Hail, the Hero Returns
The worst-kept secret in Nebraska was officially unveiled Saturday. Sunday, the welcoming coronation was held at Lincoln’s Memorial Stadium.
Former Husker star Scott Frost has come home to be head coach of the Nebraska football program.
The news was greeted with celebration and jubilation by Husker fans far and wide. This is what Husker Nation wanted. For once, this is what Husker Nation got. One of its own.
That’s the best reason to be optimistic about Scott Frost coaching the Huskers. One word. A word he brought up time and again during Sunday’s press conference, with emphasis.
Everyone’s on board with this. All Husker fans are pulling for Scott Frost. It’s the first time in 20 years we can truly say that about a Nebraska football coach.
Frank Solich had strong support when handed the reins by Tom Osborne, but it wasn’t entirely universal. By the end of his tenure, cracks were beginning to appear. The fractures grew, then became ugly, during the Callahan, Pelini, and Riley years.
As they say, there are many ways to skin a cat, many ways to be successful. But, no matter how you choose to do it, you need everyone pulling in the same direction, rowing in unison. From University administration, through the athletic director and athletic department personnel, coaches and players, and, yes, the boosters and overall fan base.
Finally, Nebraska has that again.
Scott Frost is not just a Husker, he’s a Nebraskan. Wood River calls him a native son. If you want to trace roots even further, you can imagine there’s a bit of extra pride, a little extra spring in the step of Husker fans in Cedar Rapids too.
Scott’s mother, Carol Moseke, grew up in Cedar Rapids as a star athlete who went on to represent the United States in international track & field competition, winning a gold medal in the discus at the 1967 Pan American Games and competing in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. She was also Nebraska’s second track & field coach and led the Huskers to their first-ever Big 8 indoor and outdoor championships in 1980 before joining her husband Larry, a former Husker football letterman, to form a longtime high school football coaching duo.
Yes, Scott and the Frost family have deep roots in Nebraska, right in the heart of the state. Nebraskans. Huskers. Success stories.
Nebraskans, as a whole, are an insular lot. Proud of their home, and often defensive of a state they believe much of the nation perceives to be just a flat byway to better places. They rightfully take a bit of extra pride in “their own.”
It’s about the Football
You’d have to dig pretty deep to find something that hasn’t already been said or written about Scott Frost in recent days. I’m not really interested in the television soundbites and newspaper platitudes. I actually roll my eyes when I see a prominant Nebraska sportswriter give the breathless take that, “Scott Frost was born to coach Nebraska.” Really?
I’m more concerned with the actual football part. I’m optimistic about Scott Frost due to his coaching experience and success at Oregon and Central Florida. Seeing the slew of scholarship offers Frost and his staff were already sending out to top national talent Saturday night and Sunday is what makes me excited. The fact that assistant coaches, who will join Frost in Lincoln, were already visiting potential recruits over the weekend indicates the needed work ethic and tenacity.
Football has its complexities, but it’s not really complicated. It still boils down to blocking, tackling, running and passing.
There’s no magic formula for winning, no single scheme that is the gold standard. Teams with the best athletes, who do the best job of performing those four staples, will generally be the most successful.
Nebraska won’t win in the future because Scott Frost brings back Coach Osborne’s offense or Charlie’s defense. Husker success will derive from recruiting the best athletes possible and coaching them to perform the basic fundamentals with precision. It will be due to diligent efforts in living rooms across the country and on the practice fields in Lincoln.
Really, that was the Husker formula under Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne. That was, and is, the Nebraska Way. Belief. Togetherness. Purpose. One vision. Hard work. No shortcuts. Everyone on board, pulling in one direction.
With Scott Frost at the helm, that way has a chance again in Lincoln. One simple reason, one crucial component, one word. Highlighted by the coach himself.