Experience in turning FB programs around makes Lynn perfect candidate
Josh Lynn was welcomed with open arms by the athletic program as Loper football’s 18th head coach in its 109-year history on January 4. He replaces Josh Lamberson, who resigned for a position on Abilene Christian’s coaching staff back in December.
Lynn’s extensive background as a player and coach of various position groups highlight his football expertise. But above all, his firsthand experience in reviving programs from the dead set him apart from other candidates.
“On paper he (Lynn) stood out. But when he came to campus here, his excitement about UNK was evident. His passion for the city of Kearney was there, especially with his wife. He brings something different to the table than I thought he would,” said UNK athletic director Paul Plinske.
Lynn regenerated his alma mater, Eastern New Mexico University, into a perennial competitor in the Lone Star Conference – accumulating 27 wins in five seasons for ENMU. He also claimed a share of the conference title in 2013.
Last season, Lynn led the Greyhounds to the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl for the second time in his stint at ENMU.
Leaving his New Mexico home state was a challenge, Lynn said, but UNK offered more than enough to make the transition to MIAA football.
“I love the community. Another thing too is the support that UNK football has especially after recent years. There is still support here – people want to be successful here. The city of Kearney is a wonderful place. It has everything you need and is a good place to raise a family.
“The last and most important thing are the kids here – the young men I get the opportunity to coach. They’re hungry and looking to getting this turned around,” Lynn said. Establishing a winning culture is a top priority for Lynn and his staff, which he said starts at recruiting. The class of 2017 continues to grow with junior college transfers, but is currently at 35 student athletes.
Plinske was pleased with the number of quality players in the newest class given Lynn’s short amount of time to recruit.
“I think his formula is going to be pretty simple – use Nebraska players to build up our line. But then he’s going to fill in the speed areas and those areas where we need some difference makers with junior college players or go outside the state.
“I’m excited about that class because it’s shaping out to be a real good one and he didn’t have a whole lot of time to work on it. It’s a tribute to his current and the carryover coaching staff that helped him transition,” said Plinske.
More than anything, Lynn knows what it takes to create a winning culture.
“You have to keep things simple. Sometimes simpler is better. When you look at offensive and defensive schemes, you want your kids to know exactly what they’re doing, and you want them to play fast,” he said.
With Lynn’s background in the triple-option, the Lopers’ offense will be giving opponents in the MIAA a new, challenging look. Every part of UNK’s offense will be set up by the run.
The change in offensive strategy, Lynn hopes, will optimize its athleticism.
Defensively, Lynn plans to be unpredictable in his front in order to create confusion at the line and hinder MIAA opponent’s running ability.
The Lopers have begun workouts five days a week in preparation for upcoming spring football. The spring game is set for April 22 at Ron & Carol Cope Stadium at Foster Field.
“The thing I’m most excited about is the opportunity to get this program turned around. Working with a good group of young men, getting them graduated and going out and winning some football games,” said Lynn.
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