Rich Fisher is in his fourth season as Nebraska's receivers coach and his 12th overall season of coaching at the Division I level. Under Fisher's tutelage, the Nebraska wide receiver unit has quickly developed into one of the most explosive and consistent groups in the Big Ten Conference.
Fisher’s wide receiving corps dealt with adversity throughout the 2013 season, but still recorded a productive season. The wide receivers not only had to deal with their own injuries that sidelined Jamal Turner and Kenny Bell - two of Nebraska three leading receivers from 2012 - for portions of the year, but the unit also had to adjust to three different starting quarterbacks. Husker wide receivers combined for 160 catches and 22 touchdown receptions in 2013.
Senior Quincy Enunwa hauled in 51 catches in 2013, including a Nebraska record 12 touchdown receptions. He set the TD reception record in style, with a 99-yard touchdown catch against Georgia in the Gator Bowl. Enunwa's 51 receptions went for 753 yards, the ninth-best yardage total in school history.
Bell finished his junior season with a team-high 52 receptions, marking the third straight year he led the Huskers in catches. Bell joined Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers as the only Huskers to produce two 50-reception seasons. Entering his senior year in 2014, Bell has 134 career receptions and 1,901 career receiving yarrds and is on track to break Nebraska’s career records in both categories.
Sophomore Sam Burtch (12 catches) and redshirt freshmen Alonzo Moore (six), Brandon Reilly (three) and Jordan Westerkamp (20) each recorded their first career catches in 2013, with the trio of freshmen combining for 29 receptions. Westerkamp has also caught two touchdown passes, including a 49-yard Hail Mary as time expired against Northwestern, believed to be the first successful Hail Mary in school history.
Westerkamp was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week following his four-catch, 104-yard performance against Northwestern, while Bell repeated as an All-Big Ten selection in 2013, battling through injuries to earn honorable-mention accolades.
Bell led the way in 2012, earning second-team All-Big Ten honors. Bell set Nebraska sophomore records with 50 catches, 863 receiving yards and eight receiving touchdowns, leading the Huskers in all three categories. Bell, who also set an NU sophomore record with three 100-yard receiving games, finished fourth overall on Nebraska's season receiving touchdowns chart, fourth in receiving yards, sixth in 100-yard receiving games, seventh in receptions and ninth in yards per reception (17.5).
In 2012, Enunwa eclipsed his previous career totals with 42 catches for 470 yards on the season. He added a touchdown grab and a 100-yard receiving game at Northwestern, while blocking for an NU rushing attack that ranked eighth nationally. Jamal Turner hauled in 29 passes for 395 yards and two touchdowns, and played the best football of his career in the second half of the season. Senior Steven Osborne has also made his first 10 career catches in 2012, totaling 91 yards and two touchdowns.
In his first season in 2011, Fisher’s receivers contributed to Nebraska’s success in the passing game and also offered solid perimeter blocking for the Husker running game. Fisher inherited a talented but young stable of receivers. Under his direction, the group hauled in 107 passes for 1,434 yards, while averaging 13.4 yards per reception. The unit was highlighted by underclassmen who combined for 69 catches, 1,004 receiving yards and a 14.6 yard-per-catch average.
Leading the list of young receivers succeeding under Fisher’s tutelage was Bell. As a redshrit freshman Bell led Nebraska with 32 catches and 461 receiving yards in 2011 and added three receiving touchdowns. Bell became only the second freshman in school history to lead Nebraska in both receptions and receiving yards, joining Nate Swift who accomplished the feat as a redshirt freshman in 2005.
Enunwa had 21 catches for 293 yards and two touchdowns, after recording only one reception as a freshman. Senior Brandon Kinnie had 22 catches in 2011 and finished just outside the top 10 on the Nebraska career receptions list. Junior Tim Marlowe had 12 grabs, after not recording a catch in his freshman and sophomore seasons.
Fisher also helped true freshman Jamal Turner make the transition from high school quarterback to college wide receiver. Turner had 15 catches for 243 yards and averaged 16.2 yards per catch for the Huskers in 2011.
Fisher came to Nebraska after two highly successful seasons in the prep ranks. He spent the 2009 and 2010 seasons as the head coach at Rivers School in Weston, Mass., where he compiled a 12-5 record.
In 2010, Fisher coached Rivers School to a perfect 8-0 regular season, the school’s first undefeated regular season since 1915 and its only ISL championship. In fact, it was just the school’s third winning season in the past 25 years and the first since 1979. The team also played in the Norm Walker Bowl at Gillette Stadium, the first-ever bowl game for Rivers School.
The successful season came in large part because of an explosive offense, as Rivers averaged more than 40 points per game. A pair of Rivers School standouts, Taariq Allen and Ben Patrick, earned All-Scholastic honors from the Boston Herald. A standout receiver, Allen is a redshirt freshman wide receiver for the Huskers.
The 43-year old Fisher spent several years in private business, including owning and operating New England Gridiron Football Camps from 2004 to 2009.
Fisher’s collegiate coaching experience includes stops at Idaho, Colorado and Oklahoma State, most recently spending five seasons on the Vandals’ staff from 1999 to 2003. Fisher tutored the wide receivers during his first two seasons in Moscow, then handled the inside and outside linebackers during his final three seasons.
Prior to his five seasons at Idaho, Fisher spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Colorado, his alma mater. While with the Buffs in 1997 and 1998, Fisher assisted with coaching the wide receivers. In 1998, he helped the Buffs to an 8-4 record, capped by a victory over Oregon in the Aloha Bowl.
Fisher also spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma State in 1995 and 1996. With the Cowboys, Fisher worked with the defense, specifically in the secondary.
In nine seasons as a coach at the collegiate level, Fisher has worked with five players who went on to play in the NFL.
Fisher was a three-year letterwinner at Colorado during the Buffs’ highly successful run in the late 1980s and early 1990s. An outside linebacker, Fisher lettered in 1990, 1991 and 1992 and was part of CU’s 1990 national championship team. He started in 1991 until being sidelined by a knee injury. During his playing time, he also contributed to Big Eight title teams in 1989, 1990 and 1991.
Originally from Sugarland, Texas, Fisher graduated from Colorado with a degree in communications in 1993. Fisher and his wife, Tori, have two sons, Max and Alex, and a daughter Mason.
The Fisher File
Date of Birth: Dec. 4, 1970
Family: Wife, Tori; Sons Max and Alex, Daughter, Mason
Education: Bachelor's, Communications, Colorado, 1993
Playing Experience: 1988-92, Colorado
Coaching Experience: 1995-96, Oklahoma State (graduate assistant coach); 1997-98 (Colorado (graduate assistant coach); 1999-2000, Idaho (assistant coach/receivers); 2001-03, Idaho (assistant coach/linebackers); 2009-10, Rivers School, Weston, Mass. (Head Coach); 2011-present, Nebraska (assistant coach/receivers)