Coach Riley has friends in the media. What a difference a year makes.
The Winnipeg Free Press called Riley “coaching royalty,” in a recent feature. Also, Portland Tribune columnist Kerry Eggers was invited to travel to Lincoln and sit in on a football staff meeting on Monday, Aug. 10, during the Cornhuskers’ training camp.
Riley, his nine full-time assistant coaches, football operations director Dan Van De Riet, director of player personnel Ryan Gunderson, and director of football/recruiting operations Andy Vaughn take seats at the long table. Riley, like a corporate CEO, sits at one end, Van De Riet at the other. Perhaps 20 graduate assistants/managers and support staffers sit behind them around the room.
A CEO who is a calm, cool and collected leader of men. For the past decade, Nebraska teams lacked all composure when it was needed most. Now, we have a CEO of football, and I fully expect it to show on the field this Saturday and every Saturday for years to come.
Defensive backs coach Brian Stewart, who has worked in college and the NFL, said, “Riley is a level five management type from the book Good to Great. “He has a certain command presence when he talks,” Stewart said. “You know he’s in charge — but you also know he cares about you personally.”
Nebraska’s starting QB, Tommy Armstrong, is one important player on board with the new program. According to the Chicago Tribune, Armstrong said:
He treats us like we’re grown men. That’s what we respect about him the most. It’s on the players. We have to decide if we’re going to be good or great or average. He’s there to lead us, but we have to do it on our own.
A coach who teaches you to take personal responsibility for your actions. Are you kidding me…what year is this?
Go Big Red.