Sons of two of the most successful high school football coaches in Kansas history will serve as coordinators for the Humboldt Cubs this fall.
Humboldt coach K.B. Criss recently hired Pittsburg State’s four-time all-American linebacker Nate Dreiling to be the Cubs’ defensive defensive coordinator and former Pittsburg State graduate assistant Zach Rampy to be the offensive coordinator.
Dreiling is the son of St. Thomas Aquinas coach Randy Dreiling, who led Hutchinson to seven state titles and a 160-38 record in 17 seasons. Rampy is the son of Pittsburg State offensive coordinator Steve Rampy, who directed Blue Valley High School to four state championships and four runner-up finishes in 25 seasons as head coach.
“I joke with them that we probably couldn’t get your dads to come here, so that’s why I settled for both of you guys,” Criss said.
All joking aside, Criss said Dreiling and Rampy bring a lot more experience than your typical first-year coordinators. They will help a Humboldt program that has finished 8-3 and advanced to the second round of the Kansas Class 3A playoffs in each of the past two seasons under Criss.
“The first day Nate stepped in to a meeting, it looked like he’s been doing it for 10 years,” Criss said. “It was the same way with Zach.”
Dreiling completed his career at Pittsburg State in 2013 as the MIAA’s all-time leading tackler. He helped lead the Gorillas to an NCAA Division II national championship as a sophomore in 2011.
He recently had tryouts with the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs, but he was not offered a contract by either team.
Dreiling said he will stay in shape in case an NFL team calls, but he plans to concentrate on finishing his student-teaching at Humboldt and directing the Cubs’ 4-2-5 defense.
“We’re going to be disciplined and we’re going to live off the fundamentals of the game,” Dreiling said. “Like (Pittsburg State’s) coach (Tim) Beck always says, misalignments and missed assignments will get you beat way before mismatches do.”
Criss said Dreiling’s success as a player and his years of being around the game will both serve as benefits.
“I think he brings instant credibility with the kids,” Criss said. “He’s been there and done that. His experience playing and being around the game his entire life obviously is going to benefit our program tremendously.
“He’s so cerebral. It seems like he’s always one move ahead. Scheme-wise, he’s very intelligent. The kids are going to play hard for him. You can already tell that.”
Rampy played two seasons at quarterback for the Emporia State Hornets before being forced to quit the game after suffering multiple concussions. Since then, he has served as an assistant with Emporia State, Emporia High and this past season with the Pittsburg State defense.
The Cubs will maintain their spread offense, but Rampy plans to add a few wrinkles.
“I don’t want to change too much of what they have been doing,” Rampy said. “I’d like to work in some of the beliefs that I have offensively in the run game like the zone read. But that’s only one or two different things. What they’ve been doing has been successful. They were 8-3 last year. I don’t want to come here and completely change what they’re doing, because what they’re doing has been working.”
Criss, who is the son of former longtime Northern Heights coach Bob Criss, said Dreiling and Rampy fit in well with the Cubs’ staff.
“They’re both just really good with the kids,” Criss said. “They’re excellent teachers. It’s brought in some energy. Any time you bring in new coaches, it’s going to bring in some energy and enthusiasm, especially when you bring in two guys like them.”