Welcome to Buffaloes Summer Break where CUBuffs.com catches up with Colorado student-athletes and coaching staff members throughout the summer "off season."
Today's installment comes from football assistant head coach Rip Scherer. Coach Scherer is entering his second season with the Buffs, where he also coaches the quarterbacks. Last season, he helped fine tune the game of senior Tyler Hansen who set or tied 11 offensive records in 2011. Coach Scherer's coaching experience includes 27 years in the college ranks and six in the NFL, most recently with the Carolina Panthers (2009-10), before joining Colorado.
What is your favorite summer time activity?
I love going to the beach. As a family, we try and go to the beach for at least one week during the summer. I love sitting on the beach reading and spending time with my family.
Favorite vacation destination?
My family has been going to the same beach in North Carolina for 22 years, Emerald Isle. Nothing fancy, nothing elegant, just a great family beach place. It is a chance for me to reconnect with all of my brothers and sisters and their families while being at a beautiful beach.
What was your first summer job?
I worked at the Pittsburgh airport. I was washing walls and cleaning out bathrooms.
What was your most memorable summer job experience?
One summer in college, I worked on a concrete and construction crew, and it really got my attention on the importance of school. I was always a good student, but I took things for granted by freshman year. It got my attention because pouring concrete in the middle of June and July in Williamsburg, Virginia with the humidity and the heat; it sent a message to me that I better get serious.
Explain one aspect of your job during the off-season that fans may not realize.
I don’t know people realize the preparation that goes into the season. Even on vacation, you are not away from your job. In my case, I work on my quarterback manual. I’m researching new drills, talking to people. You never leave the job when you go on vacation.
The most important thing your current student-athletes should be doing this summer?
Obviously, student-athletes have to invest a lot, and nowadays, the demands that are put on football players in the summer make it a year-round job for them. So I think it is important that they focus on what they need to do to get ready for the season, but at the same time, have some fun. I think the schedule that we have gives them that opportunity.
What is your favorite moment here at Colorado so far?
I think the Utah win last season, simply just to see the emotion of the seniors in the locker room. To get that monkey off of all of our players’ backs, but especially the seniors. I’ve been coaching for a long time and I have see a lot of great locker rooms, and that was one of the more positive moments in the locker room that I have ever had.
A summer-time activity you enjoyed growing up that is NOT your current sport?
I love baseball. I played baseball growing up. I loved going to baseball games, seeing the Pittsburgh Pirates, even though I am a big L.A. Dodgers fan, always have been. I don’t follow baseball as closely, but I will sit and watch games on T.V. in the summer because I have time.
Best advice for youth that are beginning to compete in athletics.
What I try to tell young people is try and get better every day. Improve a little bit every day in some aspect of your sport, your music or whatever it is. If you just get better every day, over a period of time, you will have grown a lot. They have to understand that it is a process. Too often kids think they’ll have instant success in sports. It takes work and a long-term commitment, but if they just focus on one day at a time and getting a little better, in the long run they will improve.
If you could sit in with one other coaching staff at CU for a game/event that is not your sport, which staff would it be and why?
I would love to sit in with men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle. I have such respect for what he’s done, the way he has done it, and the way he carries himself. Sometimes what happens to guys is once they get some success in any level of coaching; their ego gets so big that they can’t fit in the arena. For him to maintain a great deal of humility and humbleness, yet to have the drive of passion and for success, it is only going to get better.
If you could bring one famous person to Colorado for a day-long tour who would it be, and what would you do with them?
I’m a huge fan of Winston Churchill. I have read a lot about him and I just think his leadership, his mental toughness of Great Britain in World War II is exemplary, especially for quarterbacks. You have to be tough minded, you have to overcome adversity, you have to stay positive, you have to stay focused, and he did it at the highest level and in the most difficult circumstances in World War II. I would have him sit in during our quarterback meetings and talk about leadership and leadership development. I would have him sit with our team and our staff, and pick his brain in all aspects of leadership – adversity, overcoming obstacles, staying focused – those kinds of things.