Frost Generates Excitement, Unity in Introduction
As Scott Frost wrapped up his introductory news conference Sunday at Memorial Stadium, one of some 400 spectators on the third floor club level summed the proceedings in a way most Nebraskans would surely agree.
“I only felt better,” the man said, “the more he talked.”
To be sure, Frost won over not only the former players, teammates, coaches, staff members and friends in attendance, but the tens of thousands of fans who watched on TV or the internet across the state and country.
Some 105,000 viewers tuned into the Nebraska Facebook page to watch Frost, the Nebraska native and national championship quarterback for the Huskers, describe how he would return Nebraska football to the glory days.
The highlight came when a reporter asked Frost, who compiled an 18-6 record in two seasons at Central Florida, including a 12-0 mark this season, how his style of offense might have to adapt to the Big Ten Conference.
Frost gave a steely, cold, serious stare as he answered, “I’m hoping the Big Ten has to modify their system for us.”
That generated the loudest cheers and applause on a day Nebraska’s “favorite son,” as new Director of Athletics Bill Moos described Frost, returned home.
“Words can’t describe how much it means for me to come back here to a place I love, a place I understand, a place I want to represent,” Frost said.
Less than 24 hours earlier, Frost was coaching his UCF team to a thrilling conference title victory over Memphis. Late Saturday night, he arrived in Lincoln, and by Sunday morning, some 150 former teammates greeted Frost in the Ndamukong Suh Strength and Conditioning Center.
The gathering was a surprise to Frost, who smiled and greeted the happy bunch.
“Thanks for coming, boys! Let’s get this thing right, huh?”
They responded with cheers.
“I don’t know what to say to you guys, other than come help me do this,” Frost told them. “We’ve all been watching for a long time, and I want to make it what it was, so I need all your help. You guys made this place special, and I want to get it there again.”
One way Frost wants to shape the program is by building the walk-on program, a staple in his era under legendary coach Tom Osborne, who attended Sunday. Today, Frost said he sees too many kids from Nebraska playing for other schools. He wants to change that.
“When we were here, we had a lot of players, and we had a lot of players working hard at practice, and nobody was sitting on a knee,” Frost said. “We had kids from Gothenburg and from Minden and from Scottsbluff and from Wood River and from Columbus.
“This place needs that. I’m looking forward to building the walk-on program and making what it was before. There are some sacrifices that are probably going to be made to get there, but when you have a bunch of kids from the state of Nebraska that are in this program, those are the types of players who would bleed for this place and work hard to make this work.”
Yes, Frost is a Nebraska native, and yes, he’s a former Husker, both obvious factors in his return. But other high profile schools wanted Frost, too. And Moos said Frost would’ve been at the top of his list as an athletic director no matter what school he was leading.
“Doesn’t matter that I’m at Nebraska,” Moos said. “He is, in my opinion, not only the premier young coach in America, but I believe he was everybody’s first choice, and I got the pick of the litter. We got the pick of the litter.
“He’s got great integrity, he’s got great morals. He cares about his players, I mean, you’ve heard him talking here, and he just gets back to the fact that he genuinely cares about the players, and all those things are important.”
Some current players attended, too, including offensive lineman Jerald Foster. Most of the team had already met with Frost on Sunday morning.
“He was pretty casual with us,” Foster said. “He was like, ‘Boys, I want you to understand this is something I wanted to do, I’m so happy to be here.’ He pretty much told us to take off this offseason and rest up, get our bodies right, but as soon as January hits, we’re going to hit the ground running. I’m really excited about it.”
Defensive lineman Mick Stoltenberg was equally excited about having a former championship player returning as coach.
“Definitely a lot of excitement," Stoltenberg said. "I like what he’s about, what he has to say and what he’s for. I’m really excited for the unified purpose, and I’m excited to try to get this team on the right track. I believe we have the bodies and the talent and the personnel to get some good things done. With his help and his staff coming in, all the players are excited to get the ball rolling.”
Foster was also ecstatic to see so much support from former players.
“I just feel like everybody’s coming together. We’re all pushing forward for one goal. That’s what you need as a program,” he said. “Being able to see it all come together, it is a special thing. I really am excited about what’s about to happen.”
Foster is also excited to play for a championship coach.
“Being able to see a coach that has done it as a coach and a player – he’s a champion on the field, he’s a champion when he’s coaching," he said. "I’m really excited for this guy. I feel like he’s going to be what we need. It’s going to work out well for us.”
Said Frost of the team meeting: “I saw a lot of fire in their eyes. They looked excited. A lot of them came to my office afterwards.”
Frost, who has a seven-year contract, said he’s not yet ready to name his entire new staff, and said he would spend the next two weeks recruiting hard, while noting the previous staff had done a good job with recruiting. He is not yet certain on how or if he will be involved in coaching his former UCF team in its bowl game, but reiterated recruiting is very important until the dead period.
A general theme Frost cast throughout his news conference was returning unity to the program, noting the state of Nebraska is “hungry” for it. At times, Frost said he didn’t recognize the Nebraska he viewed from the outside.
But upon his return, he knows the program has the facilities and the administrative support need for success.
“I say the time is right, because everything is set up here for us to do what we have to do to get this place back, and I know with all the support of the people in this state, and all the former players and the leadership on this university, I know we can get it done.
“We’re going to do things in a way that the people of Nebraska can be proud of. We’re not going to win every game that I coach here, and we’re going to lose a few. We might make some mistakes, but I know that the people are going to be able to get behind what we’re doing here because we’re going to do everything the right way, and we’re going to do everything with the right moral compass, and we’re going to do everything in a way that’s going to make Nebraska proud.”
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