It was 1996 and a young and ambitious Peter71 (then going by Peter Osborne) loaded up into Mark Speckman’s Jeep Wrangler with his best friends Chuck Pinkerton and Rich Rideout to help one of their coaches move out of his rapidly flooding house in Keizer, Oregon.
A year later, that coach was working with me to learn how to watch film to help the defense. Knee injuries and better recruits pushed me out of the starting and even my substitute role and forced me to a very deep bench on the 1997 Championship Game Willamette University Bearcats. This coach worked with me on how to identify tells by defenders so that I could help our starters on the defensive line beat their opponents. This coach allowed me time after practice to work with moves with those players. This coach encouraged me to go through the whistle on scout team so that our players get the very best look they could during the week.
This coach helped teach me a valuable lesson about the importance of stepping up to help your team or group any way possible if you cannot be the star or the manager or be in an official leadership role. He taught me that leadership is about humility and doing the little things.
His name was Bob Gergory, and I am going to root like heck against him in the Honolulu Bowl.
Bob was a great defensive co-ordinator for Willamette, and did great work at Cal and Boise State. He teaches guys to be tough, disciplined and works within who he has personnel wise to get the most of them. He also reaches out to the other side and lets his scout team players know they are valuable.
Will he do a great job in the bowl game? I don’t know. Will he get a chance to be the head guy? No idea. But they could definitely do worse and win or lose, Bob Gregory is a guy I will always root for. I am especially rooting for him moving to Corvallis some day.