No Place Articles

Anatomy of an Era: Coach Tony Samuel, Part 3

5/22/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 21, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch Tony Samuel, Part 3 Continued… Q: Anything really stand out about that Florida State national championship game in particular? TS: One, I remember Corey Dixon returning the punt that gets called back, and then I also remember Florida State taking a timeout late…

Anatomy of an Era: Coach Tony Samuel, Part 2

5/21/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 21, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch Tony Samuel, Part 2 Continued… Q: At that time did you assistants pay much attention to the pay at other schools? TS: To be quite honest, I never did, but I can’t speak for anybody else. I didn’t know what other schools were…

Anatomy of an Era: Coach Tony Samuel

5/20/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 21, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch “Coaches have to watch for what they don't want to see and listen to what they don't want to hear.” – John Madden The second man from the coaching staff to respond to my query, I corralled Tony Samuel on his home phone…

Anatomy of an Era: Troy Dumas, Part 2

5/18/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 18, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch Troy Dumas, Part 2   Continued… Q: What differentiated us from the other great teams of the time? TD: Well, we talked it, so we were gonna walk it. That was huge. I’ll be frank about it: if you’re gonna put it out there,…

Anatomy of an Era: Troy Dumas, Part 1

5/17/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 18, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch   People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? -Rodney King, 1992 On campus and around America, 1993 was a year of turbulence and change. January began rather calmly, ushering in a new U.S. President: Hope, Arkansas’ William…

Anatomy of an Era: Joel Wilks, Part 3

5/14/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 17, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch Joel Wilks, Part 3   Continued… Q: Anybody else in your O-line group stand out to you from those days? JW: One guy, Bryan Pruitt, he had a really intense personality and intense work ethic on the field. He was the kind of…

Anatomy of an Era: Joel Wilks, Part 2

5/13/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 17, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch Joel Wilks, Part 2   Continued… Q: And when you say ‘The Pit’, we’re talking about the lower room down in the old North Fieldhouse, right? Where they used to store the blocking dummies? JW: Yeah, we used to live down there! Q:…

Anatomy of an Era: Joel Wilks, Part 1

5/12/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 17, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch   Is it or is it not a matter of importance that a young man starts out in life with an ability to shut his jaw hard and say "I will," or "I will not," and mean it?  -John Heisman Perhaps the most…

Anatomy of an Era: Adam Treu, Part 2

5/10/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 16, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch Adam Treu, Part 2   Continued… Q: As far as motivation, how did you guys get motivated? Was it personal, was it the coaches? AT: It started with the coaches, and I think through the recruiting and the homework they did, making sure…

Anatomy of an Era: Adam Treu, Part 1

5/9/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 16, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch Andy Dufresne: [in a farewell letter] Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. -Stephen King & Frank Darabont, The Shawshank Redemption Peter Richmond, in his best-selling book Baddasses: The Legend of Snake,…

Anatomy of an Era: George Darlington, Part 3

5/7/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 15, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch George Darlington, Part 3   Continued…. Q: The ’93 to the ’97 years, was there one year the staff did a better job than others? GD: Well, I think we just coached like we always coached. Like I mentioned, the ’95 team was…

Anatomy of an Era: George Darlington, Part 2

5/6/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 15, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch George Darlington, Part 2 Q: Did you ever ask Coach Osborne why he picked you from among the other candidates? GD: No, but I think one of the issues was recruiting. And Rick Duvall and I were both recruiting California, so that might…

Anatomy of an Era: George Darlington, Part 1

5/5/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 15, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch   These were my people. This was where I came from. They knew about hard work, bad harvests, and low prices. But they also knew about the importance of sticking together when times were tough. -Shane Osborne with Malcolm McConnell, Born To Fly…

Anatomy of an Era: Gerry Gdowski

5/3/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 14, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch   The man of the prairie is ready for action at home or abroad, balanced by a reasonable culture and poised by an experience whose lessons he does not leave to be learned by his grandsons. -Albert P. Brigham, Geographic Influences In American…

Anatomy of an Era: Dr. Jack Stark, Part 3

5/1/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 13 of No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Volume 1 Dr. Jack Stark, Part 3 Team Psychologist Continued… Q: It appears that you and Coach Osborne were quite often of the same mind on a great number of things. Was there anything else you ever brought to him, anything interesting that we could share? JS:…

Anatomy of an Era: Dr. Jack Stark, Part 2

4/30/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 13 of No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Volume 1 Dr. Jack Stark, Part 2 Team Psychologist Continued… Q: From the way you describe it, they were just guys who rose up regardless of position on the field. Were these leaders created or did they already have it, that leadership factor? JS: I think these…

