A sort of homecoming for Breckterfield

September, 21, 2011
9/21/11
3:56
PM PT
Inoke Breckterfield hasn't checked into Facebook during the last few days, partly because he's been too busy and partly because he's afraid of what he mind find there.

"I'm sure there is something there, but I'm not sure I want to look," Breckterfield said.

That's because Breckterfield, UCLA's defensive line coach, is returning to Oregon State this weekend for the first time as an enemy. Breckterfield played for the Beavers from 1995-98 and returned there as an assistant coach from 2006-08. He still has a lot of friends and connections in the Corvallis, Ore., and within the Beavers' football program.

"It’s going to be different," he said. "It’s definitely going to be different. It’s going to be weird being on the opposite sideline and in the visitors locker room. But, it's going to be fun."

Breckterfield remains close with the coaching staff at Oregon State. Head coach Mike Riley was his head coach as a player and as an assistant and defensive coordinator Mark Banker was also there during Breckterfield's playing and coaching careers at Oregon State.

And he is very close with Beavers' defensive line coach Joe Seumalo and offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh--all three of their families have vacationed together the past few summers.

"My son coach Joe's son are best friends so we always make sure we get back there and reconnect," Breckterfield said. Camping, staying at a summer house. We’re already planning our summer trip for next year. We've been back every summer since I left."

Last summer, Breckterfield's first as a member of the UCLA staff, he went back wearing some UCLA gear. He remembers stopping by one of his favorite restaurants and getting some funny looks.

"That was a little weird," he said. "I stopped in and had some lunch at a Hawaiian restaurant and they recognized me. It was kind of a weird deal."

Weirdness aside, the is a bit of an advantage to having Breckterfield on staff. Because the coaching staff is the same, so are the schemes meaning Breckterfield has some additional insight. Also, some of the players that are starting for the Beavers now were on Breckterfield's scout team when he was a graduate assistant.

"I know personnel and I know players and I know the defensive philosophy, but I don't know how much of an edge that give us," he said. "It's just means I'm familiar with them."

Breckterfield isn't the only Bruins coach making a homecoming. Offensive coordinator Mike Johnson had his first coaching job at Oregon State when he was wide receivers coach under Riley in 1997 and 98 and quarterbacks coach under Dennis Erickson in 1999.

He said he hasn't been back to Corvallis since he left, but it still holds a special place in his heart.

"Both my kids were born in Corvallis," he said. "It's the place where I started my coaching career. So I know exactly what we're up against and how tough of a place it is to play."

UCLA defensive backs coach Tim Hundley also has Oregon State roots. He was defensive coordinator there from 1984-89.

But, as Breckterfield says, the time for reconnecting all those past relationships will come after the game is over.

"This is a business trip," he said. "Our main focus is to try and go up there and get W."

And if UCLA does win, maybe then Breckterfield will get around to checking that Facebook page.

Peter Yoon

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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