After 10 years away from the Green Machine sidelines, former head coach Denny Diericx has returned to Geneseo to help Geneseo carry on its football tradition.

After 10 years away from the Green Machine sidelines, former head coach Denny Diericx has returned to Geneseo to help Geneseo carry on its football tradition.

“When my wife Jane passed away (last fall), I knew I didn’t want to stay in Rockton,” said Diericx. “I didn’t have family there, and it just wasn’t home. Some of my kids wanted me to go to the suburbs, but I knew in my mind I had a lot of family, friends and former players in Geneseo and a lot of great memories. There was no doubt in my mind Geneseo was home.

“Geneseo is a great place, for example, at the hog roast (on July 26) it was amazing to see the amount of support for Green Machine football. Geneseo is a great town for supporting all of its sports.”

Diericx will take over the duties as offensive coordinator for the Green Machine for the 2014 season. His last season with the Green Machine was in 2003 and he retired in the spring of 2004.

“I noticed after being away for 10 years, Geneseo has excellent facilities and the playing fields are phenomenal,” he said. “Having a strength and conditioning coach like John Davis is great because we had to do all that ourselves back in the day, so that is a big plus. Also having people like volunteers Glen Anderson and Jim VanOpdorp makes the job of a football coach that much easier.”

Diericx served as the Green Machine’s head coach from 1991 to 2003.

After leaving Geneseo, Diericx spent three years as offensive coordinator at Beloit College, and the last seven years at Rockton Hononegah as the offensive coordinator.

“I know some guys like to hunt, fish or golf, but I really wasn’t ready to end football coaching, and I wanted to go some place where I could just coach football,” he said of his decision to go to Beloit College. “I wanted to be in a system similar to what I had been, and Beloit was running Geneseo’s offense and, in July 2004, they had an opening.”

Diericx said what he learned from his time at Beloit was teams have to have its basic plays, but coaches also have to adjustments off those plays to make it work.

“Defenses try to stop your bread-and-butter plays, and you have to have some tweaks,” he said. “You have to have adjustments because they may take away the core.”

“It was so much fun to be able to work on football all day long and just to be able to work on offensive football and Wing-T football. It was a great way to spend the day in my hobby job.”

Diericx made the move from Beloit to Rockton Hononegah after not being selected to take over the Beloit program.

“The head coach at Rockton Hononegah was a Beloit grad and found out I was looking to leave and made an opening for me,” he said. “It was a great gig to be at a big-time high school. Rockton Hononegah had gone through a lot of different coaches and systems, and they didn’t have an offensive system so they took what I suggested and we got our program up to where it was consistently 6-3, 7-2 and 8-1. I feel good about that.”

Diericx knew he still wanted to coach upon returning to Geneseo, “if someone would take me.”

“When Larry Johnsen Jr. called to see if I was looking for a coaching job, there was no question I wanted to be at Geneseo,” he said. “I don’t have all the answers, but I have seen all the problems, and I hope I can keep the program where it has been and maintain this great tradition. Anything I can do to help the program.”

The 2014 season will mark Diericx’s 45th season as a football coach and he said as long as he is healthy and still having fun, he will keep doing it.

“I have never had that thought to walk way,” he said. “When one season ends you start working on the next year.”

Diericx said he has thought about what it will be like walking out onto Bob Reade Field for the first time in 10 years.

“In the back of my mind, I have thought about what it will be like after all these years and that environment, it will be quite the experience,” he said.

The Green Machine opens the 2014 season at 7:15 p.m. Aug. 29 against Dunlap at Bob Reade Field.

“There is no doubt I made the right decision,” said Diericx. “Ever since I came back, I have been running into people I know. I am so glad to be back and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Diericx will join a fellow former Green Machine head coach, Larry Johnsen Sr., on the sidelines. Larry Johnsen Sr. led the Leafs from 1979 to 1986.