Think back, how many times has someone said “I just want to see who his staff is..” as if they are Kid Football Business. How many people have made that statement but can name maybe 5 assistant coaches excluding Nebraska’s soon to be former staff? I pay attention to football, both pro and college, I listen to radio, I read blogs, and I talk about it with various people. I could not name more than 10 assistant coaches who are A. Not Former/Current Husker staff members, B. Not national guys (Nardozzi, Orgeron, Kiffin, etc). I couldn’t tell you who is coaching the offensive line at almost any school, nor the defensive lines, linebackers, and more. I know a few, but assistant coaches are not the head coach. Plus, its really difficult to measure an assistants impact as it is.
Coordinators, specifically offensive, can be easier to figure out. Offensive coordinators are easier to figure out due to the fact a play they call either works or doesn’t. However, slow down, all head coaches whether it be a little or a lot overrule their coordinator, on both sides of the ball. Bo Pelini so famously took credit for the 2nd and 1 call against Minnesota that many feel really hurt the chances of the Huskers getting a victory. I say credit because as he stated, it didn’t lose the game for the Huskers, and really, if you read between the lines, wasn’t a bad call. It was definitely a bad call, but I digress.
Regardless of what you, or your coworker, or your neighbor, or any other person you talk to thinks they know about assistant coaches, chances are none of us know as much as we’d like. All I have seen is people chirping about “he’s making us Oregon State”, and “who is that” followed by “they aren’t any good” despite not knowing who the heck they are, and its ridiculous. If you offer me a piece of food I’ve never heard of, and immediately dismiss it as not terrible, how would you look at me? Like I’m an idiot right?
It needs to stop. Recruits read tweets. Recruits see public reaction. Besides that, its just stupid. If you didn’t know who they were before today how on earth can you make judgements about their ability? But yet didn’t throw a fit when Bo hired his last two coordinators? Sorry, one really good season at Kansas in which he was only a part of doesn’t make Beck a great OC, nor does JP being a really great graduate assistant just before coming to Nebraska make him a great DC. Many Husker fans are demonstrating horrible short term memory. Bo hired his brother as DC, and left Shawn Watson as OC. Fine. Then, when they both left for their own reasons, nobody wigged out like they are now about JP and Beck getting the top spots on their respected side of the ball.
Bo hired unproven, very inexperienced friends. Outside of Brown and Cotton, there was very little experience. He was inexperienced. He coached one game as head coach. Bo gets the job 4 years later, and instead of hiring guys with a lot of experience since he had very little, he hired graduate assistants. Eventually he paid a guy more than Mike Riley’s entire staff made who did to meet expectations three years in a row. *UPDATE: the statement that Beck makes more than the entire OSU staff is incorrect* If you lack in an area, you do not surround yourself with those lacking more than you, as if to make sure you cannot be challenged. It always felt like Bo is the ultimate alpha male. He hated anyone who even questioned him, and would retaliate in aggression. See his tiff with Dirk Chatelain. Bo is notorious for being so confident he can’t even fathom being wrong.
What is the lesson, point, reason for this, etc? Experienced head coaches know to hire smart guys who fit within their system. Riley should not hire Frost if Frost doesn’t have the same outlook and same approach to running the team as Riley himself. Frost has had little to do with the creation, and even furthering of the offense. He has certainly gained a lot of knowledge in running what Oregon ran before he got there, but that does not make him a great candidate for a guy who doesn’t plan to run that at Nebraska. He’s also been fortunate to have the best college QB since Frazier in my opinion. Plus, the last thing Lincoln needs is a head coach with an OC who is expected to replace him “when he’s ready”. What kind of statement is that to Riley? “Mike, look, you are our guy, until Scotty is ‘ready’, then you need to retire.” Who decides Scott is ready? The athletic director willing to hire a guy with zero head coaching experience at any level to run his program. That will not be Eichorst, nor should he. Hiring assistants for their first head job seems to be a bit of a bad idea. Not sure why? Maybe we should see what Bo thinks?
Mike Riley has to hire the right guys. This goes back to the same thought with the head coach hiring, hire the right guy, not a name.