Nebraska vs. Minnesota, 10.16

Nebraska defensive coordinator Erik Chinander (right) talks with linebacker JoJo Domann (13) before the Huskers take on Minnesota on Oct. 16 at Huntington Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

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Beginning with Erik Chinander speaking publicly for the first time since his father's death, here's the latest Four Downs from Memorial Stadium.

For nearly two weeks, Nebraska defensive coordinator Erik Chinander has worked in his role while dealing with the death of his father.

His dad was a longtime high school football coach in Iowa, and Erik Chinander knows what Gene Chinander would expect of him.

"Right now, we have a job to do," the younger Chinander told reporters Tuesday at Memorial Stadium following practice. "He would want me to do my job. He wants me to be here for the players and for this program, and that's what I'm going to do. 

"It's never out of the back of your mind, but you have to find a way to get it done." 

Gene Chinander was killed in a one-vehicle accident Oct. 14 in Iowa, a result of a medical emergency. His pickup struck a parked semitrailer truck near Allison and he died at the scene, according to the Iowa State Patrol.

He was 69 years old. 

Erik Chinander — who coached in Nebraska's Oct. 16 loss at Minnesota — said he learned nearly everything about being a coach from his father. 

"Not X's and O's," he said. "You know, he was a football coach. But when you're young, I don't think X's and O's are that important. But I learned how to be tough. I learned how to be a real guy. 

"I learned how to discipline guys, but by the showing at the visitation — it showed how many lives he touched — and I learned how to discipline guys and be hard on them, but also how to love kids and show them how to become really good dads and really good husbands and really good brothers and really good people in the community. 

"So, what did I learn from him? I learned everything." 

Chinander started his session with reporters with a "thank you" that covered countless people. 

"I want to say thank you to Husker Nation — including media, fans, colleagues, student-athletes, coaches around the country — just for the tweets, for the cards, for the texts. Anybody who sent anything, it meant a lot to me and the family," he said. 

The Huskers are last in the Big Ten in sacks per game. Saturday feels like a chance to change that, considering Purdue's pass-heavy scheme.

Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander speaks after practice on Tuesday.

Nebraska offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Matt Lubick speaks after practice on Tuesday.

This article originally ran on journalstar.com.

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