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Dan McCarney: I'm better now than when I was at Iowa State

North Texas is set to begin Spring practice tomorrow under new head coach Dan McCarney.

McCarney, who served as the head coach at Iowa State for twelve years, accepted the North Texas job after serving as the defensive line coach at Florida the last three years.

The new coaching staff includes Mike Canales (offensive coordinator / quarterbacks), Clint Bowen (defensive coordinator / safeties), Kent Riddle (special teams / tight ends), Mike Nelson (defensive line), Anthony Weaver (linebackers), Justin Gaines (corners), Mike Grant (running backs), Nick Quartaro (wide receivers / assistant head coach), and Mike Simmonds (offensive line).

McCarney said today,“I feel like I'm a lot more relaxed and more comfortable now. I took a lot of mental notes along the way and there's no doubt I'm better now than when I was at Iowa State.”

He also talked about his goals for Spring practice.

“On offense we want to establish a physical presence, find our playmakers, and work on creating mismatches. We have to find out who our best players are going to be because right now I don't know who that is. This spring is going to be about what you do, all 22 starting positions are up for grabs. I don't care if you were a three-year starter, we have to find out who can make plays for us, block a punt, return a kick, you name it, every single position is going to be wide open.”

“On defense we have to get much, much more physical, work on our fundamentals, and get better tackling. I think we have made great strides in our attitude and expectations, but what I need from those guys is for them to give me all they have for 4-6 seconds every play. I don't need 60 seconds worth of effort, it's not like that, I need them to give me there best for just that length of time. If we can get better in our tackling, I told Coach Bowen that if we are able to do just that, you will see the results.”

North Texas opens the 2011 season with a conference game at FIU. The Mean Green will then play four consecutive non-conference games against Houston, at Alabama, Indiana, and at Tulsa.