Former Husky enjoying his time as part of Frost’s staff

Through the years I’ve been amazed at the football talent to come out of Aurora and Hamilton County, specifically talent that has gone on to play in Lincoln for the Huskers.
Offensive lineman Jim Wanek, defensive end Adam Carriker (originally from Giltner by way of Washington state), offensive lineman Andrew Rodriquez, defensive linemen Garret Johns, Logan Rath and Drew Ott (Iowa), and now receiver Todd Honas and tight end Austin Allen, all from schools and towns at the time Class B size or smaller.
Simply remarkable.
Add in former Husky Cole Ashby, who is now just a few months away from finishing up his two-year stint as a graduate manager for head coach Scott Frost. Call it what you want, but Cole is basically another assistant coach on what I believe is one of the most talented staffs in college football. He helps with scouting, recruiting, practices and just the day-to-day business of Big Red football.
Cole took the time just recently to tell me about this past season, what his responsibilities were and also his impressions as this program moves forward into year two of a new regime.
“ I enjoyed this season as much as any season that I’ve been a part of in the past,” Cole pointed out. “Obviously, our record wasn’t what we had hoped for, but going 4-2 in the last six games and certainly being able to go to Ohio State with a chance to win was an incredible experience. What stood out to me the most was the energy and attitude around the building week in and week out. Even being 0-5, 0-6, it was always nose to the grindstone, this is going to get fixed but it’s not going to happen without continuous effort and buy-in. I think that’s what really made it special, the adversity we endured as an entire team and breaking through really made going in to this offseason encouraging. It adds a lot of motivation.”
Cole told me his week-to-week responsibilities included breaking down opponent film, identifying tendencies and also assisting offensive coordinator Troy Walters during practice. He said he helped coordinate scout team looks, and that being a part of an up-tempo offense helped him grow as a coach dramatically.
“It forced me to make sure I was prepared day in and day out, to have our scout team looks be identical to what we thought we’d see on Saturday,” he said. “We had to do so at an incredible pace because the offense wasn’t going to wait for us.”
Cole also mentioned that he has learned plenty from Nebraska’s new coaching staff, and that learning from them is an incredible blessing and experience that he will cherish for a long time. He said building relationships is key to success, too.
“To say that I have worked with brilliant minds would be an understatement,” he mentioned. “Just sitting in film sessions and hearing the coaches point out tendencies, or rattle off plays they liked versus different looks and why, was mesmerizing. And their creativity and innovative brains taught me a lot. Aside from the X’s and O’s, they have taught me that relationships in coaching are just as, if not more, important than the schemes themselves. It takes trust to be a successful program, so investing in people is vital.”
In that same mode, fans who attended games in person got to witness all the Nebraska coaches go through a special pre-game ritual just as Husker players headed back to the locker room following warm-ups. Coaches would gather together, passing each other up and down the line to give hugs, high fives or special hand slaps and bumps in a show of solidarity.
“One of Coach Frost’s mantra’s is ‘One team, one heartbeat,’ and that is something that starts from the top down,” Cole pointed out. “I’m not sure when they started that (lineup) as a staff, but I enjoy it.”
 Read part two of Cole Ashby’s interview in next week’s News-Register when he will discuss Adrian Martinez, Todd Honas, Austin Allen and more things Huskers.

DAVE BRADLEY can be reached at advertising@hamilton.net.

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