Anatomy of an Era: Dr. Jack Stark, Part 1

4/29/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 13 of No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Volume 1 by Paul Koch   Nothing is little to him that feels it with great sensibility. -Samuel Johnson, Boswell’s Life of Dr. Johnson   For 15 years Doctor Jack Stark plied his wares in the Athletic Department’s hallways, nooks and an astounding caseload of players’ crannies.…

Anatomy of an Era: Chris Norris, Part 3

4/26/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 12, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch   Chris Norris, Part 3 Walk-on, Fullback, Papillion, Nebraska (Papillion-LaVista)     Continued… Q: Any good stories about the athletic trainers? CN: Probably a hundred of them. Sully being that stereotypical gruff, old, grumpy, ‘you-can-play, rub-some-dirt-on-it’ kind of guy, and Doak was the guy who…

Anatomy of an Era: Chris Norris, Part 2

4/25/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 12, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch   Chris Norris, Part 2 Walk-on, Fullback, Papillion, Nebraska (Papillion-LaVista)     Continued… Q: Going from being a player and then to the Coaches’ meeting room, anything stand out to you when you joined that side? CN: A lot more things made sense to me.…

Anatomy of an Era: Chris Norris, Part 1

4/24/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 12, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch When things don’t go your way, never give up. Play the next play with all you have, from the time the ball is snapped until the whistle is blown. Play from sideline to sideline. Once your block is made, look downfield for someone…

Anatomy of an Era: Lorenzo Brinkley & Kenny Wilhite, Part 3

4/22/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 11, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch   Lorenzo Brinkley & Kenny Wilhite, Part 3 Scholarship recruit, Cornerback, St. Louis, Missouri (Hazelwood Central) & Scholarship recruit, Cornerback, St. Louis, Missouri (Oakville) Continued… LB: It’s about the players. Once it stops being about the players then you have to get out…

Anatomy of an Era: Lorenzo Brinkley & Kenny Wilhite, Part 2

4/21/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 11, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch Lorenzo Brinkley & Kenny Wilhite, Part 2 Scholarship recruit, Cornerback, St. Louis, Missouri (Hazelwood Central) & Scholarship recruit, Cornerback, St. Louis, Missouri (Oakville)   Continued… Q: Tell me, was there a change from the first day you were on campus to the last,…

Anatomy of an Era: Lorenzo Brinkley & Kenny Wilhite, Part 1

4/20/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 11, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch I am a border ruffian from the State of Missouri… In me you have Missouri morals, Connecticut culture; this, gentlemen, is the combination which makes the perfect man. -Mark Twain World War I’s General of the Armies John J. Pershing was born in…

Anatomy of an Era: Zach Wiegert, Part 3

4/19/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 10, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch Zach Wiegert, Part 3 Scholarship recruit, Offensive Tackle, Fremont, Nebraska (Bergan)  Continued… Q: Any practice recollections that you’ll never forget? ZW: The best practice we ever had was when Christian Peter got knocked over the head with his own helmet down in ‘The…

Anatomy of an Era: Zach Wiegert, Part 2

4/18/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 10, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch Zach Wiegert, Part 2 Scholarship recruit, Offensive Tackle, Fremont, Nebraska (Bergan) Continued… And I think when I played there -and it wasn’t just me, but a lot of guys, most of the guys in my class- but everything was a competition with us.…

Anatomy of an Era: Zach Wiegert, Part 1

4/17/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 10, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch   No great thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig…I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen. -Epictetus, circa A.D. 60 Born in Fremont, Nebraska in 1903,…

Anatomy of an Era: George Sullivan, Part 2

4/16/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 42 of No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Volume 1 by Paul Koch George Sullivan Athletic Trainer Emeritus   Continued… Q: Any fond recollections of the assistant coaches? Any unique personalities? GS: I think it was strictly the togetherness and cohesiveness of the whole group there. They were so good to me that there’s not…

Anatomy of an Era: George Sullivan, Part 1

4/15/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 42 of No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Volume 1 by Paul Koch                                          A timeline: 1966: At the University of Florida, Dr. Robert Cade and Dr. Dana Shires create Gatorade for the university's football team, the Gators. 1966/1967: Dr. Cade comes to an agreement with Stokely-Van Camp, Inc.(S-VC) to produce the already patented product.…

Anatomy of an Era: Dave Ellis, Part 4

4/14/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 9, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1   Dave Ellis, Part 4 Sports Nutritionist #fuelingtactics Continued… Q: Any final thoughts on those championship Husker years? Anything behind the scenes you thought made a difference? DE: Well, you know, Steve Pederson, I’ll give him some props. I know he didn’t go out on a…

