February 6, 2016

Five Huskers headed to track and field nationals after first day

Five members of the Nebraska track and field team punched their tickets to the NCAA Championships on Thursday at the NCAA West Preliminary Round on the University of Texas campus.

Fighting off strong winds and two delays from lightning, Nick Percy (discus), Tierra Williams (long jump), Jazmin McCoy (long jump), James White (high jump) and Landon Bartel (high jump) became the first five Huskers to lock in a spot at the NCAA Championships. Four of the five NU qualifiers were freshmen or sophomores.

Huskers Advancing to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon
Nick Percy, Discus (9th)
Tierra Williams, Long Jump (6th)
Jazmin McCoy, Long Jump (9th)
James White, High Jump (5th)
Landon Bartel, High Jump (9th)

Huskers Advancing to NCAA Quarterfinals on Friday
Drew Wiseman, 400m hurdles
Levi Gipson, 400m
Jake Bender, 400m
Shawnice Williams, 800m

NU assistant soccer coach killed in Iowa

Peter Underwood (photo/NU Athletics)

Peter Underwood (photo/NU Athletics)

The University of Nebraska Athletics Department confirmed that assistant soccer coach Peter Underwood was killed in a car accident on Saturday, May 16, 2015, while on a recruiting trip near Atlantic, Iowa.

Underwood just completed his fourth season with the Nebraska women’s soccer program, serving the last two as a full-time coach and the previous two as a volunteer assistant.  Underwood helped the Huskers to the Big Ten Conference regular-season and tournament titles in 2013, as Nebraska posted a 19-4-1 record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

A native of London, England, Underwood moved to the United States and played one season of varsity soccer at Concord, before the program was dropped. He immediately embarked on his coaching career, serving as a student assistant coach for the women’s program. Underwood earned a Union of European Football Association (UEFA) coaching ‘A’ license.

Underwood, 31, is survived by his wife, Austin, and their two young children, daughter, Lyla, and son, Jude.

Statement from University of Nebraska Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst:

“The University of Nebraska Athletics family is deeply saddened by the loss of Peter Underwood and our deepest sympathy and prayers go out to his wife, Austin, their children, Lyla and Jude, and his extended family and friends.  Peter was a beacon of positive light, a wonderfully talented coach, and an even better family man of great character and faith.  He will be missed by all of us.”

Statement from University of Nebraska Soccer Head Coach John Walker:

“We lost a terrific man today.   He was outstanding in all that he did. He was a wonderful husband to Austin and a terrific father to Lyla and Jude.  As a coach, his potential was limitless. His creativity, attention to detail, passion for learning and teaching style was the best I have been around during my years in coaching.  He was well beyond his years with his knowledge base and how he saw the game.  Lastly he cared so much about the players and their well-being.   He had such a positive influence on everyone that he came into contact with.  We will miss him greatly.”

Services are pending.  .

Burno hired as assistant basketball coach at Nebraska

Rashon Burno (photo/Florida Athletics)

Rashon Burno (photo/Florida Athletics)

University of Nebraska men’s basketball coach Tim Miles announced Friday the hiring of Rashon Burno as an assistant coach for the Husker program. Burno comes to Nebraska after spending the past three seasons at the University of Florida under Billy Donovan, who was named the head coach of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder last month.

Nebraska Coach Tim Miles said Burno’s coaching ability and recruiting acumen made him an ideal candidate for the opening on the Husker coaching staff.

“Rashon will be a tremendous addition to our already strong coaching staff,” Miles said. “He is a high-level recruiter and a smart coach. As a former point guard, he will really help out working with our guard play. He is a connector with all people and a high-energy guy. He worked with an elite-level program with Coach Donovan at Florida and brings great experience at the NCAA Tournament, including a Final Four appearance two years ago. Rashon also brings a life story that our players can relate to and that they can learn from.”

During his stint at Florida, Burno was part of two Southeastern Conference championship teams while the Gators reached the NCAA Elite Eight in both 2013 and 2014, while advancing to the  Final Four in 2014. In three years with Burno at Florida, the Gators posted an impressive 81-28 record (.743).

“Rashon is an outstanding coach, teacher and recruiter,” Donovan said. “Nebraska is getting an even better person. I will always be thankful for my time with Rashon, and I know he will be a great asset to Nebraska basketball.”

A former point guard at DePaul, Burno worked with the Florida backcourt players, coaching three Gators to All-SEC honors (Kenny Boynton, Mike Rosario and Scottie Wilbekin) in his tenure. Wilbekin became the first Gator guard to earn SEC Player of the Year in 2014.

In Florida’s historic 2013-14 season, the Gators posted a 30-game winning streak that included the SEC’s first-ever 18-0 regular season, capped with the fourth SEC Tournament title in school history. In 2013-14, UF compiled an unblemished 10-0 record in games Burno served as the scout coach, including an early season win against Kansas, a sweep of Alabama, conference wins over LSU and Ole Miss and the NCAA Tournament victory against Albany. UF’s win over Kansas kicked off Florida’s program-record 30-game winning streak.

The Gators also posted an 11-1 record in 2012-13 when Burno handled the opponent scout, including a 5-0 record in SEC regular-season play and an NCAA Tournament victory over Northwestern State. Florida went 29-8, including a 14-4 record in the SEC, during the 2012-13 season, losing in the Elite Eight to Michigan.

