Surely the Snyder situation was the impetus behind the reporter’s question: Your emotions and passions, will you have to temper them now? After all, goes the line of thinking, Pelini’s now a head coach for the first time.
Pelini paused. He chuckled. It was a nervous chuckle. He started to answer, then paused. It was sort of uncomfortable for a few seconds.
No problem. Pelini’s newest mentor was sitting right behind him. Pelini turned and looked at Osborne, as if seeking guidance. Osborne shrugged his shoulders, as if to say, “You’re on your own on this one, young fella.”
Everyone laughed and comfort returned.
Let the Pelini era begin.
“I’m going to be who I am,” Pelini said. “I’m not going to change.”
He repeated it for emphasis.
“Bo Pelini’s not going to change.”
The native of Youngstown, Ohio, is a boxing fan and a devoted family man. He enjoys Bruce Springsteen and coaching defense. Baby, he was born to lead (my apologies to The Boss). At least that’s what virtually every one of his former players will tell you. They’ll tell you he has a natural way of inspiring them. Maybe it’s his glare, or his tough-guy persona, or his ultraconfident demeanor, or his sheer intelligence. He’s whip-smart.
Whatever the case, he gets players to play hard.
“If you don’t play hard, you don’t have much of a chance,” said Osborne, the most powerful interim athletic director in the history of college sport.