Anatomy of an Era: Dave Ellis, Part 3

4/13/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 9, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 Dave Ellis, Part 3 Sports Nutritionist #fuelingtactics Continued… Q: Dave do you have a favorite kid who blossomed right in front of your eyes? DE: Grant Wistrom was one of the case studies that I always showed recruits. Certainly any kind of rush end/outside linebacker recruit,…

Anatomy of an Era: Dave Ellis, Part 2

4/12/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 9, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 Dave Ellis, Part 2 Sports Nutritionist Continued… Q: 60 wins & 3 losses, Dave. Nebraska football from 1993 to 1997. Almost unheard of in modern day college football... DE: One of the strongest eras ever. Those were teams that ran the tables and won with style…

Anatomy of an Era: Dave Ellis, Part 1

4/11/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 9, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch Pay close attention: this is good.... em-i-nence: high station, rank, or repute. out-li-er: a person or thing that lies outside. I’ve chosen to label a few select individuals a term I recently coined: Eminence Outliers. An Eminence Outlier –EO for short- is a…

Anatomy of an Era: Brenden Stai, Part 3

4/9/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 8, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 Brenden Stai Part 3 Scholarship recruit, Offensive Guard, Yorba Linda, California (Anaheim Esperanza)     Continued ... Q: Were you on the field blocking for Byron’s last second kick versus Florida State the previous year? BS: No. What happened was, normally whenever you started at Nebraska you normally…

Anatomy of an Era: Brenden Stai, Part 2

4/8/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 8, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 Brenden Stai Part 2 Scholarship recruit, Offensive Guard, Yorba Linda, California (Anaheim Esperanza)       Continued… Q: So Brenden, you brought back ‘old school’ with the whole Socks Up Tuesday, huh? Now, Bryan Pruitt told me that he left his socks down just because he was little…

Anatomy of an Era: Brenden Stai, Part 1

4/7/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 8, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch It’s often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Take a quick look at the pencil drawing you see here, compliments of former Husker offensive lineman Mike VanCleave. Back now? Quick: what descriptive terms come to mind? Hulking.. Powerful? Annihilating &…

Anatomy of an Era: Mark “Zeke” Cisco Part 2

4/6/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 7, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1   Mark “Zeke” Cisco Part 2 Walk-on, Strong Safety, Monroe, Michigan (Jefferson)   Continued… Q: Any memorable off-field occurrences? MC: Boy, I tell you, I was part of the TeamMates program. That was special now that I look back on it. At the time I did…

Anatomy of an Era: Mark “Zeke” Cisco Part 1

4/5/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 7, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1                                                           Don’t forget us, but don’t mope. Make lots of new friends. You’ll never be twenty again. Take a chorus girl out to supper – a pretty one, mind!   -Nebraska author & Pulitzer Prize winner Willa Cather, A Lost Lady, Courtesy of the Willa…

Anatomy of an Era: Mike “Biff” Roberts Part 2

4/4/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 6, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1   Mike “Biff” Roberts Part 2 Walk-on, Rover, Omaha, Neb. (Central)   Continued… Q: Any of your teammates stick out to you from those days? MR: Oh, Christian Peter by far, is one. As far as leadership. His speeches prior to the game were tremendous. Just…

Anatomy of an Era: Mike “Biff” Roberts Part 1

4/3/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 6, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1                                                                    Butch Coolidge: (beating up Marsellus Wallace) You feel that sting, big boy, huh? That’s pride #%@in’ with you! You gotta fight through that shit!” -Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction Do you remember those old Jiffy-brand peanut butter ads? To loosely paraphrase, “Choosy mothers choose Biff!” Jokes…

Anatomy of an Era: Boyd Epley Part 4

4/1/18 | Paul Koch
Boyd Epley Part 4 The Godfather of Collegiate Strength & Conditioning/Husker Power Continued from previous… Q: Who first came up with the 1:16 (on the stadium’s scoreboard during summer conditioning)? BE: It was my deal, we discussed it in the staff meeting and Randy Gobel had to go figure out how to do it. And Randy had to do it…

Anatomy of an Era: Boyd Epley Part 3

3/31/18 | Paul Koch
Boyd Epley Part 3 The Godfather of Collegiate Strength & Conditioning/Husker Power Continued from previous… Boyd Epley: (Reminiscing about Tom Osborne’s motivational powers) His greatest speech I ever heard was before a game versus Illinois. Nobody writes those things down. You’re in the locker room and he’s just talking, and years later I asked him about that speech, and he…

