STARTING FROM THE GROUND UP

March 20, 2002 11:00 pm
A NEW CHALLENGE: Former Eastern Oregon University football coach Rob Cushman has been appointed the first football coach at Feather River College in Quincy, Calif. The two-year school is adding football for the 2002 season. (Observer file photo).
A NEW CHALLENGE: Former Eastern Oregon University football coach Rob Cushman has been appointed the first football coach at Feather River College in Quincy, Calif. The two-year school is adding football for the 2002 season. (Observer file photo).

By Pat Perkins

Observer Staff Writer

Former Eastern Oregon University football coach Rob Cushman has a once-in-a-lifetime challenge facing him in his new job.

As the first head football coach for Feather River College in Quincy, Calif., Cushman gets to start a program from the ground up.

Cushman was appointed earlier this month as the two-year schools football coach, ending his job search that began in November when he resigned as Easterns head coach.

So far, his priorities in his new post have been threefold: recruit players, hire assistant coaches and buy equipment.

He started with nothing, not even a shoulder pad.

Its kind of interesting filling a program when Ive only been on campus one day, Cushman said. Its a chance to build something from the ground up.

Getting help has been Cushmans biggest task.

Hiring a coaching staff has been our first priority, he said. Were trying to fill those with people who fit the college and do some teaching as well.

As for recruiting, the school had advertised for about nine months that it was adding football, and athletic department officials gave Cushman a folder full of questionnaires.

Ive been recruiting since the day I got the job, he said.

Cushman coached at Eastern for 15 years. He was the head baseball coach and football defensive coordinator for the first 10, then took the head football coaching job in 1997. In five years, his teams went 18-31.

Its a great opportunity for me. I came from that area when I came here 15 years ago, he said.

Cushman earned his masters degree from California State-Chico in 1982. He coached high school football for three years in California and was an assistant at Cal State-Chico and Butte College in Oroville, Calif.

Quincy is 70 miles northwest of Reno, Nev., in the Sierra Mountains.

Feather River competes in the Northern California Alliance, a group of 36 teams divided into six leagues. The school will compete against the College of Marin, Contra Costa College, Mendocino College and Solan College during its first season.

J.C. football in California is fairly strong, Cushman said. It will take time to build a program. The administration is really understanding of that.