New NU AD Moos looks to “honor past” and “create a future” as Nebraska’s new athletic director

By Brent Martin and Tommy Rezac

Bill Moos, selected as Nebraska’s next athletic director, takes questions from the media on Sunday afternoon at Memorial Stadium. Moos, the A.D. at Washington State, will take over fully at Nebraska on Oct. 23.

Bill Moos started as an athletic director at the Division I level in 1990.

In his 25 years of experience, he’s always carried with him one motto.

“Honor the past, live the present, create the future,” Moos told reporters at Memorial Stadium on Sunday afternoon during his introductory press conference.

Moos has been Washington State’s athletic director since 2010. He begins as Nebraska’s A.D. on Oct. 23.

In his time with Cougar athletics, he secured a 10-year, $35 million marketing rights agreement with IMG College and led a $130 million addition and remodel of WSU’s Martin Stadium.

He was also dean of Pac-12 athletic directors, where he helped secure the conference’s 12-year, $3 billion TV contract with FOX and ESPN.

He previously worked as Oregon’s athletic director from 1995-2007, where he oversaw 13 Pac-10 championships in six different sports and rose annual fundraising by roughly $21.5 million.

He started as Montana’s A.D. from 1990-95.

He took time off in 2007 to start up a cattle ranch with his wife, Kendra, near Valleyford, WA. They moved to Pullman in 2010 when Bill was asked to lead Washington State’s athletic program.

He just couldn’t stay away from the profession.

“I missed the competition,” Moos said. “Any of us who actually played the game, especially in the collegiate level, your pilot light never goes out and it’s begging for fuel and getting that adrenaline up. On game day, there’s no greater thrill.”

“I tried that retirement stuff, and Kendra, after two years said, ‘You need a job.’ Yeah, better get back at it. We did, and we plan to be in this for a long, long time still.”

Green emphasized how important finding the right fit for the position was Sunday, noting it was “so apparent” that Moos was Nebraska’s man.

Moos grew up in rural east Washington on a wheat and cattle ranch, listening to Nebraska vs. Oklahoma on the radio every season as a young boy. He believes that background could make him a solid fit culturally.

“I’m a rural boy,” Moos said. “I feel like eastern Washington is so much like the state of Nebraska. Good, wholesome people with a great work ethic. Down to Earth, love athletics, and really love football.”

Green said it’s like Kendra and Bill Moos are like “Nebraskans who have lived somewhere else for all of their life.”

“And now it’s like they’re coming home.”

From a competitive standpoint, Moos is determined to once again make Nebraska “the hunted” in all sports, but especially football.

“We need to get back into that position where everybody’s putting Nebraska (on the schedule) and circling it,” Moos said, “and that’s going to be one tough game, whether (the opponent) is going to Lincoln, or whether they’re coming to our place.”

“We need to compete in all of our sports. I’m a fierce competitor. We should be in a position in every sport to compete for championships, and certainly that’s going to be our goal, and that will be a big part of the blue print that I referred to.”

Moos has made a blue print at every previous school he’s been to that illustrates where he and his staff envision the goals of the athletic department, and how those goals will be carried out.

“Everybody internally will have ownership in that,” Moos said.

That includes, for the time being, Nebraska head football coach Mike Riley, whose job status remains shaky after Nebraska’s 56-14 meltdown against Ohio State in Lincoln on Saturday night.

One thing is for certain: if Riley is let go, it won’t be until the end of the 2017 season.

“I don’t think anything is really accomplished, and I never have, of dismissing a coach during the season,” Moos said to media following his press conference. “Because of distractions, a lack of focus. It can be done soon afterwards, but you better have a plan in place as to where you’re going.”

Moos and Riley, only meeting briefly Sunday, are not strangers to one another. They were in the Pac-10 (now Pac-12) at the same time for a combined 12 years.

The two haven’t talked much, Moos said, since Riley took the job in Lincoln in December 2014, but the familiarity with one another should make for productive and fair discussions.

“I did respect (Riley) and the job he did (at Oregon State),” Moos said. “I was surprised when he left to come to (Nebraska), but I thought that he should do very, very well. As we speak right now, he’s my football coach, and I’m going to support him.”

Riley released a brief statement on Moos’ hire Sunday afternoon. He was not available for comment at Memorial Stadium.