Anatomy of an Era: Boyd Epley Part 2

3/30/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 5, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 Boyd Epley Part 2 The Godfather of Collegiate Strength & Conditioning/Husker Power Continued from previous… Boyd Epley: (Speaking about the pivotal 1991 Winter Conditioning program) It’s incredible the progress they made. Coach Osborne called me in when we lost the two players. He explained, he said,…

Anatomy of an Era: Boyd Epley Part 1

3/29/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 5, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1   “Towering genius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored. It thirsts and burns for distinction; and if possible, it will have it…”     -Abraham Lincoln It’s a common misconception that Omaha’s airport was named after Boyd Epley, godfather of collegiate strength training. That honor…

Anatomy of an Era: Linda Ybarra

3/27/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 4, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1     "Courage; Generosity; Fairness; Honor; In these are the true awards of manly sport." -Inscription on the Northwest Corner of Memorial Stadium, Hartley Burr Alexander, former UNL professor of philosophy   Mama Husker Power: that’s Linda Ybarra. Though surrounded by alpha males in the confines…

Anatomy of an Era: Bryan Pruitt Part 3

3/26/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 3, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1   Bryan Pruitt Part 3 Walk-on, Offensive Guard, Midlothian, Illinois (St. Laurence)   Continued…   Author: Bryan, anybody behind the scenes play a large role in your development? BP: From an academic standpoint, I’ll be the first one to say Dennis Leblanc in Academics. That guy…

Anatomy of an Era: Bryan Pruitt Part 2

3/25/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 3, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1   Bryan Pruitt Part 2 Walk-on, Offensive Guard, Midlothian, Illinois (St. Laurence)   Continued…..   Author: Bryan, let’s continue talking about Coach Osborne... Bryan Pruitt: Sometimes you’d try to make a name for yourself in practice and you’d get into a fight with Jason or Christian…

Anatomy of an Era: Bryan Pruitt Part 1

3/24/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 3, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1   Chicago Police Officer Jim Malone: You wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife? You pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital? You send one of his to the morgue. That's the “Chicago Way”! And that's how you get…

Anatomy of an Era: Matt Turman Part 3

3/22/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 2, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1   Matt Turman Part 3 Walk-on, Quarterback, Wahoo, Neb. (Neumann)   Continued…   Q: Where were you for the ‘94 Orange Bowl versus Florida State? In the stands or on the sideline? MT: I was standing on the sideline. My redshirt freshman year. My redshirt year we…

Anatomy of an Era: Matt Turman Part 2

3/21/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 2, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1   Matt Turman Part 2 Walk-on, Quarterback, Wahoo, Neb. (Neumann) Continued…   Q: Matt, is there anything you look back on today that makes you chuckle about that era? Matt Turman: Well, there was, I don’t know if you were familiar with the big meeting room…

Anatomy of an Era: Matt Turman Part 1

3/20/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 2, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1   “We were that close to going out forever. But there was one man who taught us to fight, to storm the wire of the camps, to smash those metal mother%*ers into junk. He turned it around. He brought us back from the brink.” - The…

Anatomy of an Era: David Seizys Part 2

3/18/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 1, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1   David Seizys Part 2 Walk-on, Wingback, Seward, Neb. (Ft. Calhoun) Continued from previous…   Author: David, is there anything you wish you could do over again? David Seizys: It would have to be that field goal (to end the ’94 Orange Bowl). Q: Let me…

Anatomy of an Era: David Seizys

3/17/18 | Paul Koch
Excerpted from Chapter 1, No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 To kick these interviews off in proper fashion I sent former athletic trainer and NU player-liaison Doak Ostergard an e-mail requesting contact info for a number of people. He was kind enough to mass-mail it out to the players from that era to get me started,…

Preface & Intro: Anatomy of an Era

3/16/18 | Paul Koch
Preface & Intro excerpted from No Place Like Nebraska: Anatomy of an Era, Vol. 1 by Paul Koch   Prelude to a Miss or A Providential and Fortuitous Confluence of Events   Place-kickers aren’t normally prone to run this fast. “Yeee-haaw! Shit-fire, you sonsabitches! Shit-fire!!” Adrenaline coursing, tongue cursing and legs furiously back-pedaling across the grass, Byron Bennett crosses the…

Paul Koch

3/16/18 | Paul Koch
Paul Koch, former Husker Power strength & conditioning coach (1987-1995), hails from Petersburg, NE and resides in Southern California. A lifelong fan, failed walk-on candidate & eventual staffer, his unique perspective of Nebraska Football comes from experiences of that greatest era. A 1991 graduate of the University of Nebraska with a BS in Education with an emphasis in Exercise Science,…