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In first year at Arlington, Dailer goes back to college roots
ARLINGTON In 1997, West Liberty State wide receiver Greg Dailer capped off his career with the Hilltoppers by setting seven school records, with career touchdowns and career yardage marks still on the rolls of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
But Dailer, who qualified that season for the Div. 1-AA senior all-star Snow Bowl now the Cactus Bowl since it departed Fargo, N.D. smarted a little from tough losses against Glenville State his freshman through junior years. The team effectively used the spread option offense, which had the effect of overextending defenses.
"They always kicked our butt," Dailer said, reflecting on those games.
Glenville State coach Rich Rodriguez was so successful with the offense that he took it to Tulane in 1997 where he was the offensive coordinator for their 12-0 season under Tommy Bowden and then to West Virginia, where his Mountaineers were a favorite to play for the 2008 BCS Championship game late into the season.
Now as Rodriguez brings his spread option game to national powerhouse Michigan in his first season there, Dailer hopes to bring the plan Rodriguez helped popularize at the collegiate level to Arlington where he's taking over the football program from former head coach Tim Tramp.
"(Rodriguez) was a big influence in my coaching. They were unstoppable then and they are unstoppable now," he said, adding that he looked to Rodriguez's program when he took over the head coaching job at Ocoee High School in 2005. "I went to them to learn their system."
If Dailer's experience is any indication, it is the kind of game that could take a little time to sink in. In his first year at the helm, Ocoee struggled, but in the second year under the system, they pulled off a winning record, going 8-3.
After a season as Tramp's assistant, Dailer is now three years older and more experienced. And he's optimistic about the team's prospects, despite losing a seasoned group to graduation.
"We've got a bunch of young guys we're hoping will step up," he said. "Execution's going to take awhile to take hold, but they're excited about it."