The Wisconsin Badgers football team is going to look a lot different in 2023 than it did, well, ever. New head coach Luke Fickell and offensive coordinator Phil Longo, especially, have made both players and fans excited for a new product on the field. Earlier this week, Badgers wide receiver Chimere Dike appeared on The Mike Heller Show on 97.3 The Game. During his interview, he opened up about how losing a loved one has motivated him to achieve greatness. Additionally, he opened up about the importance of the new player-led culture and influence of offensive coordinator Phil Longo.
Chimere Dike Talks About What Influences Him in His Off-Field Community Work
Dike lost a close friend of his while in high school. Heller asked him how that loss influences his decision off the field and what he does in the community. Dike replied:
“Yeah, so, in high school my friend passed away from an undiagnosed heart condition. His father, his parents started the Kai Lermer Memorial Fund. I’ve always wanted to raise awareness and give back to the cause and just to give back to them because they mean a lot to me. When I saw that I was able to kind of incorporate that, I wanted to start a camp. That is why I was at the the award show on Saturday. I wanted to spread the message. That is something I’m really passionate about.”
For more information about the Kai Lermer Memorial Fund, you can visit this page.
Dike’s camp takes place at Waukesha North High School where he and Lermer were friends and teammates. You can find more information about his camp here.
Dike Talks About the New Emphasis on Player Leadership
One of the things that Fickell and Longo are incorporating is a player-led concept on the field and in the locker room. Heller asked Dike to talk about the importance of that concept:
“Yeah man, it’s huge. You know, I’m still trying to take steps to become a better leader, still trying to get used to everything. I feel like that’s going to be an adjustment, but I definitely want to be someone who is seen as a leader going into the season. I want to be someone who sets the standard for our team and pushes us to where we want to be. We have a ton of talented players, but at the end of the day, we need some people to step up.”
Coach Fickell certainly has players excited about the program, and it sounds like them taking ownership of it has been a huge part of that. This makes sense. In life, in the work force, in anything, people tend to perform better if they feel like they have ownership in the program/company.
Wisconsin Badgers Offensive Coordinator Phil Longo Has Inspired His Players
Towards the end of the interview, Dike was asked about what he has learned so far from Phil Longo:
“Yeah, it’s been great! Coach Longo is super detailed. He’s intense. He demands greatness. That’s something I want, you know, going towards the end of my career. I feel like I’m good player, but there are definitely things I can improve upon. I want a coach that pulls that out of me, and he definitely does.”
To hear Dike’s entire interview and an interview with Phil Longo himself, listen to the entire show at the link above.
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