Not all that long ago, Nevada was considered one of the few BCS busters out there in the college football landscape.
Heading into the 2017 season, Jay Norvell was tabbed to take over the program after Nevada and Brian Polian (who led the program from 2013-2016) agreed to part ways. This marks Norvell's first head coaching job after serving as the offensive coordinator at places like Nebraska, UCLA, Oklahoma (where he was assistant OC, and co-OC), and Arizona State (passing game coordinator).
On the field, Norvell hasn't gotten off to the start he's probably would have liked, going 0-5 in their first five weeks before collecting a win over Hawaii last weekend to improve to 1-5.
However, as the Reno Gazette-Journal points out, Norvell was given some advice from a coach in junior high that has stuck with him through their rough start, and his first time leading a program.
“My junior high school coach told me, ‘Weeping willow trees grow fast but oak trees take time and they grow strong.' It was a good reminder because we want things to happen so fast,” Norvell shared.
During his weekly "Gritiron Luncheon" Norvell shared a list he came up with of 20 things that he and his staff require from each player, and adds that each of these 20 things can be done every single day, and that they require "absolutely no talent."
- Be on time
- Eat breakfast
- Get taped, wear Nevada-issued gear
- Be respectful, show humility, be a gentleman
- Be unselfish
- Make a commitment to the team
- Be accountable, take responsibility for your actions
- Come together as never before
- Practice with a purpose, be intentional
- Have wide-eyed focus in meetings, film sessions
- Be disciplined, do it right, don't accept less
- Be positive
- Be enthusiastic
- Eliminate mistakes, don't beat yourself
- Don't accept losing
- Embrace discomfort
- Be coachable
- Stay in the moment, don't look behind or ahead
- Never, ever, ever give up
As you can see, some of them are very logical, tangible things, while other's are a little more multi-tiered and cover a larger concept. It's an interesting mix, and one that Norvell clearly believes in.