Before he was the head coach at Wyoming, and years before he built North Dakota State into an FCS powerhouse, Craig Bohl played and coached under the legendary Tom Osborne.
When you have rare opportunity to both play, and coach, under one of college football’s greatest, certain things tend to stick with you as you embark on your own coaching journey. While on Sirius XM College Sports Nation yesterday, Bohl shared a few of those lessons, starting with recruiting.
Back in February, prior to signing day, Bohl told the Star-Tribune about the “Wyoming Profile” that he and his staff had created to that targeted players with “a laser-like focus” on two things; kids that wanted to be at Wyoming, and kids who wanted a meaningful degree from Wyoming. That first point is often overlooked by overzealous recruiters today, but it’s something that Bohl learned as a young coach from Osborne.
“We have attracted those guys that want to embrace and come to Wyoming. Long ago, Coach Osborne told me, ‘I found through the years, the guys I would beg to come to school when I was a young coach at Nebraska never ended up playing. The ones that really wanted to be here were the ones that played.’
“I finally told him what we are and where we’re going and what kind of guy we’re looking for. We’ve got those guys. That’s the model we have in place here.” Bohl explained.
Then Bohl, who recently promoted an off-the-staffer to interim receivers coach after Kenni Burns resigned, talked about the importance of taking the time to hire the right person, and the four traits of a good coach he learned directly from Tom Osborne.
“In America, even corporately, we hire fast and fire slow. We need to take a long time and hire slow.” Bohl said, referring to finding the right fit for the full time receivers job after the 2015 season wraps up.
“I remember one time, Coach Osborne went up to the board and wrote what kind of guy he was looking for. First of all, a good person. Second, intelligence. Third, a guy that has the ability to communicate. Fourth, positional skill. It kind of surprised me at that time. I was a young, hard-charging guy.
“He told me, ‘Craig, if you had these other three elements, you can figure out how to coach a position.’ If you look at the great icons that have coached – Bo Schembechler, Bobby Bowden, – they all had the same formula, and we’ve had that.