By RANDY GONZALES
Working for the city of Hays involves teamwork, much like his beloved Nebraska Cornhuskers football team.
Paul Briseno, who has been the assistant city manager since November 2009, was born and grew up in Wood River, Neb., near Grand Island. Born a Husker, always a Husker.
One day last week, Briseno still was thinking about Nebraska's season opener, a 37-34 squeaker over Wyoming.
"I thought Wyoming was a great opponent," Briseno said. "I think their quarterback was phenomenal."
Briseno, 36, went to school with former Nebraska quarterback Scott Frost, now in his first year as offensive coordinator for the Oregon Ducks. His uncle played football in high school against Tom Osborne, the legendary former Cornhusker coach.
Briseno and his wife, Heidi, bleed Cornhusker red. They have four children, and his son, Noah, who is in the third grade, likes ... the Kansas State Wildcats.
"My son, he's a big K-State fan, which is OK," Briseno said. "We decorated his room (with Nebraska memorabilia). Behind the door is a big K-State Power Cat. It's behind the door, so I can shut the door and not look at it."
And, City Manager Toby Dougherty is a big Kansas Jayhawks fan.
Collegiate allegiances aside, working for the city of Hays has been a winning experience for Briseno. He worked in city government in Grand Island before moving to Hays, America.
"I love living in Kansas now, it's great," he said. "Hays is a great community, very progressive. It's been very easy to meet people here, they're very friendly. Of course, at the same time they're always willing to give me their opinion on the city, which for the most part has been fairly positive, which is nice to hear."
Briseno just wishes he could be more positive about the Blackshirts, the nickname for the Cornhuskers' defense.
"I think the defense has a lot to improve," Briseno said.