GREEN BAY – Listening wasn’t optional in the Raih household. As the fourth youngest of five brothers, the importance of hearing people out was engrained in David Raih at an early age.
Those childhood lessons served Raih well throughout his career as a quarterback at the University of Iowa, a stint in medical sales and now his 10-year odyssey as a football coach.
Each coaching stop immersed Raih in a different culture. He witnessed Rick Neuheisel’s infectious charisma and enthusiasm at UCLA, Kirk Ferentz’s elevated fundamentals at Iowa and Kliff Kingsbury’s quiet intensity at Texas Tech.
All of it led to Raih’s arrival in Green Bay, where he’s worked as the Packers’ coaching administrator, assistant offensive line coach and offensive perimeter coach for the past four seasons.
Under Head Coach Mike McCarthy, Raih has learned the value of being a “clear communicator” and the importance of taking a “bulletproof” approach to adversity.
As he steps into his newest opportunity as the Packers’ receivers coach, Raih plans to bring a similar brand of leadership that’s been galvanized under his coaching mentors.
“When I’m on the field, there are parts of each of those people I’ve drawn from,” Raih said. “At the end of the day, it’s me coaching them. I feel very strongly that you have to be who you are.”
Competition drives Raih. It’s been that way since his father installed five wooden lockers in the family basement for Raih and his four brothers, all athletes and all within seven years of each other in age.
It’s also what pushed Raih to forgo a rather lucrative job in medical sales at Cedar Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills, Calif., and talk his way into an unpaid internship with Neuheisel at UCLA in 2008.
Known for his energy, the extroverted Raih got his foot in the door with the Packers in 2014 after an interview with McCarthy, who was in the market for an offensive quality control coach at the time.
The position ultimately went to Luke Getsy, who was most recently the Packers’ receivers coach before leaving earlier this month to become the offensive coordinator and receivers coach at Mississippi State.
Still, McCarthy came away impressed with Raih’s presentation and created a coaching administrator spot for him to come onboard. He spent last season as an offensive perimeter coach. In that role, Raih broke down film, assisted the quarterbacks and receivers, and was a fixture next to McCarthy on game days.
“On game day, (it was) just feeding him everything I can because he has information that he wants,” Raih said. “We all work on a team and somebody is flying the jet and pulling the trigger. That here is Coach McCarthy. Basically, every day all of us underneath him are trying to make the men around us better, making the best decisions.”
The recent changes to the Packers’ coaching staff reunite Raih with offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, who was Iowa’s offensive line coach during four of Raih’s five seasons with the Hawkeyes.
Operating in concert with new pass game coordinator Jim Hostler, Raih is excited to work with newly minted Pro Bowler Davante Adams and the rest of the Packers’ receiving corps.
Adams, who led Green Bay with 74 catches for 885 yards and 10 touchdowns last season, signed an extension with Green Bay days before the Packers’ regular-season finale in Detroit.
“I love how Davante practices,” Raih said. “When we had so much adversity throughout the season, you just love to see guys step up like he did. I told him that, too. I felt very moved at him stepping up. I’m talking in practice initially and then you saw it develop. We want to continue that and try to improve on it.”
Although he’s served in several different capacities in Green Bay, he sees a lot of parallels between his roles. Regardless of the position he’s coaching, Raih’s responsibility always has been to the play-caller and the men in his room.
Raih never has second-guessed a minute of his journey even during the long, sleepless nights at Lambeau Field. At the end of the day, the only thing he’s wanted to do is coach.
“It’s in my heart to do this,” Raih said. “I want to help these men. Imagine how exciting it is when you’re helping people who are as talented as these men are. You’re just trying to make the whole (group) better, all of us are trying to do that and to actually see it on the field when we’re doing it right. I just love it. Green Bay is a great place. I’m just looking forward to getting after it with these guys.”