NORFOLK, Va. - Ricky Rahne, hired as Old Dominion University's new football bench boss three and a half months ago - his first head coaching job, has yet to lead a practice. But he's gaining valuable game experience while sports are at a standstill. Waiting game experience.
"I'm getting more time with my sons than I probably ever have," Rahne told News 3 Wednesday. "Every second I get with them is a blessing. Also, I've got the youngest staff in America and they are very technologically-savvy."
ODU's spring football practice and spring game were canceled due to COVID-19. We visited with Rahne from his former, but still current home, in Pennsylvania. He and his family are making the permanent move to Norfolk June 1st. Our interview with the first-year ODU head coach is conducted via FaceTime, which is the same way Rahne connects with players, coaches and recruits while our country deals with the coronavirus pandemic.
"We're trying to do as much as we can, build as many relationships as we can," Rahne explained. "We're trying to find innovative ways to show them how great ODU really is."
"I know that they are extremely hungry," Rahne replied when asked what he knows about his 2020 ODU football team. "I know they're a tight-knit team. They are very close, and that's critical. I know they're excited and ready to go. They were so disappointed for spring ball to be canceled and they just want to show us as coaches all the hard work they've put in."
Rahne, who was growing what he calls a 'social distancing beard', was clean-shaven for our interview.
"I've got people, and when I say people - I mean my wife, who tells me if you're going to go on TV: let's make sure you don't look like a rag of muffins," Rahne said smiling.
The beard is toast. But what is still growing? ODU's offensive playbook, in collaboration with offensive coordinator Kirk Campbell.
"Just having more plays isn't the answer," Rahne, who served as Penn State's offensive coordinator the past two seasons, explained. "It's about executing them, and execution will always be the key thing. Our offensive staff has done a great job of simplifying and streamlining our offense."
Tuesday, Rahne - with the help of his two sons, posted a trick shot video on his Twitter account. Among the trick shots the former quarterback successfully achieved: throwing a football through the sunroof of his wife's minivan.
When speaking about the playbook, News 3 Sports Director Adam Winkler asked, "Is there some way to incorporate the minivan into the playbook? College kids would be stunned - they don't know what minivans are."
"I know I'm the coolest guy in The 757 with a minivan," Rahne proclaimed. "My wife loves it. I'll tell you what, they're actually fast."
Who knows, Rahne might just be able to use his waiting game experience when he finally gets some real game experience.