By Randy York
Before the 10 o’clock news came on Tuesday night, the N-Sider received an email with a one-word subject line: “Amazing!” So I took my eyes off a scoreless Royals’ game and read a comment from Lincoln’s Bret Hergenrader, who read about Nebraska’s record number of college graduates on this fall’s Husker team and how that fact reflects the priorities set at the top by Bo Pelini. “It’s evident Bo practices what he preaches,” Hergenrader wrote. “I have great pride in Nebraska’s commitment for being a school first and a place for football second. Bo does things the right way and always will.” Bret ended his thoughts with a Go Big Red!
Bo’s commitment to academics is indeed admirable and his strongly rooted belief is based on personal experience, but it is just part of his coaching philosophy. Pelini embraces a value system he calls The Process – something every Husker fan should know about and understand because it drives the hearts and minds of Nebraska football on a daily basis. That mindset comes through in a video produced for Huskers.com. The video is, in essence, a three-minute class that defines The Process through the words and thoughts of such Husker players as Ameer Abdullah, Kenny Bell, Corey Cooper, Imani Cross, Taylor Martinez, Cole Pensick, Michael Rose and C.J. Zimmerer. Take a quick break and listen to their descriptions of being Relentless, Accountable and Competitive – the linchpins of The Process. After you watch, please take a couple minutes and let us know what you think.
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Voices from Husker Nation
I just watched the video on The Process. You know no one ever learned anything by doing it right the first time. Mistakes teach us; the big trick in life is not to make the same mistake twice. I’ve been a soldier, a security consultant and a bodyguard. Here are 10 rules that have seen me through what at times could be considered a tricky life (I’m retired now). 1. PAY ATTENTION: Stay in the present. It’s the only place anything is really happening. 2. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY: This is your life. Either you own it or you blame someone else for it. 3. NO KVETCHING: No whining and no snivelling because it takes you out of the present and lets you abdicate responsibility. 4. DON’T TAKE ANY CRAP: It’s bad for the self esteem to take abuse. Stand up to your tyrants both internal and external. 5. DO IT ANYWAY: Hard choices temper our strength and integrity; they mark the point between a life of adventure and excellence and one of mediocrity. 6. DON’T QUIT: Look at what stops you and where you give up the effort. That’s the line between victim and warrior. 7. KEEP YOUR AGREEMENTS: A person is only as good as his or her word. 8. KEEP YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR: Otherwise, what’s the point? Humor helps us stretch beyond our own limits and helps expand our perception. 9. LOVE EACH OTHER: Otherwise, where is the meaning? Love is the way we remember we’re not alone in the universe. 10. HONOR YOUR CONNECTION TO THE SOURCE: There is a source in the universe greater than us. That force created us, provides for us, guides us and loves us. This force/source speaks to us from within. Trust it. I don’t know if this is The Process you’re talking about, but what the heck. There’s more than one way up the mountain. GO BIG RED! Jim Weaver, Powys, Wales, United Kingdom
While I frequently hear people talk about shortcomings in the Husker program and how Coach Pelini just doesn’t have what it takes to get to the next level, I have always known one irrefutable truth. Bo Pelini started building his program on a firm foundation. Instead of chasing 5-star athletes across the globe, he found students who fit his system, and with those students he implemented his type of system, where school came first, hard work came second, and responsibility to team came third. All those values are old fashioned to today’s society, but Bo wouldn’t have it any other way. On that foundation all the other parts in a successful program can be built. It’s just all part of The Process. Travis Laird, Lincoln, Nebraska
I’m an active duty Marine Corps officer stationed in Washington DC, and I loved the The Process video the first time I saw it. I watched it several more times and even asked my kids to sit down and watch it, too. It’s a testament to the job that Coach Pelini has done with our beloved program, and while he may take a lot of criticism for wins and losses, I’ll take the current state of the program over a championship season marred by NCAA investigations into illegal activity. The video makes me proud to be a Husker fan and fills me with confidence that the program is headed in the right direction. And who knows? Maybe that championship season is closer than we know. Go Big Red! David Forbell, Lorton, Virginia
I am a high school coach in the Las Vegas area and the very first time I heard Bo talk about the process, I knew exactly what he meant. While my coaching is not on the same level, the basic principles that you are trying to teach the kids are the same and that is why I understood what he meant. Success rarely happens overnight. It is usually a process. Chad Robertus, Las Vegas, Nevada
It drives me a bit crazy when I hear analysts refer to Nick Saban as the originator of the concept of The Process. No, he got the concept from a coach he idolized. A coach that wrote a book about The Process in the late ‘80s in which he refers to feeling anti-climactic about winning a national championship and has an epiphany that the journey is more important that the destination. It’s a book called More Than Winning. We all know the man quite well, and I am sure Bo Pelini’s emphasis on The Process came from his mentor, Tom Osborne. That book has a special place on my book case. T.O. was way ahead of his time. Matt Hagood, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Championships will come. I love what Bo and his staff are doing with the players and how they represent Nebraska. Bo came in with a plan about how he wanted his legacy to be remembered and with some natural tweaks he is following it to the letter. Has high family values and expects the same from his players. I hope the fans give him time for The Process to work. To me, it is is already working. Terry Mann, Gothenburg, Nebraska
Read your story on the academic success of graduation among our Husker football players. Dennis Leblanc, Jeff Jamrog, Bo Pelini and his coaching staff, plus our team members, have all done a great job. Great article and love reading them. I’m a 1981 UNL grad, a Dawson, Neb., native and Husker fan. All the best! Kevin Kean, Las Vegas, Nevada
I have total confidence in Bo and the way he is rebuilding the Huskers. He has taken the total disaster that was left behind and turned the program around and heading in the right direction. He put his whole heart into the Huskers, and the players respond to his loyalty to them. I can remember when Husker fans were questioning Tom Osborne’s coaching. Expectations are very high in Nebraska. I started school in 1962. At that time, Nebraska fans were happy just to have a winning season. Bob Devaney got it going, Tom kept it going, and Bo will keep it going. Be the best you can be Huskers. Steven Olson