Friday, March 14, 2008

Another Take on Pelini Hire

I ran across a short inteview with Husker Heas Coach Bo Pelini at Yahoo! Sports conducted by sportwriter Olin Buchanan. He also talked with Husker legend Tom Ruud, father of recent linebackers Barrett and Bo about the new coach and the program. Buchanan points out the key to the hire:

"In making his first address to the team, Pelini brought a direct, no-nonsense message of great expectations and demands.

“I told them everybody is going to be held to extremely high standards,” Pelini said by phone last week. “They’re expected to do things right on and off the field and develop a sense of accountability. That’s not up for debate.”

Neither is that Nebraska’s once-proud “Black Shirts” defense hit bottom in ‘07 by allowing at least 40 points six times, including an all-time high 76 points in a loss to Kansas. Nebraska’s defense allowed at least 40 points 11 times in four seasons under Callahan. Before Callahan, the Huskers had allowed at least 40 points just 11 times in 45 seasons from 1959-2003.

But Pelini is a master architect of powerful defenses, having coached top-20 ranked defenses in each season as coordinator at Nebraska (2003), Oklahoma (2004) and LSU (2005-07). Restoring some teeth to the once-ferocious “Black Shirts” is the first step in leading Nebraska back to national prominence."

As a college assistant, Pelini's teams have never won less than 10 games, AND have never been ranked below #13 in total defense and #17 in scoring defense. Pelini indicated there will be subtle yet significant differences in how he runs our program from how his former bosses ran there own teams. Ruud stated that while Callahan was a good coach, Pelini has embraced the state and the culture in a very different way than Callahan, and Buchanan points out how the state has responded to the hire in a very postive manner, even going so far as to list the different T-shirt captions that have caught on utilizing the Coach's nickname.

Nice to have a positive article on the program for a change.

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