Another meeting Moos is looking forward to in the coming days is one with former head football coach Tom Osborne, who was one of 20 people on a search committee made up of current former student-athletes and coaches that helped with the three-week-long search.

Osborne, 2001 Heisman winner Eric Crouch, Nebraska volleyball coach John Cook, Nebraska softball coach Rhonda Revelle and former Nebraska wrestling star and Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs were among those involved in the search committee, according to Green.

Senior middle blocker Briana Holman from the Nebraska volleyball team was one of the current student-athletes involved in the committee.

Nebraska hired highly-regarded, New Jersey-based search firm Turnkey Sports and Entertainment to lead the A.D. search.

Green called Moos in a written statement “a program-builder who forges enduring relationships with coaches, student-athletes, staff, supporters and fans.”

“I was pleased that (Moos) was interested,” NU President Hank Bounds said Sunday. “I just can’t express how excited I am that Bill Moos is our athletic director. He is really good.”

Moos, 66, agreed to a five-year contract with a base annual salary of $1 million. The contract includes annual incentives up to $500,000.

Moos and his wife Kendra have three daughters, Christa, Brittany and Kaiti; and two sons, Bo and Benjamin.

Moos succeeds Shawn Eichorst, who was fired Sept. 21.

Badgers run free, put away Huskers in second half

Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee (13) congratulates Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook at the conclusion of the Badgers’ 38-17 win over the Huskers on Saturday night in Lincoln.

By Tommy Rezac

LINCOLN – Watching a Wisconsin running back pound a Nebraska defense for over 200 yards has become a familiar sight to Husker fans in recent years, and they had to witness it again Saturday night.

True freshman running back Jonathan Taylor and the No. 9 Wisconsin Badgers (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) ran for 353 yards, putting away the Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-3, 2-1 Big Ten) 38-17 on Saturday night in front of 89,860 fans at Memorial Stadium.

Taylor accounted for 71 percent of Wisconsin’s production on the ground, piling up a season-high 249 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns. He averaged ten yards per carry.

“(Wisconsin) is persistent, and they’re powerful,” Nebraska head coach Mike Riley said in his post game press conference. “A big, powerful back (Taylor) is good. We knew all of those things.”

Nebraska had a major setback on its opening drive. The Huskers got inside the red zone within the first two minutes of the game on their opening drive, but a screen pass from quarterback Tanner Lee to running back Devine Ozigbo bounced off of Ozigbo’s helmet and fell into the hands of Badgers’ sophomore linebacker Chris Orr, who took the ball 78 yards the other way to give Wisconsin an early 7-0 lead.

“It was a pretty strange looking play,” Riley said. “Devine just didn’t get his head turned around quickly enough and (Lee) felt the ball looked okay. I don’t know that yet in a practice or a game that we’ve incompleted that ball, let alone throw a pick six on it off of a top of a head, it’s a pretty ridiculous play really.”

The Huskers fell behind 10-0 in the second quarter before Lee found junior receiver Stanley Morgan, Jr. for an 80-yard touchdown to put Nebraska on the board with 1:20 to go until halftime.

Morgan finished with four catches for 115 yards and a touchdown.

The Badgers, though, would strike right back on the first play of their ensuing possession when Taylor ran around the right side to go 75 yards to the house. It was Taylor’s longest running touchdown of the season.

Nebraska used the final 1:04 of the first half to drive 60 yards on 11 plays and get a 32-yard field goal from senior kicker Drew Brown, cutting Wisconsin’s halftime lead to 17-10.

Brown missed a 33-yard attempt early in the second quarter.

“Those things against a team like that, that’s pretty methodical and eventually they’re being as physical as they are, we just gave them too many opportunities and not really taking advantage of ours to put some points on the board,” Riley said.

Nebraska had eleven drives as an offense Saturday, seven of which made it into Wisconsin territory. Only two of those seven drives ended in points.

“We were moving the ball pretty well, but it just wasn’t the amount of points we wanted, which is really frustrating,” Oizgbo said, who finished Saturday’s game with 112 rushing yards. “We have to figure out a way to have these long extensive drives but with a finish with points and preferably touchdowns.”

