Earlier in the season, Coach John Cook took a moment to speak to the Nebraska football team at the request of Scott Frost. Cook’s program is built on a championship culture and that is what Frost is striving to achieve with his own team.
When asked about Frost’s speech, senior libero Kenzie Maloney joked that she couldn’t hear a word he had said.
Then she cut to the heart of Frost’s message.
“He just told us that we played really well as a team and that was something that they were striving for and the culture here that we’ve built is something they look up to as a football team,” Maloney said. “He just encouraged us to have no fear of failure going into the tournament and play big and attack always and just have that confident mindset.”
— Husker Volleyball (@Huskervball) November 25, 2018
Frost’s message mirrors the one Cook is constantly giving to his own players.
“I couldn’t say it any better than he did,” Cook said. “We’ll use that. We’ll be talking about that every day as we go into the tournament. He related that to last year’s team. He follows volleyball. The story I told the players, when he was back here when he was still playing pro and going back and forth, I would get his grandmother tickets. He would bring his grandmother who lived over by the airport and then he would always tell me that she got to the point where she couldn’t come to the matches but she’d be watching it on TV. He would call me and say ‘What time are you guys playing? I want to make sure she knows.’
“Of course, I worked with his dad every year since I’ve been here with the state boys and girls game. He’s been doing that for 50 years. Great family. It’s just really cool; it’s what Nebraska is all about.”
Cook’s connection with Frost should come as no surprise despite the nearly 20 years in age that separates them. After, Cook was the one who teared up when he heard the news that Frost was coming back to Lincoln. Cook, a former football coach in his own right, is constantly making football analogies when talking about his own team. The players refer to Frost as Cook’s “BFF.”
“When he wins, I’m ecstatic,” Cook said. “Like yesterday, I’m heartbroken. You’re so emotionally wrapped up in sports here. But the fact that I can have the relationship where he feels comfortable coming into the locker room, he’s around our players, he’s been over my house for dinner and recruits, that we have that relationship with the head football coach — I don’t think that’s happening very many places and our players think the world of him. We had fun with it today … That’s what this place is all about. It’s a very close-knit community, family-type feel and that’s just one example of it. He gave a great talk to our team; it’s pretty cool.”
The Huskers will try to heed Frost’s advice this week as they prepare for the NCAA Tournament. The Huskers will learn what seed they’ve been named and who they’ll be facing during the selection show on ESPNU Sunday night at 7:30 p.m.
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.