Riley settling in as Nebraska's head coach
CORVALLIS — Mike Riley has gotten quite a bit accomplished since settling into his new job as Nebraska's head football coach.
After weathering the media maelstrom following his hiring by the Cornhuskers and putting together his staff, Riley has gotten down to the day-to-day football work facing any college coach.
He's still alone in Lincoln for most of the time, so Riley has spent the bulk of his waking hours on football.
He said he's already working on the script for the first day of fall practice, which he usually doesn't get to until late July.
"We're pretty far along with the planning of practices and the installation for fall camp. Probably further ahead than I've been in a while because I've had more time by myself here," Riley said. "Dee hasn't moved down here yet full time, so I filled up a lot of those hours just kind of getting ready for camp, watching our spring practice film, studying other football teams. So I feel pretty good about where we're at."
Riley is looking forward to getting his wife, Dee, moved over and starting their time in Nebraska.
"I'm still looking forward to kind of a life situation where actually living here and getting to enjoy that part," he said. "That's where I miss Corvallis the most, is the lifestyle we had there and kind of the simplicity that surrounded all that. That's a beautiful thing and that's a part I miss."
Life as the Nebraska football coach is definitely different than it was for Riley at OSU and even when he was coaching the San Diego Chargers.
He has a certain celebrity status among the people of the state. The football program is a big deal for a lot of the people in the area and they want to meet Riley, talk to him, take photos and maybe ask for an autograph.
"I think the reason for it is the respect and passion that people have for this place," he said. "They know everything, they follow everything and they're really totally involved.
"They are nice, they're not intrusive, they just want to say hi and welcome you to Nebraska. It's pretty interesting that way."
While football is big for Nebraska fans, they support all the athletic teams with gusto.
The passion of the fanbase made a major first impression with Riley.
"I've been to basketball games, track meets, softball games, baseball games and every game is an event. Every game is full, just about. I think the toughest ticket in town is the volleyball games," Riley said.
"So they really pour their energy and passion into what's going on here. People travel from all these small towns around Nebraska and they come in, stay the weekend and go to a baseball series. It's a planned out event."
From a football standpoint, Riley said the Nebraska program is pretty similar to OSU.
He enjoys working with the players and was glad to find that his group at Nebraska has been fun to coach.
"I miss the individual people that I got to coach at Oregon State and recruited," Riley said. "It's a wonderful bunch of guys and that was the hardest part of the whole deal was leaving that team. But I've enjoyed getting to know this team and there's more similarities than there are differences."
Riley is not sure when he will get back to Corvallis, but is looking forward to making a trip when he can.
"It's unplanned right now because we're unsettled," he said. "We've got a lot of things to get done before football starts. I would love to come back. It'll probably make me sad but it will be great."
MULLANEY TO TRANSFER: Oregon State senior wide receiver Richard Mullaney has elected to transfer, Beaver head coach Gary Andersen announced Friday.
“I want to thank Richard for his contributions during this coaching transition,” Andersen said. “It his choice to transfer and we will support him as he moves into the next phase of his life.”
Mullaney lettered three years for the Beavers, redshirting as a true freshman in 2011. The Thousand Oaks, Calif., native caught 83 passes for 1,160 yards and five touchdowns during his Beaver career.
“OSU and Reser Stadium will always be a special place for me and I’m very thankful of 'Beaver Nation' for all the support,” Mullaney said. “I also want to thank Coach Andersen for his support in my decision. I wish him and all of my former teammates the best of luck this season.”
Mullaney, who graduated spring term in human development and family sciences, is immediately eligible to play at another institution per NCAA rules.