August 6, 2022
STORRS – EJ Barthel always comes to football camp ready to work. With his experience in the NFL and now as the running backs coach at the University of Connecticut, he expects the same level of attitude out of his players.
“At my last stop, I got a chance to coach Christian McCaffrey, Mike Davis, and some guys at the Carolina Panthers,” Barthel says. “I expect the same standard and level of urgency with our group here. We’ve got a talented group.”
After a few days of fall camp, the UConn running back core has been as competitive as any group throughout the team. Whether it’s through simple drills or one-on-one scrimmages against a new and improved UConn defense, he’s always demanding that players “pound the rock.”
The Husky running backs are putting that statement to action. A look into UConn’s fall camp shows every running back working hard, determined to earn their shot, with an intense Coach Barthel looking to push his players hard.
With the help of their work with Barthel during the offseason, their work is being rewarded with results. sophomore Nathan Carter credits Barthel with significant improvements to his technique and being able to make more moves in the second level for extra yards. It’s the little things, such as going over film to evaluate improvements, that are helping the UConn sophomore elevate his game to the next level.
“From spring ball until now, Coach Barthel has helped me improve and wants me to continue to improve going into the season,” Carter says.
Barthel came to Connecticut with a wealth of talent and experience in his career. After stepping foot on campus and speaking with head Coach Jim Mora for the first time, Barthel knew that coaching at UConn offered a special opportunity.
“After my first discussion with Coach Mora, the resume speaks for itself,” Barthel says. “There’s a lot of experience that I can learn from him and I think he injects that amongst the rest of his staff.”
Now, with the chance to coach at UConn, Barthel is relishing the opportunity. As the Huskies look to boost their performance, Barthel is always looking to make his players better and pass on the wisdom that he’s gained throughout his career in professional football.
“I think you take a little piece from everyone you work for,” Barthel says. “I put my own twist on it. Even the guys on our own staff, we learn from each other.”