Cardinals wide receivers coach David Raih has taken an unusual path to his current job. But it’s not the first time he’s shown up on Kliff Kingsbury’s doorstep.
Via Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic, Raih has outlined his unusual journey to a career in football, which began with begging for a job.
Specifically, he was ready to ditch a lucrative career in medical sales when he showed up uninvited at Rick Neuheisel’s UCLA press conference to ask for any work he could offer. It took weeks and some pleading, but Neuheisel eventually gave in and hired the then-27-year-old.
He spent two years at UCLA and then three as a graduate assistant at Iowa before he was again looking for work. So in December 2012, he drove to Lubbock, Texas to meet with a guy named Kliff Kingsbury who was just hired there.
“I had just got there and I didn’t have a clue really what was going on,” Kingsbury said. “So I was just sitting in my office by myself, it was Christmas break, and some guy shows up at the door in a suit and it’s freezing outside and it’s him. I let him in, we started talking, and by the time we were done, I told him, ‘Look, I don’t know what position I’ve got for you, but you’ve got a position here.’
“There was just something about him. I couldn’t say no. He did a phenomenal job for us. He helped discover Baker Mayfield for us. Baker was one of the walk-ons he got to come to Tech. He was awesome. I’m glad I hired him.”
Raih’s journey would eventually lead him to Green Bay, where he coached the past five seasons, before Kingsbury was able to hire him in a more conventional manner.
“Yeah, so the question is like, ‘What’s the trick, right?’” Raih said. “There is no trick or magic. I think I can answer it with the quote, ‘Courage is realizing what’s important to you and it far outweighs the fear that stands in the way.’ Like, it was way more important to me to get my message across that, ‘I want to do this and I can help you and I’ll do whatever we need to do.’
“It wasn’t the words. I mean, I came at them in a way where they could feel it. It is unorthodox. I don’t know, I was just being me.”
And now he’s established himself to some degree in the NFL, a place he might have never imagined when he gave up a good job to work for next to nothing over a decade ago.