Silverado football coach Andy Ostolaza grew up watching and admiring Randall Cunningham when he was UNLV’s quarterback during the 1980s.
More than two decades later, they’re on the same coaching staff.
Cunningham, a four-time Pro Bowler and former NFL Most Valuable Player, was hired as Silverado’s offensive coordinator Friday. He will also coach punters and assist the track and field program.
“I’m really excited about this,” said Cunningham, 46. “It seems like such an easy fit. There’s no trying to force my way in. That was very honoring to me.
“It’s a pleasure to go to a school where you’ve got a lot of great athletes. We’re going to do some things that are pretty exciting.”
Cunningham said one of the reasons he aspired to coach is that his son, Randall II, will be a freshman quarterback at Silverado next year.
“He’s better than I was when I was younger,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham said a desire to pass along NFL knowledge to kids and a familiarity with the area also drew him to Silverado.
Cunningham said he’ll bring a more pass-oriented offense to Silverado that incorporates schemes from the 1998 Minnesota Vikings, for whom he controlled one of the top offenses in NFL history.
“We’re installing that offense,” Cunningham said. “(Ostolaza) wants to install a new offense where he still runs the ball, but the passing game is effective.”
Silverado opened this season with lofty goals, but finished 6-4 and missed the postseason.
“He understands the game well enough to bring it down to the youth level and incorporate what he’s done in his life,” Ostolaza said. “As far as the offense is concerned, he wants to help us throw the ball; we’ve struggled the last couple years.”
Cunningham led arguably the best season in UNLV history, an 11-2 campaign in 1984 that ended with a 30-13 victory over Toledo in the California Bowl.
He went on to play 16 NFL seasons, passing for 29,979 yards and 207 touchdowns and rushing for 4,928 yards and 35 TDs.
“With his experience coming in, how could that be a bad thing?” Silverado athletic administrator Jerry Cornell said.