Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pelini Names Assistants, Roles

via HuskerExtra, New Husker HC Bo Pelini offically named all but one member of his staff yesterday. As expected, the only holdovers from the Callahan regime were OC Shawn Watson and Ted Gilmore, who will be receivers coach, recruiting coordinator and also have the title of Assistant Head Coach. Former Husker (and ISU) OC Barney Cotton will be O-line coach and associate head coach, while former Husker receivers coach Ron Brown will coach the tight ends. The new running backs coach is the only member of the new staff not named, although the decision has been made.

"“Barney will assist me in a number of key administrative duties within our program,” Pelini said, adding that Gilmore will “play a key role in the overall direction of our program.”

Pelini said Gilmore was on his radar even before he became a candidate for Nebraska’s head coaching job. “And since I’ve been here, he’s only exceeded expectations,” Pelini said.

Not made known is who will coach the running backs. Pelini has already hired someone for the position, but said he will name the individual in early January, after that coach has finished working with his current team in a bowl game.

Pelini said the running backs coach could also carry the label of special teams coach, but said that special teams is “something we’ll split up as a staff and all handle, everybody but the offensive coordinator.”"

Th defensive staff will also see a good mix of familiar faces and some new blood, as
Bo's brother Carl, defensive ends coach for Frank Solich in 2003, returns to coach the line and serve as coordinator, and Marvin Sanders will handle the secondary and (most likely) co-coordinator. The new blood comes in the form of two LSU staff members getting their first chance as full time assistants. Blair native Mike Ekler (formerly an LSU assistant strength coach) will be coaching the linebackers and LSU intern John Papukis will coach defensive ends.

Pelini was quoted as saying the staff shaped up exactly as he intended, getting all the coaches he was targeting, and that he will call the defensive plays but that all the defensive coaches will have equal input.

Article concludes with a short bio of each coach, well worth the read. Personally, I'm liking the way things have fallen into place. It will be interesting to see who lands the open RB coach spot, as it was hinted they may also coach special teams, which was often an issue during the previous regime. The job now is to land a recruiting class and get the players through winter conditioning, then it will be time for the spring game. Whoo-hoo! Can't wait.

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