December 22, 2014

Michigan and Wisconsin still on hold with their coaching searches (AUDIO)

Paul Chryst (photo/

Paul Chryst (photo/

After LSU’s Monday evening bowl practice, Tigers’ coach Les Miles addressed persistent rumors that he will return to his alma mater, where he played under Bo Schembechler and spent a decade as an assistant coach.  Miles refused to be quoted on the record, but he sent a clear message: A return to Ann Arbor is not going to happen. He and his agent, have not heard from Michigan, Miles said, and he would not change jobs even if Michigan made contact.

Paul Chryst is still the head coach of the Pittsburgh Panthers. While the former Wisconsin player and offensive coordinator said Monday he has talked to the Badgers about the vacant head coaching position, he hasn’t heard anything concrete and doesn’t expect to before Wednesday, the earliest Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez can name a successor to Gary Andersen.

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Cotton lays out for simple goals for the Huskers over the final month of the season (AUDIO)

Barney Cotton holds court with reporters following the Huskers first practice

Barney Cotton holds court with reporters following the Huskers first practice

First practice for the Nebraska football team since the firing of Bo Pelini. Barney Cotton, who is the interim coach leading the Huskers in the Holiday Bowl had a four goals for his team over the final three weeks of the 2014 season.  Cotton has taken the responsibility of running this team very seriously and will approach this game with the same passion he has always felt.

Jake Cotton say the players have no issues getting pumped up for this game against USC and Josh Mitchell says the approach by the players for this game is to be focused on having fun and playing for each other.

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Riley’s staff taking shape (AUDIO)

Mark Banker, Mike Cavanaugh and Trent Bray, new Nebraska assistants (photos/Oregon State Athletics)

Mark Banker, Mike Cavanaugh and Trent Bray, new Nebraska assistants (photos/Oregon State Athletics)

Mike Riley’s staff at Nebraska is starting to take shape.  Nebraska Radio Network contributor Sean Callahan says new offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh has reached out to Omaha North.  High school kids who were recruited by Oregon State defensive coordinator Mark Banker have confirmed they’ve been contacted by Banker saying he was Nebraska’s new defensive coordinator.  Banker has been with Oregon State since 2003.  One other coach coming over for sure is linebackers coach Trent Bray, who spent three years with Riley.

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Assignment: Defensive Coordinator

Recruiting Area: San Fernando Valley/Hawai’i

Year at OSU: 14th Age: 58

Hometown: Plymouth, Massachusetts

Education: Bachelor’s in Physical Education from Springfield College (1978), Plymouth-Carver High School (1974)

Wife: Debbie

Children: Chris, Jayme and Kelsey


Assignment: Offensive Line

Hometown: Wallingford, Connecticut

Education: Bachelor’s in Physical Education from Southern Connecticut State (1986); 1981 Lyman High School (Wallingford, CT)

Wife: Laurie

Children: Shane and Blair


Assignment: Linebackers

Hometown: Pullman, Washington

Education: Bachelor’s in sociology from Oregon State


Holiday Bowl executive director excited for the Nebraska-USC matchup (AUDIO)

Holiday Bowl in San Diego

Holiday Bowl in San Diego

The Husker football team will be headed back to the Holiday Bowl and take on USC. Executive director Bruce Benkowski is thrilled with the matchup.  It will present a rare opportunity for this San Diego bowl. It will be played in prime time on Saturday the 27th.

Our first look at USC. They finished 8-4 on the season and in fourth place in the Pac-12 South with a 6-3 conference record. They beat coach Riley and the Oregon State Beavers 35-10 back in late September. Each team played Fresno State. The Trojan opened the season at home against the Bulldogs with a 52-13 win. The Huskers beat Fresno two weeks later 55-19. They had wins over then 13th ranked Stanford and the South’s division champion Arizona, ranked 10th at the time.

Barney Cotton will coach the team in the bowl game. No word yet on Mike Riley’s coaching staff, but four Oregon State assistant coaches flew into Lincoln last night.

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Mike Riley meets media as new Husker football coach (AUDIO)

New Husker Football Coach Mike Riley meets with the news media

New Husker Football Coach Mike Riley meets with the news media

Mike Riley met with the news media at Memorial Stadium Friday, his first public appearance as the new head coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Riley, the former head coach of the Oregon State Beavers, was introduced by Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst who says he focused on hiring Eichorst from the beginning of the coaching search that began after Eichorst dismissed Bo Pelini.

Riley spent 14 seasons at Oregon State, first from 1997-98 and then again from 2003-14. He was also the head coach of the NFL’s San Diego Chargers from 1999-2001.

Though Riley begins as Husker head football coach immediately, he will not coach in the bowl game. Associate Head Coach Barney Cotton will coach the Huskers in whatever bowl invites Nebraska.

Riley compiled a record of 93-80 with eight bowl appearances during his tenure at Oregon State. Only once did the Beavers reach double-digit wins, producing a mark of 10-4 with a Sun Bowl triumph over the Missouri Tigers in 2006.

Oregon State was just 5-7 this year, marking the third losing season for the Beavers in the last five years.

Pelini was fired after seven seasons. Nebraska won at least nine games each year under Pelini, who posted a record of 66-27 with the Huskers.

AUDIO:  Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst introduces Mike Riley as the new Husker head football coach. [10:20]