NU student fans present Tim Miles with a Red Zone T at his press conference.
By Randy York
It didn’t take Tim Miles long to bridge to one of his favorite messages Monday night when Jeff Culhane interviewed Nebraska’s new head basketball coach for half an hour on the Husker Sports Network. After sharing conversation early in the interview, Miles talked about the commitment required to play in the Big Ten Conference, and guess which element he put right up there at the top?
“When you look at everything, it’s important to know there are elements in place here to be successful,” he said, “and I think the most important one is the intensity of the interest of the fans. The fan base is phenomenal, and that’s good because at the end of the day, this is a place where we can blow up men’s basketball … everybody else has been successful … it’s our time!”
In his previous coaching stops, Miles has been willing to take schedule cards and deliver pizzas to campus dorms. He’s never been shy about reaching out to bring fans in. “I’m glad fans have fun. That’s what they’re here for. That’s what it’s about,” he said. “Fans can make a difference, especially your student fans. The more successful you can be at home, the more confident guys get and the harder they play. It’s a great environment. Basketball’s a fun sport to watch. It’s a lot like hockey … only you score.”
Miles told Culhane that Nebraska’s program is “a little bit flat right now” and added that the timing of his taking the job “is better than maybe my predecessor.” Miles appreciates Nebraska’s commitment to top-notch facilities and to hiring a quality basketball staff and sees both as factors that will maximize recruiting. “We want to get people fired up about basketball,” he said. “We need to do our part, too. We need to win, and that goes without saying.”
Earlier Monday, when Miles ran into first-year NU baseball coach Darin Erstad, conversation was quick. “You got those guys goin’,” Miles said. “Just waitin’ for you to do the same,” Erstad replied. “He’s already got the thumb on me,” Miles said of Erstad. “I like it!”
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Voices from Husker Nation
Our new coach is perceptive and has obviously done his homework. We had a good crowd when we upset Indiana and followed that with a few more loud and proud crowds. Unfortunately, we lost our mojo and never got it back. I know things don’t happen overnight or even in a year or two, but I think our fans will support a coach with vision and a strong determination to turn the tide. Dave Johnson, Lincoln, Nebraska