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Monday, June 22, 2009

The Tim Hiller Interview, Part 2

Here's the 2nd and final part of my interview with Orrville grad and Western Michigan QB Tim Hiller. In the conclusion, we discuss the Broncos upcoming season and the expectations and challenges that come with it. We'll also score some style points and discuss uniform intricacies. Enjoy.

Red Rider Sports Blog: I know you’re a big “team first” guy, but any personal goals this season?
I do, but they really are second to what our team is trying to accomplish. It all boils down to three things in general—be a great leader, take care of the football, and manage the game. That will help us be successful as an offense.

Red Rider Sports Blog: September 5th, 2009. WMU @ Michigan. The Broncos in the “Big House.” How big will this game be? Even though it’s only Game 1, how important is this game in terms of respect in the state, respect in the conference and respect for you personally?
Tim: It’s important because it’s our first game. It’s a huge advantage to get off to a great start. A winning start. None of that other stuff really matters, we just want to get that first one to get the ball rolling in the right direction.

Red Rider Sports Blog: The Broncos have 3 games against the Big10 this season (Michigan, IU and MSU) and I would have to think aspirations of a MAC title. Is there any added pressure this season?
Tim: Nope. Our goal is always to win the MAC. That comes first and foremost, and it will be tough to do, as it is every year. Every team is so competitive and there are some new coaches in the West Division. It will be a great year for the conference as a whole and I’m really excited for it.

Red Rider Sports Blog: Your top 3 receivers (Simmons, Ledbetter, Julien) last season in terms of yards have all graduated. Given you missed spring practice, will it be especially important to put in extra work with a core of new receivers?
Tim: Yes, and it always is important, but especially this year. May is our month off, but I’ve been throwing with a bunch of our receivers and tight ends 3-4 days a week working on timing and watching film so we’re all on the same page. We’ve still got a lot of great playmakers returning and I’ve got a ton of confidence in them. We’ll be just fine.

Red Rider Sports Blog: What hobbies or activities do you take part in to get your mind off of football?
I love to spend time with my fiancĂ©e Michelle as much as possible, although we’re both pretty busy. I also love leading our Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddle here at WMU—it’s been an awesome experience and God has really blessed our group. And if I get time in the summer months, I enjoy golfing.

......Onto some uni-related stuff......saved the best for last.

Red Rider Sports Blog: Favorite Red Rider uniform? Red jersey/red pants? White jersey/red pants? Red jersey/black pants? White jersey/black pants?
Tim: Definitely the all red. It’s a great look. My favorite part is our helmets though. I think Orrville has the best looking helmets under the lights in the state.
Note: Hard to argue. Red on Red. Helmet full of skulls. Classic.

Red Rider Sports Blog: You wore #10 as a Red Rider, but have worn #3 at WMU. Any significance behind either number? Will you be #3 again this season?
No significance really, just what was available at WMU when I came in. I wore 3 my sophomore year of varsity basketball, but it was the best number I could have here. I’ll be wearing it for my senior year.

Red Rider Sports Blog: WMU football is an ‘adidas’ brand team. I’m curious as to the level of “gear” that you have access to…both on the field and off the field. Are players limited to how much stuff they can request, or is it just a free-for-all?
There are some limits, but we definitely get tons of stuff. It’s like Christmas when we report to August camp. We get a bunch of Under Armour shirts and shorts, a hat, 3 pairs of cleats, a pair of workout shoes, a pair of sandals, a bag and much more. Let’s put it this way—if you stay in the good graces of our equipment guy, you’ll always have any gear you need!

Red Rider Sports Blog: I’ve heard that you (and maybe every big college in America) have two helmets, one for practice and one for games? Any specific reason for that, other than for keeping the game helmet from getting worn out during practice?
That’s not true here at WMU. We only get one helmet. They just clean them up and re-sticker them before games, if needed, so they look nice.

Red Rider Sports Blog: Who chooses uniform combinations for games? Does tradition dictate? Do captains choose them?
Tim: WMU’s uniforms have changed a lot over time. Back in the 80’s our uniforms looked like Waynedale! All brown. Typically it’s up to our head coach, although he asks the captains at the beginning of the year what we like. We have black and white jersey tops, and black, white, and gold pants that we can combine. One week Louis Delmas (now a Detroit Lion) wanted to try black tops with white pants for the Illinois game, which we had never done before. It looked sharp and we won, so maybe you’ll see us wearing that more often!

That's a wrap. Again, I wanted to express how accessible, professional & prompt Tim was through this whole process. This is a young man that will succeed on or off the playing field. He's a great example for our young kids, and someone that all of Orrville can be very proud of.

Good luck in '09 and beyond, Tim.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tim Hiller is a class act! I'm proud to brag that he is from Orrville. Great kid from a great family. Congrats to Tom and Amy for raising him into a humble leader of men!