SDSU Football’s David Lose makes mark as new defensive line coach

Aztecs’ defensive line coach David Lose is making an impact on his players already, implementing new rituals into their lives.
Image courtesy of San Diego State Athletics.
Image courtesy of San Diego State Athletics.

Keion Mitchell is doing pushups. After dapping up his coach, the 6’4” defensive lineman drops to the ground and reps out a quick five.  

He’s been caught out and he’s got to pay his penance, just part of daily life for the senior under new San Diego State defensive line coach David Lose.  

“We have a handshake thing now,” Mitchell said. “We slap hands and we gotta act like we’re punching out a ball, like both of us at the same time. If you forget, you get five pushups.” 

It’s all part of Lose’s philosophy that the ball is everything.

“They’re hunting the football,” Lose said. “Everything we’re doing defensively up front, we want to make sure that we’re getting to the ball and trying to get the ball back for the offense.”  

Lose came to the Aztecs late in the offseason program, joining the coaching staff on March 1 from the University of Idaho, just days before spring practice. Despite joining late, the former Oregon State player and coaching veteran is already making his presence felt. 

“Great dude, I’m loving being coached by him so far,” Mitchell said. “His meetings are great. We already have our meeting rituals that we’re starting to get into, he allows us to bond in the meeting room with all our teammates and he encourages it.” 

The handshake ritual is just one of many that Lose is incorporating into his players’ daily lives. Every meeting, before film starts, Lose has each player write down something that they are grateful for on a piece of paper. Daily reminders to appreciate what they have.  

A return to California is something that Lose appreciates as well. A California kid, he grew up in Sacramento before playing four years at Oregon State, graduating in 2004. After his graduation, he bounced around the country taking various defensive positions before returning to the West Coast and SDSU. 

“It’s an awesome experience,” Lose said. “Very blessed. A dream come true to be here, part of this program. Very excited to be in San Diego, working with the Aztec football team.” 

Working with the Aztec defensive line, Lose is focusing on teaching slowly to play fast. Mitchell pointed out how Lose is slowing down their drills, focusing on footwork and hand placement to make sure they’re inch-perfect when it comes to game day. 

“One step at a time, one drill at a time, one rep at a time,” Lose said. “Maintaining a steady climb of improvement to make sure we’re the best we can be when the end of spring ball comes around.” 

His handshake game is just another way of reinforcing that incremental improvement. Players are always actively thinking about making a play, even when they’re out of his sight. 

“It’s all about the ball,” Lose said. “We want to do our job. We want to out physical our opponent, and then we want to get to the football because takeaways always win.”