In a move that came completely out of nowhere to the entire college football community, Nebraska has announced that Oregon State’s Mike Riley will be their new head coach.
— Nebraska Huskers (@Huskers) December 4, 2014
Mike Riley releases a statement after being named Nebraska’s next head coach. pic.twitter.com/fKP8GVowra
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 4, 2014
Riley went 93-80 in two separate stints as Oregon State’s head coach.
He also spent three seasons as the head coach of the San Diego Chargers. Riley stands among the most proven more-with-less coaches in the Power Five, peaking with a 28-12 run from 2006-08. Riley’s Beavers came within one win of playing in the Rose Bowl in 2008. He recruited effectively to Corvallis, Oregon, (and has significant ties in California and Texas) in the same conference as Oregon, Washington, USC and Stanford, so clearly athletics director Shawn Eichorst believes he can combine with the force of the Nebraska brand to build a power in Lincoln.
And for perspective on how hard it is to win at Oregon State: the last coach before Riley’s arrival to take a winning record with him out of Corvallis was Tommy Prothro, who left in 1964.
Riley actually makes a lot of sense to combat Nebraska recruiting disadvantages. He develops guys as well as anyone. Look at pros from there — Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) December 4, 2014
Nebraska AD: “1 coach (Riley) who fit all characteristics I was seeking to lead our tradition rich football program” — Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) December 4, 2014
Nebraska may collectively have the nicest fanbase and they just hired the nicest coach. Works well. — The Solid Verbal (@SolidVerbal) December 4, 2014
With the move, Nebraska joins Florida (Jim McElwain), SMU (Chad Morris), Troy (Neal Brown) and Buffal0 (Lance Leipold) among programs that have filled head coaching vacancies in the 2014-15 hiring season, while Oregon State joins Michigan, Colorado State, UNLV and Tulsa among programs with vacancies.
Sources close to the Oregon State program tell us they would expect defensive coordinator Mark Banker to join Riley (if he is not offered the head coaching position at Oregon State); but they do not expect offensive coordinator John Garrett to follow Riley to Nebraska. As more becomes clear we will keep you updated.
As always, check The Scoop for the latest.