New Cowboy defensive coordinator Bryan Nardo had a 25-minute sit-down interview with OSU Max that released (for free) on Thursday evening.
Nardo detailed his path to become OSU’s new defensive playcaller, talked about his lawncare hobby and even touched on a former OSU offensive coordinator.
Here are three of (what I think) were his best quotes from the interview. It’s definitely worth half an hour of your time.
1. ‘Runners and Hitters’
What can OSU fans expect from Nardo’s defense? Well the answer is fairly simple.
“Runners and hitters,” Nardo said. “We try to keep it simple. We try to let the kids play fast. But every time we’ve ever described this defense, it’s runners and hitters. How can we get kids to believe in what they’re doing, run really fast, hit really hard and be confident in what they do.”
That ought to be enough to have fans salivating when thinking about stars such as Kendal Daniels or Collin Oliver flying around Boone Pickens Stadium next season making plays.
2. ‘Man, a Guy from the PSAC Ends Up Going from Shippensburg to Oklahoma State’
Since his hiring, there is one coach who Nardo has been compared to more than any other: Mike Yurcich.
Mike Gundy hired Yurcich from Shippensburg, a school in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC), the same conference where Gundy nabbed Nardo from at Gannon. Aside from the PSAC-to-Stillwater connection, the two aren’t all that comparable considering Yurcich coaches offense and Nardo coaches defense.
The Yurcich hire worked out for Gundy. Yurcich’s 2017 offense averaged 568.9 yards a game, a program record. In his six seasons in Stillwater, the Cowboys averaged 38 points a game.
Nardo said he had heard of Yurcich before he was named OSU’s newest DC.
“I knew of him when he got this job,” Nardo said. “I was at Emporia when he got hired here, and we all knew it and said, ‘Man, a guy from the PSAC ends up going from Shippensburg to Oklahoma State? That’s unbelievable. Good for him. He must be a heck of a football coach.’ When I get up to Eerie, I actually learned that he had spent some time at Mount Union, which [Gannon head coach Erik] Rayburn is a Mount Union guy. So, coach Rayburn knows him, and we had talked about him a few times. Now [Yurcich] is at Penn State, so that name came up a little bit.
“Then when I get this job, everyone’s making the comparison. You can’t compare me to how much success he’s had and what he’s done. I hope I have a fraction of his success. But people have talked about him a little bit to me.”
3. ‘I Will Never Get Outworked’
Nardo’s biggest detractors will point to his lack of Division-I experience, and that’s something Nardo didn’t shy away from in the interview.
No, he hasn’t coached or recruited at this level, but he is confident that with his work ethic, he can learn what he doesn’t already know.
“It’s gonna be a big adjustment,” Nardo said. “Recruiting is different. You’re recruiting different kinds of players. There’s different things involved that I’ve never dealt with before, but I’ve always lived by the idea that I’m never gonna get outworked and effort is gonna solve a lot of things. … Effort solves a lot of problems. I know there’s gonna be things I’m gonna need to learn. I know there’s gonna be adjustments I’m gonna have to make. And I don’t know everything. But I didn’t know everything when I was getting hired at Emporia State. I didn’t know everything when I got to Gannon. I’ve always had to adjust, and what’s gonna get me through that is I will never get outworked.”