Gophers' Brewster on dad duty tonight

January, 7, 2010
1/07/10
11:46
AM ET
You might see Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster tonight at the Rose Bowl.

He'll be sitting in a section with the other parents of Texas players. He's trading in his maroon and gold and will be decked out in burnt orange.

For one night, Brewster isn't a major college head coach. He's a dad. And when his son Nolan, a reserve safety who backs up both Longhorns starters, takes the field with his Texas teammates for the BCS national title game, Brewster will feel the same mixture of pride and anxiety as the other parents.

"It's very cool to be at a game and not be so wired into the coaching aspects of it, but just be a dad," Brewster said earlier this week from Philadelphia, where he was recruiting for the Gophers. "That's what I try to be when I go watch Nolan play or any of my other boys. You're a dad, and you're a proud dad.

"To have a son playing for the national championship ... it's as good as it gets."

All three of Brewster's sons -- Eric, Clint and Nolan -- are former or current college football players. Eric played wide receiver at Northern Arizona, Clint started off playing quarterback at Minnesota before transferring to Tennessee Tech. Nolan, a mainstay on special teams, has appeared in every game his first two seasons at Texas, where his father worked as an assistant from 1998 to 2001.

Tim has seen Nolan play twice, last season against Missouri and this year in the Big 12 title game against Nebraska. But the Gophers' coach receives every Texas game tape and reviews it with his son.

"The deal is, Nolan asks me what I think," Brewster said. "That's the way we've always done it. I never forced football on my guys. Nolan was always a competitive young kid. He's always looking to improve [and asks] 'Dad, what did you see here? What did you see there?' And not just on defense, but in the kicking game."

Brewster loves watching Nolan play, but when the ball is kicked off, he locks into the action on the field. He reviews a play and wonders what he would do in the same situation.

A bit of friendly advice: Don't approach him during the game.

"I'm very quiet," Brewster said. "I don't like to be talked to. If I could watch it by myself, I'd watch it by myself. Every play my son's on the field, I play the play with him. I want to help him make the play. That's the way it's always been for me. I'm totally invested."

At least until the game ends.

Brewster will spend Friday recruiting for Minnesota in the Los Angeles area.

"I'll come out of the game," he said, "and I'll make sure I get my Minnesota shirt back on."

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