As an assistant coach at Manhattan College, Burno helped the Jaspers to a 21-13 record in 2011-12 – the team’s first season under head coach Steve Masiello. The Jaspers added a postseason win in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament to post just the 11th 20-win season in the 106-year history of the program while capping a massive 15-win turnaround for a team that went 6-25 in 2010-11.

Burno, a three-year team captain at DePaul who played for the Blue Demons from 1998 to 2002, reunited with his former head coach, Pat Kennedy, as an assistant coach at Towson University in 2010-11. Burno began his coaching career as head coach at Marmion Academy in the Chicago suburbs from 2007 to 2010, while also serving as an economics and physical education teacher.

During his playing career at DePaul, Burno started 58 games and helped the Blue Demons to two postseason appearances, advancing to the 2001 NCAA Tournament and the 2000 National Invitational Tournament. He finished his career ranked third in DePaul history with 201 steals and was named to the 2001 Conference USA All-Tournament Team.

As a high school player, Burno helped anchor back-to-back national championship runs in 1996 and 1997 at St. Anthony’s High School in Jersey City, N.J., under Hall of Fame head coach Bob Hurley.

Burno and his wife, Ellen, have three children, Micah, Rashon and Braxton.

Husker softball gets a bye at the Big Ten Tournament

NU ArmstrongNebraska earned the No. 3 seed for the upcoming Big Ten Softball Tournament in Columbus, Ohio, and the Huskers will open play at the tournament on Friday, May 8, at 4:30 p.m.

The Huskers, who have finished in the top three of the final league standings in each of their first four seasons in the Big Ten, earned a first-round bye and will take on the winner of the Ohio State-Indiana game on Thursday. The Huskers went 2-1 against the Buckeyes in Columbus in April, and Nebraska did not face Indiana this season. Ohio State swept a three-game series from the Hoosiers this weekend in Columbus.

Friday’s game will be televised live on the Big Ten Network, along with both semifinals and the championship game. The Huskers are in the bottom half of the bracket, and a win on Friday would put Nebraska in the second semifinal at 5 p.m., with the championship game set for 7:30 p.m.

Petteway declares for NBA draft

Terran Petteway and the Huskers come up short against Baylor.

Terran Petteway 

University of Nebraska junior guard Terran Petteway announced Thursday morning that he is forgoing his senior season to declare for the 2015 NBA Draft.  Petteway, a fourth-year junior from Galveston, Texas, is on track to earn his degree in May and has spent the last three seasons at Nebraska after transferring from Texas Tech.

“I want to start off by thanking the city of Lincoln and state of Nebraska for all of the love and support that you guys have shown me over the last three years,” Petteway said. “This is a bittersweet moment for me because Lincoln has become a second home to me, but in the same instance has helped me grow as a man and ballplayer, and I love y’all.”

“I’m happy for Terran and his family,” Nebraska Coach Tim Miles said. “While I had hoped he stayed with us for his senior year, I completely support his decision, and we will help him as much as we can through this process. I believe any team in the NBA or otherwise would love to have Terran on their team.”

A two-time All-Big Ten performer at Nebraska, Petteway earned first-team honors in 2013-14 and third-team accolades this past season. He started every game for the Huskers over the last two seasons and ranks 20th on Nebraska’s career scoring list with 1,143 points.

He holds two of the top-10 scoring seasons in school history (579, seventh, 2013-14; 564, eighth, 2014-15), while his 18.1 points per game career scoring average at Nebraska ranks second in school history. Petteway joined Dave Hoppen as the only two players in program history to score 1,000 points in their first two seasons at Nebraska, and Petteway reached double figures in 59 of 63 games as a Husker.

This past season, Petteway topped the Huskers and ranked fourth in the Big Ten in scoring at 18.2 points per game, while also placing among the Big Ten leaders in 3-pointers (2.2, eighth), assists (2.8, 14th) and steals (1.1, 15th) per game. He led NU in scoring, assists and blocked shots (27), while ranking second on the team in rebounding (4.9 per game) and steals (35). A preseason Wooden Award Nominee, he was one of 15 players on the Julius Erving Award Watch List, recognizing the top small forward in the country. He reached double figures in 29 games in 2014-15, including 13 performances with at least 20 points. He closed the season with a strong performance against Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament, scoring a game-high 29 points, as he hit 4-of-7 from 3-point range and went 11-of-13 from the foul line.

Petteway put together one of the best sophomore seasons in school history in 2013-14, leading Nebraska to 19 wins and the school’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1998. He averaged a Big Ten-leading 18.1 points per game along with 4.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game, as he was second on the team in assists and rebounding. A first-team All-Big Ten performer, Petteway was also a first-team all-district honoree by both the NABC (coaches) and U.S. Basketball Writers Association.  He was a consistent scorer for the Big Red, reaching double figures 30 times in 32 games, including a pair of 30-point outings. His best performance came in a win over Minnesota, when he had a career-high 35 points.

He began his college career at Texas Tech during the 2011-12 season, where he played in 27 games and made 11 starts for the Red Raiders, averaging 3.3 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.

Story courtesy NU Athletics