Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos had five weeks to evaluate the Husker football program after assuming his post in October. In that period the team went 1-4 and was blown out three times. So, Moos fired head coach Mike Riley on Saturday morning.
The new Athletic Director talked openly with the media in a press conference in the afternoon about what will be a “full-fledged search” for the new head coach. Moos said he has identified six candidates and has had third party people in contact with some of them. He said the “sooner the better” for a timeline for the hire but stressed that he would take time to make sure the program finds the correct coach. He listed some of his requirements.
“(The new coach should have) tremendous morals, be a good teacher, good mentor, someone who is competitive, preferably has head coaching experience in major college football,” Moos said.
Trent Bray was appointed as interim head coach because he is the only one who Moos said he knew well, saying he knew he could trust Bray and that he had the respect of the players.
Moos made it clear that Nebraska is willing to spend significant money to get the right coach.
“It’s not an unlimited budget, sensible but at the same time we have to compete in the market and we’re going to do that,” Moos said. “That’s usually pretty big dollars these days.”
UCF head coach Scott Frost to the top of many fans wish list for Riley’s successor. Moos acknowledged Frost was one of the candidates but said he will keep his distance while the Knights prepare for their conference championship game.
“Scott is someone that I am considering but I’m being very sensitive to the fact that he’s coaching a team right now,” Moos said.
Moos mentioned he was concerned about an increase in apathy and maintained that expectations should remain high.
“I want to get this program to where we are disappointed if we go 8-4,” he said.
Riley spoke to the media after Moos and thanked his staff and players for their work.
The Huskers finished their 2017 season on Friday. They lost 56-14 to Iowa completing a four-game skid to end the year. The Huskers will not make a bowl game for the first time since the 2007 season and finish with four wins for the first time since 1961.