University of Nebraska Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst fired Head Football Coach Bo Pelini effective immediately. Eichorst released a statement on Sunday morning.
“Earlier this morning, I informed Coach Bo Pelini of our decision to move forward in a new direction. Coach Pelini served our University admirably for seven years and led our football program’s transition to the Big Ten Conference. We wish Coach Pelini and his wonderful family all the best and thank him for his dedicated service to the University.”
Eichorst spoke Sunday afternoon.
“This is what’s best for the university. Certainly the results of our games this season and in previous seasons played a significant role in my decision. But whenever I evaluate a head coach, I consider a number of factors both on and off the field beyond the outcomes of games,” said Eichorst. “The people of Nebraska deserve not only high standards and expectations, but they deserve seeing our people and our teams reach them. I indicated during my introductory press conference that we will compete for Big Ten and national championships, and we will do so with class, integrity, sportsmanship and with a commitment to our student-athletes.”
Pelini’s record was 67-27 in seven years at Nebraska. He was hired back on December 2, 2007.
Chancellor Harvey Perlman also released a statement.
“I fully support Shawn’s decision to make a change in the leadership of our football program, and wish Bo and his family all of the best. I am confident that Shawn will find the best coach, teacher and fit for this University and for our football program.”
Offensive line coach Barney Cotton has been named interim head coach.
“I feel it is my duty to be there for our staff and to show love and support for our players. I accepted this responsibility because of my loyalty to Bo, this staff and our players. I appreciate the confidence that Shawn has shown in me during this tough circumstance.
“I will encourage our players to finish their classwork to the best of their abilities, to continue to be great citizens and to give every last ounce of effort in their preparations for the upcoming bowl game. More than anything else, I will encourage them to be good teammates to each other.”