Every coach faces challenges when arriving to a new school, with new players and new system.Pacific University head football coach Keith Buckley was dealt a university that had eliminated football for 18 years and decided to start the program once again.
With such a spotlight on Buckley and the newly reinstated Boxer football program, having to recruit over 100 freshmen and bring in coaches, he was able to turn the Boxers into one of the top teams in the Northwest Conference.
Buckley has dealt with these challenges but does not look back on them because he understands it is part of the process of being a NCAA coach.
“As I look back on it, I don’t know if I would go back and say, ‘oh my gosh, that was really hard,’ because it is always a process,” Buckley said. “As soon as you overcome one challenge, you have created more.”
The biggest challenge to Buckley was the constant loss after loss the first couple years. Among other things, Buckley had a tough time working to keep that forward momentum.
“It wasn’t that we were getting beaten, we were getting beat down, especially when you have a bunch of 22 year-olds versus a bunch of 18 year-olds, that is what is going to happen physically,” Buckley said. “Keeping our eye on where we were going as a program was probably the biggest challenge and constantly remind ourselves that what we were doing was right on a path to success.”