September 1, 2014

Huskers hire Cal State-Fullerton assistant for Erstad’s staff

Cal State Fullerton assistant coach Mike Kirby has accepted the assistant position with the Nebraska baseball program left open when former assistant Will Bolt left for Texas A & M. Kirby has been with the Titans and Oregon, where he’s known to recruit well. It was Cal State Fullerton that knocked the Huskers out of the NCAA Tournament at the Stillwater Regional.

During his last three seasons at Fullerton, Kirby coached first base, infielders and served as the program’s recruiting coordinator. His first class in 2012 was ranked 23rd in the country by Baseball America, producing National Freshman Pitcher of the Year Thomas Eshelman and Big West Conference Pitcher of the Year Justin Garza. Both Eshelman and Garza pitched for the USA Collegiate Baseball National Team this summer, while Eshelman was named an All-American each of the past two seasons.

Prior to the start of last season, Nebraska’s recruiting class was ranked 11th by Baseball America and Cal State Fullerton was one spot behind at 12th.

Before returning to Fullerton, Kirby was instrumental in helping George Horton put the Oregon Ducks on the national scene. Kirby played a large role in four consecutive top-25 recruiting classes, including three ranked in the top 10 and a program-best No. 5 ranking in 2010.

Kirby was also responsible for coaching first base and working with the team’s outfielders.

No captains named yet, but Pelini points out leaders on the defense (AUDIO)

The Husker football team is done with what they call Fall Camp, but now today as they practice they move into game week mode for their season opener against Florida Atlantic. On Saturday the team just went through situational walk-throughs, a light practice just over an hour. Bo Pelini revamped his practice schedule this season and so far the benefits have been noticeable.

Pelini talked about leadership on this team, in particular some Blackshirts with experience.  Plus, the head coach says there are still some housekeeping items to take care of such as naming captains, deciding which current walk-on players that will be awarded scholarships and an announcement on any freshmen that will be redshirting will come later this week.

Husker soccer comes up short against DePaul

The Nebraska soccer team (1-1) came up short in its attempt at an opening weekend sweep, falling to DePaul 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at the Nebraska Soccer Field.

Sophomore Jaycie Johnson scored for the Huskers in the 89th minute off an assist from Caroline Flynn to give NU a chance in the closing minutes. Johnson’s tap-in score marked her second goal of the 2014 campaign. She led the Huskers on Sunday with two shots as NU compiled five for the game.

Four different Huskers scored goals as goalkeeper Kelly Schatz earned a 4-0 shutout against SMU on Friday night at the Nebraska Soccer Field.

The Huskers return to the Nebraska Soccer Field on Friday against Butler at 5:30 p.m. The game will be streamed on Huskers.com. Following its matchup with the Bulldogs, NU travels to Marquette for a Sunday showdown at 1 p.m.

Former NU national champion Wright finishes fourth in discus

Chad Wright, who won the national championship in 2012,  closed his Husker career on Friday with a fourth-place finish in the men’s discus. The senior from Kingston, Jamaica, finished with a throw of 203-2 (61.93) that came on his final attempt of the competition at NCAA Nationals in Eugene, OR.

Junior Ellie Ewere jumped her way to a fifth-place finish in the women’s triple, en route to earning the first All-America honors of her career. She tallied a leap of 43-7 ¼ (13.29) on her fifth attempt of the competition to secure the top-five finish for NU.

Anne Martin closed her Husker career with a 13th-place finish in the heptathlon, posting 5,465 points. She opened the second day of competition with a leap of 18-7 ¼ (5.67) in the long jump before a personal-best throw of 137-7 (41.94) in the javelin. Martin finished with a season-best time of 2:21.35 in the 800 meters.

Ukamoa wins national championship in 400-meter hurdles

Senior Miles Ukaoma became the Huskers’ 78th National Champion at the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus, Friday. The senior won the NCAA title in the 400-meter hurdles.

As a three-time Big Ten Champion and three-time All-American, Ukaoma entered the Championships seeded first in the nation, but won his first national title. Ukaoma, a Maize, KS. native held off KU’s  Michael Stigler, finishing in 49.23, matching his lifetime-best mark.

“It’s awesome just to run with him (Stigler). He’s a great guy, a great competitor. I love running against strong guys. I would rather run 48 low and lose than 50 seconds and win. I just like to compete.”

NU advanced four individual 400-meter hurdle runners to the NCAA Championships in Eugene. With the title, Ukaoma becomes Nebraska’s 19th men’s outdoor national champion and the Huskers’ first 400-meter hurdle champion. The last Husker to win a national title on the men’s side was 2012 discus champion Chad Wright, and the last Husker to secure an outdoor national title on the track was Dmitrijs Milkevics in the 800 meters in 2005.