Lucas at Large: Where are they Now? Tim Krumrie

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Tim Krumrie, a consensus All-American in 1981, was one of 79 players on the 2011 Football Bowl Subdivision ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame. A three-time first team All-Big Ten nose guard, Krumrie is the third-leading tackler in school history with 444. What's he doing now?

Krumrie_Tim_Photo.jpgAfter banging on a bunch of doors and getting the same answer - "Come back some other time" - Tim Krumrie was discouraged about finding work again as a National Football League assistant coach.

His timing couldn't have been worse, either, with the NFL shutting down in March.

"I was disappointed because I had so much experience and been around the league for so long," said Krumrie, who had toiled in the NFL for 27 consecutive years as a player (12) and coach (15).

That streak came to an unceremonious ending following the 2009 season when his contract as a defensive line coach was not renewed by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Krumrie was hoping to catch on with another NFL team in 2010. But after a number of nibbles nothing materialized. "That's football," he said. "It's nobody's fault. It happens."

Tim and his wife Cheryl sold their home in Kansas City and moved to Steamboat Springs, Colo., where they had been residing during the off-season.

Without a 24/7 football commitment, Krumrie got to focus on other things in life, including his passion for physical fitness. On most days, he ran five to eight miles and/or biked 25-30 miles.

He also became a pretty good skier when he wasn't riding horses or branding cows or volunteering his services as an assistant coach with the local high school team in Steamboat Springs.

There was no question that he enjoyed working with younger athletes. But there was still something missing. "It was really fun," he said. "But I'm not a high school coach. I'm a pro coach."

As such, Krumrie had no interest in seeking employment as a college assistant coach. "I want to coach grown men," he said. "I'm not much into coddling and baby-sitting."

To this end, Krumrie was hoping to find something for the 2011 season. He contacted old friends in the profession and checked out NFL teams that were undergoing transitions with new staffs.

"I talked to a lot of people," he said. "And I thought I'd get more interviews. But I've got a lot of years in the league and maybe my salary is a little too high. The lockout didn't help, either."

Undaunted, Krumrie tried to keep everything in perspective. "It's like playing football," he said. "Sometimes you get knocked down and you have to get back up and play the next snap."

That's when he heard from "a friend of a friend of a friend" who knew Jerry Glanville.

Krumrie had never met Glanville, who has taken over as the coach and general manager of the Hartford Colonials in the United Football League. Krumrie phoned Glanville. What did he have to lose?

Glanville, after all, is known for many things, ranging from his all black wardrobe to his love of fast cars and Elvis. During his NFL run, he was a head coach twice: with the Falcons and Oilers.

More than anything, the 69-year-old Glanville has been known to do things his way; which can often defy conventional means by being outside the box. That may have appealed to Krumrie, too.

"So I called," related Krumrie, "and he said, 'C'mon on board, Tim.'"

And so he did - joining the Colonels as Glanville's defensive line coach. Why the UFL?  "I love coaching," Krumrie reasoned, "and I didn't have an opportunity to go back to the other league."

In a sense, Glanville made him an offer he couldn't refuse.

"He's got a ton of energy," Krumrie said, "and he knows his defense for sure."

Upon landing Krumrie, Glanville said, "There are three great pro defensive line coaches and we just got one of them. I interviewed him about the different things we do. He knew it all. In fact, he has played it all and taught it all. Tim is a real plus for Hartford."

Krumrie has a working relationship with several other members of Glanville's staff, including quarterback coach Turk Schonert, a Sam Wyche disciple and a former Bengals teammate. Krumrie, Schonert and wide receiver coach Harold Jackson have a combined 37 years of NFL coaching experience.

"We put in the whole playbook in a week," Krumrie said, "so we've been grinding."

In order to fill out the team's roster, Glanville and his assistants have presided over a couple of tryout camps in Atlanta and Houston. Another audition is scheduled for Hartford in early June.

"You get all kinds who show up and want to compete," Krumrie said laughing. "You'll get guys who are really good and then you'll get guys who should get on with their future."

In effect that's what Krumrie is doing with his professional career after three coaching stints in the NFL with the Bengals (1995-2002), the Buffalo Bills (2003-2005) and the Chiefs (2006-2009).

"I'm getting paid and I'm coaching pro ball," he said.

In other words, his own, life is good.

Especially since the UFL holds some promise, he said.

"The longer the lockout," he added, "the better chance we have of getting players who would have been possible free agents in the NFL. They might think, 'Hey, I want to go there (UFL) now.'"

The UFL is entering its third season with five teams: the Hartford Colonels, the Virginia Destroyers (coached by Marty Schottenheimer), the Sacramento Mountain Lions (coached by Dennis Green), the Las Vegas Locomotives (coached by Jim Fassel) and the Omaha Nighthawks.

Schottenheimer, Green and Fassel join Glanville as former NFL head coaches.

The UFL will play an eight-game schedule beginning the second week of August.

"It might work out for one year," Krumrie said. "Or it might work out for 10 years. I've learned to take things one day at time. But it's good to get my mind back where it's suppose to be (on football)."   
       
Krumrie coaches like he played: full-speed ahead. That defined his game as an All-Pro nose guard for the Cincinnati Bengals. Despite breaking his leg in Super Bowl XXIII, he returned to play with that same zeal and intensity after the injury - finally retiring and entering coaching in 1994.

That's when he became eligible for the College Football Hall of Fame.

Any regrets that he's still on the waiting list?

"What do you have to do to get in?" he posed, breaking into laughter.

Few have ever played nose guard as well as Tim Krumrie.

"Oh all that stuff will come in time," he said. "I don't worry about it."

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