Northern Michigan football aims for seamless transition into regular season

The Wildcats were picked seventh in the GLIAC Preseason Poll
Northern Michigan football aims for seamless transition into regular season
Published: Aug. 30, 2023 at 12:51 AM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Northern Michigan will open the 2023 season, its first under head coach Shane Richardson, Thursday on the road at Minnesota Duluth. Richardson returned to his alma mater as the new head coach in December, replacing Kyle Nystrom.

While Thursday’s game will be a test for the new-look Wildcats, they lead the all-time series, 11-1. NMU hasn’t faced Minnesota Duluth since 1998, but an old rivalry will be renewed Thursday night.

Richardson is taking over a program that has seen its fair share of struggles in recent years - the Wildcats haven’t posted a winning season since 2009. When he accepted the job late last year, Richardson said NMU has a lot of room for growth.

“This program has a lot of potential for success and I’m looking forward to leading it,” he said in a release. “The pride that I have as a Wildcat, combined with the familiarity of Marquette and the Upper Peninsula, is a uniquely special fit.”

After their season opener on the road, the Wildcats will return to Marquette for back-to-back weeks, taking on Lake Erie College on Sept. 9 and UW-La Crosse on Sept. 16.

Richardson wants his team to stay composed during a very exciting time of the year.

“You’ve got the pressure just inherently of week one and 18-23-year-olds trying to manage emotions of the excitement and the anxiety,” Richardson said. “Our job as coaches is to just keep them calm, keep them confident, and keep them poised.”