Over the summer, The Daily Princetonian will be publishing new content less frequently. Regular daily content will resume in the fall. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Follow us on Instagram
Try our latest crossword

Q & A with Roger Hughes

Roger Hughes is the new head coach of football. He recently sat down with senior writer Andrew Funk.

P: Were you surprised you got this job?


RH: Yes. I thought I was a dark horse, to be honest. I didn't have any head coaching experience. At Dartmouth we'd been successful in the league prior to the last two years and I thought that might hurt me a bit. I was hoping that my strengths would get me over the fact that we had not had tremendous success the past two years.

P: What are your strengths?

RH: I'm a pretty good manager of people, I'm a people person and I communicate fairly well. I'm easy to get to know — I have no hidden agendas. My Midwestern honesty I hope shines through. I work very hard at staying contemporary.

P: You were an assistant under Tom Osborne?

RH: A graduate assistant.

P: What sort of influence did working under his system have on you?


RH: It was like being at a table with some of the best football minds in the country. When I first went there I thought I knew a lot about football. In about fifteen minutes after I got there I figured out: "Whoa, this is a different level." He's also the reason I got my Ph.D. When I had to study he said: "Hey, go study." I was the only graduate assistant who actually went to class.

P: You said one of your strengths was being open and easy to talk to. What did you do at Dartmouth to make sure your players knew that?

RH: I joke around with them and try to stay contemporary. Some of those guys were into WWF up there so I tried to stay into that. The music today is a little different from what I like but I try to stay into that as well.

P: Who's your favorite wrestler?

Get the best of ‘the Prince’ delivered straight to your inbox. Subscribe now »

RH: Well, The Rock has my eye right now. I like his old saying: "Know your role and shut your mouth." It's something I can relate to.

P: What's your favorite contemporary music?

RH: You know what, I'm a Shania Twain fan. I like her a lot and I'm more on the country side of things. Shania Twain has my ear right now.

P: How do you see yourself fitting into the Princeton community?

RH: I'd really like to reach out to the faculty. My hope is to introduce something called a guest coach where a member of the faculty could attend all the team meetings for a week, travel with us, be on the sidelines, watch the game and see that it's not just a bunch of dumb jocks out there playing. They're a bunch of bright kids and we're not just coaches, we're teachers and mentors trying not just to help these kids on the field, but throughout life. I hope this would give me credibility and help the teachers feel that they could contact me if a player was struggling in class so that I could help motivate that player to do better in class.

P: At a school where your players have so many demands on them from school and football, how do you keep things loose?

RH: Humor. I'm going to tease kids a lot and let them tease me. If they have a good joke I want to hear it.

P: Even dirty jokes?

RH: No comment.


Most Popular