalks and ramps. This dry weather is a big help, although the cold makes it necessary to blanket everything to keep it from freezing before it cures out. 

The metal paneling installation on the exterior of the Duke Athletic Center continues, with the exterior glazing completed last week. The interior sheet rocking is nearing completion, and the mudding and taping will go on for a few more days.

The painter arrived last Friday to start ceilings in the locker room and move through the building following the wall-taping completion. We received permanent power from PGE last Thursday, so the temp power is now gone.

As we head into this Thanksgiving weekend, I wanted to be sure to again say "Thank you" to our financial supporters for helping make the return of football and the construction of these facilities possible. May you be blessed this Thanksgiving season!

Picture: The Duke Athletic Center as it appeared this afternoon.

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