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- Mike Riley is the new Nebraska Cornhuskers head football coach.
- He spent 14 seasons as Oregon State’s head football coach.
- Riley replaces Bo Pelini, who was fired earlier this week.
The University of Nebraska hired former Oregon State Beavers head coach Mike Riley as its new head football coach on Dec. 4.
Mike Riley is the new Nebraska Nebraska Cornhuskers head football coach.
Nebraska athletics director Shawn Eichorst made the announcement via a press release on the Cornhuskers’ official athletics website. Riley will be introduced to the media as the university’s new head football coach at 9 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 5.
Riley, an Idaho native and an alumnus of the University of Alabama, spent 14 seasons as the head football coach of the Oregon State Beavers. He had amassed 93 wins as well as a 6-2 postseason bowl game record during his tenure. Among the pro teams he coached were the NFL’s San Diego Chargers and the World Football League’s San Antonio Riders. He also led the Canadian Football League’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers to two Grey Cup titles.
Riley was also an assistant coach with several teams including the California Golden Bears, USC Trojans, Linfield Wildcats, Whitworth Pirates, Northern Colorado Bears and New Orleans Saints, per the Cornhuskers’ official athletics website.
According to Huskers.com, Riley will not begin his coaching tenure with Nebraska in its upcoming bowl game. Instead, interim head football coach Barney Cotton will do the honors.
For his part, Riley told Huskers.com that being Nebraska’s head football coach “is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”:
“It is truly an honor to join the University of Nebraska family. Though we love Corvallis and Oregon State, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to coach at one of the nation’s most storied football programs and I can’t wait to get started. My sincere thanks to Chancellor (Harvey) Perlman and Shawn Eichorst for their confidence in me and I look forward to becoming a part of the Nebraska family and building upon the great history and tradition.”
BREAKING: Mike Riley hired by Nebraska to replace Bo Pelini. #Huskers
On the other hand, Eichorst expressed his full confidence in Riley, per Huskers.com:
“There was one coach who fit all the characteristics that I was seeking to lead our tradition-rich football program. Mike Riley has a proven record of success, a sound approach to football and teaching, an understanding of the educational mission of our university and the integrity and values that we cherish at Nebraska. I have no doubt that Mike will assemble a tremendous staff and lead our student-athletes to win Big Ten titles and compete for national championships in the years ahead.”
Brian Christopherson and Steven M. Sipple of The Lincoln Journal Star quoted Riley as saying “It was out of the blue” as far as his candidacy for Cornhuskers head football coach was concerned. The same report also reveals former Ohio State Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel, Arkansas Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema and Utah Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham were also in the mix.
According to ESPN college football writer Mitch Sherman, “Riley was under contract with Oregon State” through 2023. His contract with the university stipulates he would be given an additional year every time the Beavers clinched a bowl game berth.
Riley replaces Bo Pelini, who was fired this week after a 9-3 record this season and seven years at the helm in Lincoln, per ESPN.
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