‘It’s bigger than me’: Huskers interim head coach holds first news conference
Mickey Joseph focused on Saturday’s game against Oklahoma, not on history
In the weeks ahead, it’s a nine-game job interview for the former Huskers quarterback.
“We understand what goes along with this profession, it’s wins and losses,” said Joseph when asked about potentially turning this interim opportunity into becoming the permanent head coach.
Joseph’s appointment also makes him a groundbreaking choice: He is the first African-American coach for the Huskers for any sport.
“It’s about Nebraska football; it’s bigger than me,” Joseph said. “I haven’t really thought about that because I’ve been a football coach — I’ve been a Black football coach — all my life. But I never thought about that. I’m more concerned about the boys and getting the boys ready to play on Saturday. It’s bigger than me.”
Husker legend and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers told 6 News he wishes Coach Joseph all the best, saying it’s about time Nebraska hired an African-American head coach.
“I think this is a step in the right direction to make a change for us to be seen around the nation as the people who are interacting with people of color and putting them in the positions they deserve to be in,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers hopes Coach Joseph gets a fair shot to take the interim label off his title; but in the end, Rogers knows it all comes down to wins and losses.
“The players will stand by Mickey; we have good players. He’ll be able to bring them together, and we’ll make a good outstanding rest of the season and get ourselves to a bowl game,” Rodgers said. “And if we can get ourselves to a bowl game, and do something that hasn’t been done for the past three or four years, that will be enough of a statement to move forward with the direction that we’re at now.”
But that’s not how Joseph started his first press conference in this role. He made an opening statement, and this was the message:
Joseph was last a head coach at Langston University in 2011 and 2012. He was also a head coach at the high school level in Louisiana from 2005 to 2008.
Coach Joseph’s first test will be a tough one: The Huskers will take on fourth-ranked Oklahoma on Saturday.
Watch Tuesday’s news conference
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