QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -- When Gary Bass officially was handed the reigns to the Quincy University football team in early May of last year he was no secret to the program, having served as an assistant coach the five years prior to the promotion.
But the transition from one position to the other came with some growing pains.
Last fall, the Hawks won three out of their first five games before losing six consecutive games to end the season.
Bass got an education on plenty of things when it comes to being a head coach and he's pressing forward in his first spring as leader.
"There's always 'I know what I'm doing and it's going to be no problem.' But it's like anything else you learn a lot through the first year. I've learned a ton of things dealing with coaches, dealing with our players, dealing with people on our campus, and just getting a better feel of everything," Bass said.
"You get to a point in time, it's not any different than coaching for the first time, once you get that first year under your belt it just makes everything that much more comfortable. I just feel that much better about what we're trying to do."
Quincy is four practices deep in its allotted 15 workouts this spring and there is competition everywhere you look, especially on offense where the Hawks could have a new quarterback, and plenty of other new faces on the offensive side of the ball.
The defense is also looking to fill holes stemming from the departure of key seniors.
"For us, as young as we are, I think these 15 practices are huge," Bass indicated.
"For all these young guys that didn't have the opportunity to really learn, and get through everything in the fall because they got red-shirted, this is their first opportunity since fall camp of last year to truly learn, and to truly grow. They get the opportunity to show how they've developed as football players in the past year."
Bass says the most critical part of the spring is staying injury-free heading into the fall.
The Hawks get back to work on Wednesday. Their annual Brown/White spring game is set for Saturday, April 28.