ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) conducted a conference call on Thursday (Aug. 8) announcing the 2013 Preseason Football Coaches Poll. The Adrian College Bulldogs received the top spot after winning the 2012 championship outright for the first time in 29 years last fall. The Bulldogs received four out of a possible seven first-place votes in the preseason poll of the league’s head coaches.
Last year, Adrian went 9-2 overall and 6-0 in the conference capped off by a 20-19 thriller at Albion College when the Bulldogs thwarted a two-point conversion attempt by the Britons. Adrian advanced to the NCAA Division III playoffs for the first time since 1988 and hosted Franklin (Ind.) falling 42-10. This season will mark the return of the Challenge Series pitting MIAA schools against member colleges of the Northern Athletics Conference (NAC). MIAA schools will host this year’s games on Saturday, Sept. 21. Adrian will have their annual homecoming contest on that day against Concordia (Ill.) at 5 p.m.
Head Coach Jim Deere is entering his fourth season at Adrian College and has guided the team to a 17-4 record over the past two years. The Bulldogs are once again poised to have one of the best defensive units not only in the MIAA, but also in NCAA Division III. Eight starters return on defensive highlighted by a trio of All-MIAA First Team performers in senior tackle Aaron Gray (Detroit, Mich./Martin Luther King H.S.), senior linebacker Deontae Bridgeman (Warren, Mich./St. Clair Shores Lake Shore H.S.) and junior safety Charles Fleck (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion H.S.). Adrian’s defense in 2012 ranked seventh nationally and first in the MIAA allowing 251 yards per game and led the conference in five defensive categories.
“I think it is going to be anyone’s race this year,” said Deere. “You have to remain healthy coming into conference play and we know that depth is necessary to winning championships. We are going to have a bulls-eye on our back this year and you have to be hungry each week and show that emotion on every play. You can’t take anything for granted and prepare each week for a battle.”
Poll Results 1. Adrian (4 first-place votes) 9 pts 2. Hope (2 first-place votes) 15 pts 2. Trine (1 first-place vote) 15 pts 2. Albion 15 pts 5. Olivet 29 pts 6. Kalamazoo 31 pts 7. Alma 33 pts