JB: Considering the leap to the FBS and playing new programs, many of which Texas State had not seen, were expectations met in 2012? Which ones were not, if any?
DF: For our first year in FBS, we were able to get four wins—we played a tough schedule with six bowl-qualified teams.
JB: When you look back on the season, what were the bright moments, negative moments, if any?
DF: Bright: win at UH, four wins, opening of stadium, winning first WAC conference game. Negative: all losses are tough.
JB: Coaches are not perfect by any means. Were there any games last season that, in hindsight, you wish you could have done something differently to change the outcome?
DF: We came up short in five games that were close, and there are always going to be things you would like to change.
JB: Leading up to this past season, you were very pleased with the strength and conditioning of your team. Will as much emphasis be placed on this offseason on getting bigger?
DF: We have come a long way in getting strong enough (physical enough) for FBS football and yet we still have steps to take.
JB: Which current players, if any, are under some pressure in the offseason to take a leadership role or take that next step for next year?
DF: There are several players that need to step up as leaders. This is the beginning of a new year (season) and there are positions to fill and new roles to identify.
JB: You lose Marcus Curry, Shaun Rutherford, Darryl Morris, Chase Harper, Joplo Bartu to name a few. Who are the players you are looking most forward to having a big year in 2013?
DF: We need to see how the offseason program goes and spring practice to completely identify these.
JB: I know the entire coaching staff is on the road recruiting currently before the Feb. 6 signing day. How is the class shaping up for Texas State, and how much have the recruiting results increased since you took the job?
DF: Right now we have several commitments, and we are excited about how this class is coming together, but we need to finish. This is the first time we have had the completed stadium renovation to recruit to.
JB: When you are in a recruiting battle, and you are talking to a player and possibly his parents or coaches, what are some of the top sales pitches you’ll deliver when trying to convince him to attend Texas State?
DF: Our strong academics, faculty, student body and degree that leads to a career, social life at Texas State and the direction we are headed athletically and how we can help.
JB: After making the move last season to the FBS and the WAC, you guys have to make another move to the Sun Belt this season. Will the fact that you guys have been through the process already help? What aspects of the move are still troubling, if any?
DF: We are transitioning to another new conference, and it will be nice to play teams in consecutive years to see how we match up and to start to create rivalries.
JB: Overall, when you think about how far the football program has come along and where it is headed, what are your thoughts? What things has the program accomplished, and what steps still need to be made?
DF: As I have stated, making this move from FCS to FBS is a process. Many teams don’t win four games in their inaugural season. We are putting our facilities in good position and rebuilding our roster. This is really our second recruiting year, as we had 11 days after I got hired, and our first with the stadium renovation and truly being an FBS school. We need to continue to get bigger, faster and stronger.