Scott Frost’s passionate speech to Nebraska volleyball team has timely message before NCAA Tournament begins

November 27, 2018

First, the guest speaker standing in front of the Nebraska volleyball team told a joke. That was good, because some of the players are starstruck when they’re around Scott Frost.

Yes, this was the Nebraska head football coach, who was asked by volleyball coach John Cook to speak to the team last week, a few minutes after the regular season ended with a win against Maryland.

Cook had just told Frost the story of how the volleyball players joke with Cook about Frost being his BFF (best friend forever).

“He asked me if I knew what that was?” Frost said. “I said, ‘Coach I’m not 70 years old.’”

The volleyball players laughed, and the mood in the room lightened.

The football season had ended the previous day, and Frost attended the match before hitting the road for recruiting.

The athletic department posted a video of Frost’s speech to the team on social media. After the joke, Frost got serious. He told the players they were awesome to watch.

“To be honest with you, where your program is, that’s where we’re taking the football program,” Frost said.

Senior Kenzie Maloney, seated in the front row, grinned when Frost said that, and proudly looked at her teammates.

“We’re not there yet, but we’re going to get there,” Frost said. “Watching you guys compete together as a team, watching how much everybody is involved, and how much everybody cares, it’s inspiring to me. You guys got the culture built that we’re trying to get built.”

The next part was also special, when an athlete who won a national championship at Nebraska was speaking passionately to other athletes who have won a national championship at Nebraska. Frost was the quarterback on the 1997 championship football team. Several of the volleyball players won national championships in 2015 and ’17.

“Winning a championship at Nebraska changes your life,” Frost said. “Some of you guys have a chance to win a couple of them. Freaking win another one.”

The volleyball team starts the NCAA Tournament this week. If the sixth-ranked Huskers keep winning, there is a chance they may have to play second-ranked Minnesota to advance.

Frost shared a message that could serve the team well if that happens. Nebraska has already lost to Minnesota twice this season and was hurt in those matches by losing a few close sets.

“We tell our team all the time to play with a desire to excel, and no fear of failure,” Frost said. “Never worry about what could happen that’s bad. Never worry about if you miss a shot, never worry about if you miss a dig, if you miss a set. When the ball is in the air just figure out the way to go make a great play.”

Playing fearless was a perfect message for the tournament, Cook said.

“I couldn’t say it any better than he did. We’ll use that. We’ll be talking about that every day,” Cook said.

Cook and Frost have been friends for many years. When Frost was playing in the NFL, he’d come to Lincoln in the offseason and would join in the pickup basketball games at the NU Coliseum, where Cook would also play. They also played golf together. Cook would get volleyball tickets for Frost’s grandmother.

These days, Cook watches football practice on occasion and gave a short speech to the football team last spring. At home football games, Cook introduces Frost to volleyball recruits.

It means a lot to Cook that he and Frost have a such a good relationship that Frost is comfortable speaking to the volleyball team.

“That we have that relationship with the head football coach, I don’t think that’s happening very many places,” Cook said.

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