Part 1: Adam Stenavich
Part 2: TJ Rushing (Coming Wednesday)
For many in Flagstaff, the month of August means they're one step closer to Northern Arizona football. The weather is just right and the smell of football is in the air. For two individuals in particular – Adam Stenavich and TJ Rushing – it is the first fall in which they are decked out in Lumberjack blue and gold.
Stenavich, the new offensive line coach and Rushing, the new cornerbacks coach not only bring a new look to the coaching staff, but NFL experience as well. Combined the two coaches have 10 years of professional playing experience to NAU, which can be inspiring to their student-athletes.
"Being a former player in general I think helps me to relate to problems they have as far as a look or a move," said Stenavich. "I've experienced a lot of things that they've experienced, so I think that helps."
Stenavich, whose undergrad colors of the University of Michigan resemble the blue and gold of NAU, allow him to have a long tradition of donning the colors. While with the Wolverines, Stenavich was a two-time First Team All-Big Ten offensive tackle. The big man started 39 games during his four-year career and helped lead the Wolverines to the Big Ten Championship in 2003 and 2004.
After his collegiate playing career was over, Stenavich decided to take his talents to the professional ranks. He was able to work with the Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans.
Once his playing career was over, Stenavich went back to the University of Michigan, this time as a graduate assistant. He spent two seasons on the staff, where he worked with the offensive line and quarterbacks.
Stenavich found himself seeking a full-time job and when the opportunity at NAU came up he couldn't pass it up.
"I knew that NAU had a great program and tradition," said Stenavich. "A lot of good coaches have coached here before including my mentor Frank Pollack, who also coached the offensive line. It was a big deal when I heard this job was open and I really went after it. Luckily I was able to get it."
Since his arrival this spring, Stenavich has been getting acclimated to the altitude and the team. With a majority of the roster taking summer classes, it has helped him to get to know his players and vice versa.
"I get to know them. They get to know me. We get to know each other," said Stenavich. "It's a time where I can find out what motivates each guy. I can definitely tell from spring to camp that it's been a big change."
After a full week of fall camp, Stenavich and his offensive line have had some high praises. They still have a few weeks to work out the kinks, but they are moving in the right direction.
To find out how Coach Rushing and the cornerbacks are doing, stay tuned for his story on Wednesday.