Fritz Dieudonné aiming to lead Rock Island football back to prominence

Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 11:24 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Fritz Dieudonné is back at Rock Island after two seasons as the head coach at Alleman.

“Getting an opportunity to come back here I mean it was definitely bittersweet” said Dieudonné.

“It’s hard because you ask every player, every coach asks players to sacrifice you know and for two years we were outmanned I mean we had 27 guys one year, 30 the next, but they believed in what we were doing as a coaching staff and what we were asking them to do as a coaching staff so to then turnaround and walk away you know that was hard.”

A difficult decision but one that was best for Dieudonné and his family. His oldest daughter is a freshman at Rock Island.

“My oldest daughter is a freshman now you know she’s in the marching band and the thought of being able to you know still be a dad, still be supportive of her as she starts high school and then being back at a program you know I had a great time these four years I spent.”

Before going to Alleman, Dieudonné spent 4 seasons as an assistant for Ben Hammer at Rock Island who he’s succeeding as head coach.

“I think timing wise helps me a lot because the seniors were freshman the last time I was on the coaching staff so there’s a level of familiarity with them, of the coaching staff, there’s only three coaches that I hadn’t previously coached with so familiarity with the staff so the transition has been really smooth. What’s exciting to me, it’s an athletic bunch, it’s a hungry bunch, they will admit that they under achieved last year.”

Last season the Rocks went 4-5 missing out on the playoffs.

“We’re getting more disciplined as we should have last year and we’re trying to be more consistent and more I don’t know how to say this have more grit” said junior Kevin Mayares.

“I feel like we’ll be more of a physical team more of more conditioned more like kind of not giving up when times get tough” said senior Amare Overton.

The Rocks are motivated to return one of the winningest programs in Illinois to prominence.

“We had a conversation this summer about the fact that you know I’m not shy of saying it’s not good enough to just say we’re gonna make the playoffs. Our goal is we gotta find a way to catch up to the teams that have been dominating the conference here recently” said Dieudonné.

The Rocks will kickoff the season on the road August 25th against Minooka.