The success of the University of Indianapolis Football Team does not just earn the players recognition, it earns recognition for the coaches as well.
Defensive Line Coach and Special Teams Coordinator David Denham has been named a coach on the United States National Team, which will compete in the 2020 International Bowl.
The International Bowl is a football tournament played by high school students from all around the world. They compete with teams from all across the world such as Japan, Mexico and Canada, according to the International Bowls website.
The game will be played Jan. 14 and 15 in 2020. According to the National Team’s website team USA has seven different teams across four age groups from U16 Select to the U19 National Team. The game is held every year at AT&T Stadium according to the National Team’s website, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
Football is an American born sport, but Denham said countries like Canada and Mexico are more advanced in American football than most people might think they are and they are catching up to the United States in the sport.
Some current National Football League players who have suited up for the National Team including Todd Gurley, a running back for the Los Angeles Rams, Jameis Winston quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dwayne Haskins quarterback of the Washington Redskins, Tyrann Mathieu a safety for the Kansas City Chiefs and many others, according to the International Bowl’s website.
Denham, who has been coaching for 13 years, is in his second year at UIndy according to UIndy Athletics. He previously coached at Wabash College where he held the same positions. Prior to that he was at the defunct St. Joseph’s College for five years where he was named Conference Assistant Coach of the Year in 2011. It came as no surprise to his players when they heard the news that Denham would be coaching the team, according to senior defensive lineman Rondell Weathers.
“He’s a great coach, words can’t explain how hard he works,” Weathers said. “His work ethic is crazy, he has every detail for us for every single game and always has us ready. We always get a plan sheet. It’s just a lot of stuff that he does that’s just different.”
Last season, all four of Denham’s starting defensive linemen earned all conference honors at the end of the year, according to the UIndy Athletics website. Weathers said Denham does not just teach the players about football, but also how to be good men in general.
“I’ve learned so much,” Weathers said. “He’s a genuine person that actually cares about your well being. He’s a coach that not only wants you to be better on the field, but as a person,”
According to Denham, being selected to coach for the National Team was not something he set out as a goal when he began coaching, but getting to the highest level was. He said that this is certainly a large stepping stone for that. Denham said he has done some work with the U.S. National Team prior to getting selected to be in the International Bowl.
“Working with the National Team was something that came about five years ago, just working with the regional camps and working my way up through the system,” said Denham. “I was head coach for the U16 team in Canton, Ohio in the summer and then they called and asked me if I wanted to work with the International Bowl.”
Denham said coaching at UIndy is the same as coaching in the International Bowl, but he is happy to be working with the talent that the National Team has.
“In a sense, coaching is coaching and I don’t care where you are,” Denham said. “I don’t care if your coaching at UIndy I don’t care if you are coaching for the national team, you’re working with kids and to have the opportunity to work with different young men from all aspects of life.”