The Huskers got a huge burst of momentum early in the third quarter when junior safety Aaron Williams intercepted Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook, and took the ball 14 yards the other way for a pick six, tying the game at 17-17 with 10:43 left in the third quarter.

After Hornibrook’s pick six, the Badgers drove 93 yards in 10 plays on the ensuing possession. Hornibrook finished the drive by finding sophomore receiver Quintez Cephus for a five-yard score, giving the Badgers a 24-17 lead with 4:56 left in the third quarter.

Wisconsin ran 34 plays after the Hornibrook interception. 32 of them were run plays. The Badgers held the ball for 8:22 of the third quarter and a staggering 13:16 of the fourth.

“They controlled a good part of the fourth quarter and before that even,” Riley said. “I think we had moved the ball decently at halftime and had pretty good totals but not much to show for it.”

Nebraska had 313 yards of offense in the first half, but only 68 in the second.

“I think it’s just about finishing,” Lee said. “We have to finish drives with points. (Wisconsin) kept us from doing that today. ”

The Huskers had a nine-play, 39-yard drive to end the third quarter, but were unable to convert on a 3rd and 6 and punted the ball back to the Badgers to begin the fourth quarter.

Wisconsin started the ensuing possession on its own 20, and drove 80 yards on ten rushing plays. Taylor scored his second touchdown of the night on a two-yard run up the middle with 9:08 to go in the game, putting the Badgers ahead 31-17.

On the second play of Nebraska’s ensuing drive, Morgan fumbled the ball on what would have been a 15-yard gain, but Wisconsin junior linebacker Ryan Connelly dove on the football at the Nebraska 40-yard line.

Wisconsin then took 6:15 off the clock with ten running plays, ending with a one-yard rushing touchdown by sophomore back Bradrick Shaw.

Shaw finished Saturday’s game with 12 carries for 43 yards.

Nebraska will next take on No. 10 Ohio State (5-1, 3-0 Big Ten) in Lincoln on Saturday for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff. The game will be televised on Fox Sports One.

Nebraska survives Arkansas State 43-36

By Tommy Rezac

It came down to the final play, but the Nebraska Cornhuskers (1-0) survived the Arkansas State RedWolves (0-1) on Saturday night at Memorial Stadium, hanging on for a 43-36 win in front of 90, 171 fans.

Junior quarterback Tanner Lee impressed in his Husker debut, completing 19-of-32 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns.

“Oh man, it was a lot of fun,” Lee said on his first college game since Nov. 21, 2015. “The most fun I’ve had in awhile. Extremely happy we got the win, but we still have a lot to build on, a lot to work on.”

Sophomore running back Tre Bryant was a star in Nebraska’s backfield, toting the rock 31 times for 192 yards and a touchdown, averaging 6.2 yards per carry.

RedWolves quarterback Justice Hansen, a junior and former enrollee at Oklahoma, was outstanding on Saturday, completing a whopping 46-of-68 throws for 415 yards and three touchdowns. Arkansas State amassed 497 yards of total offense, while the Huskers totaled 463.

“I’m glad we won the game,” Nebraska head coach Mike Riley said afterward. “I’ll give a lot of credit to Arkansas State, how they played. We talked about that all week long, that this was going to be a darn good football team and they were going to give us fits controlling and moving the football, and they did.”

Junior receiver Stanley Morgan was the top target for Lee on Saturday, catching five passes for 102 yards and a touchdown.

Redshirt freshman J.D. Spielman scored his first career touchdown as a Husker in the first quarter on a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Nebraska hadn’t scored a touchdown on a kickoff return since Kenny Bell at Penn State in 2013.

Spielman’s return immediately followed Arkansas State’s Blaise Taylor’s 63-yard punt return for a touchdown, giving Arkansas State an early 10-7 lead.

“It felt really good,” Spielman said about his return. “After I saw their punt returner take it to the end zone, I remember looking over to their sideline and seeing them all jump around. I remember thinking, “I can’t wait to shut that down,’ and I got the opportunity to shut that down. It changed the momentum back towards Nebraska.”

Nebraska goes on the road to face the Oregon Ducks (1-0) on Saturday at 3 p.m. central. The Ducks beat Utah State in dominating fashion 77-21 on Saturday at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, OR.

Nebraska beat Oregon in Lincoln last season 35-32.

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 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