Win One for the Fisher: An Interview with Rivers’ New Football Coach

10/7/2009

The achievements roll off the tongue easily: stand-out linebacker at the University of Colorado, three-time Big Eight title holder, one-time NCAA national champion, coach for such reputable university football programs as his alma mater and Oklahoma State University.

For Rich Fisher, though, perhaps the most unexpectedly challenging gig is also his latest: head coach of the Rivers football team. “Coaching at a high school is definitely a far cry from [coaching at a] college,” he says. “You don’t have as many hours in a week to meet and discuss the game plan, so you really have to make the most of your practices.”


The Red Wings have started things off on the right foot, with impressive victories over St. Paul’s (13-0) and, last week, Governor’s Academy (26-15). But Fisher maintains that there’s always room for growth. “Any time you are winning it’s a lot easier, but, as a coach, you’re never completely satisfied,” he says. “Good coaches work on accentuating the positives and improving the negatives.”


Born and raised in the football-obsessed culture of Sugar Land, Texas, Fisher developed his talents in high school and had a commendable college career at Colorado, helping the national champions defeat Notre Dame in the 1990 Orange Bowl. As an assistant coach at Oklahoma State University, he was instrumental in the team’s first bowl berth in nearly a decade. In 2003, following coaching assignments at Colorado and the University of Idaho, he moved to New England and started his own golf academy in Southborough. Besides a couple of seasons helping out with Pop Warner teams, Fisher has been largely out of the coaching spotlight, making the Rivers opening an immediate attraction for him. “After years of being a part of college teams, I wanted to have the opportunity to run my own program,” he says of his new job at Rivers. “When this opportunity came up, I realized that the timing was perfect.”

 

Fisher himself has always been inspired by strong coaching. He fondly recalls Colorado coach Bill McCartney and his popular motto that “greatness is achieved through the discipline of attending to detail.” Fisher credits that credo with his success both on the football field and off. “In any aspect of life, when you look at all the little pieces, the big picture tends to come into focus too,” he says.


Indeed, while the coach hopes to emphasize larger concepts about teamwork and organization, he contends that it is ultimately all in the details. “It’s important to have a plan, but also to always keep teaching the fundamentals,” he says. “In the end, of course, it comes down to running and blocking and catching the football.”


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In other Rivers football news, at the Patriots game last week against the Ravens, the Rivers football team was invited onto the field during pre-game festivities. Click here for the photo.


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