Arizona Wildcats living football legend, Ricky Hunley, will be the larger than life guest at the Retro Brand trunk show this Friday taking place at the Arizona on Campus Bookstore. The 1997 College Football Hall of Famer inductee will be on hand signing autographs from 12:30 to 2:30pm. Ricky has been a bit busy since he last put on the pads for the Cats in 1983. I had the opportunity to catch up with #89 to find out what he’s been up to…
Andy: When I say ‘a bit busy,” I’m not just referring to your 7 year career as a player in the NFL, but to your 20 years in coaching after that as well. Looking back at that impressive resume, what do you attribute most to your longevity and success in the business of football at the highest levels?
Ricky: As a player, I always realized that if I was going to succeed there were two things that I had to do. Number one was that I was going to have to treat my body like a business. That is, I had to be in the best shape of my life mentally and physically all year round. In the pro’s, your body is how you make your money, and you better take care of it. Number two was that it also meant listening and doing things the coach’s way. I’ve seen too many players squander their once in a lifetime opportunity of playing and being successful in the NFL, by wanting to do things their own way, and in the business of professional sports, it’s Coach’s way or the highway. Have that single purpose and focus and you can set yourself up for life. Work hard. You don’t always need to be the best, but be the best at working the hardest.
Andy: It’s obvious you took care of business on both accounts. You don’t become the youngest person to ever be named as defensive line coach (University of Missouri) by not respecting your coaching elders. Speaking of which, are there any that stand out in particular over your long coaching career?
Ricky: This is a list that can just go on and on… Dan Reeves, Gene Stallings, Dennis Green, Steve Spurrier, Marvin Lewis, and of course my coach from Arizona, Larry Smith.
Andy: Wow, that’s some impressive list – both college and pro. Can you pinpoint a few of the most memorable experience you ever had as both player and coach on both levels?
Ricky: Again, this is a list that can go on and on but I’ll give you some of my favorites… As a player, getting to beat Arizona State, Notre Dame, USC & UCLA when they were highly ranked, or on national TV was always a thrill to achieve. The comraderie with my teammates after games like those is something I’ll always cherish and never forget. Being drafted in the first round, becoming the first Arizona player to be named to the College Football Hall of Fame, and going to the Super Bowl twice with the Denver Broncos were incredible experiences as well. I can’t leave out the opportunity to have met and worked for all of those great coaches I mentioned earlier too.
Andy: Recently you’ve taken your impeccable work ethic to another field of play – the Sales field. Can you tell us about your newest venture?
Ricky: Since coaching can be cyclical, I’ve always kept my door open for other opportunities (Ricky last coached in 2011 for the Oakland Raiders). I recently began working with Noribachi, which is a company on the cutting edge of Green LED lighting technology. The savings on wattage and cost as compared to what we use today is unbelievable. From hospitals, municipality buildings, street lights, and businesses big and small, this product is clearly the wave of the future.
Andy: I know you’re an excellent salesman because the owner of our company has placed an order with you, and he’s no pushover. Great job! Now what do you think about our product – Retro Brand apparel?
Ricky: The past few years I’ve commissioned Retro Brand to make our annual “Mancation” t-shirts which have been a hit with the guys. The “Mancation” is a yearly golf weekend with a bunch of buddies that is now going on year 13. We all endorse the shirts for this simple reason – The fabric is the softest, most comfortable ever.
I think everything Ricky gets involved with is a hit, don’t you? Thanks for the kind words and your time today. Please be sure to come out and meet Ricky in person this Friday, October 26th and check out all the new Retro Brand Arizona Wildcat gear at special trunk show prices!
Arizona Bookstore on campus
12:30pm to 2:30pm
Big Cat Fridays, all apparel is 20% off
Meet Ricky and get his autograph!
New Arizona Retro Brand apparel, hot off the press