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SI: There was talk this off-season of you leaving for another job, particularly USC. Any truth to those rumors?
MR: My new motto is, If I'm happy, stay happy. Oregon State is the best fit for me. I grew up here. My dad coached here. It is a college town with a family atmosphere.
SI: IS IT TEMPTING TO GO TO A BIGGER PROGRAM?
MR: I KNOW THAT I AM APPRECIATED HERE, AND NOW THERE IS A CONTINUITY IN THE PROGRAM THAT IS ADMIRED BY THE ATHLETES, COACHES AND FANS.
SI: You did leave Corvallis after your first two years to coach in the NFL at San Diego and New Orleans before returning in 2003....
MR: I like to say I was doing missionary work [laughs].
SI: Was there any experience or person who taught you the importance of staying put?
MR: It goes to when I worked at Linfield College [from 1977 through '82] for a coach [Ad Rutschman] who was there 27 years. He showed that if you stay, you breed loyalty, and the players will always feel connected to the program.
SI: You were the assistant head coach at USC in the mid-1990s. How do you feel about the sanctions against the program?
MR: It shows that you can never relax. You have to have a heightened awareness about what is going on with your players and never stop educating them on the rules.