football Edit

Dawson rejoins Husker staff; Frost announces new titles

Mike Dawson will return to Lincoln to coach outside linebackers.
Mike Dawson will return to Lincoln to coach outside linebackers. (Tyler Krecklow)

After spending one season in the NFL coaching outside linebackers for the New York Giants, former Nebraska defensive line coach Mike Dawson is returning to Lincoln.

NU announced Dawson as their new outside linebackers coach, replacing the departed Jovan Dewitt, who recently took a position at North Carolina.

"I am thrilled to bring Mike Dawson back to Nebraska to re-join our coaching staff," Frost said in a published release. "Coach Dawson has a great history with our coaching staff and brings all of the attributes we look for in an assistant coach. He is a man of great character, has outstanding defensive acumen and knowledge of our defensive system, is a proven teacher and recruiter and relates well to his players."

Besides the addition of Dawson, Scott Frost also announced on Thursday contract extensions for three of his assistants, and new titles for two of them.

Running backs coach Ryan Held received a $100,000 raise, and will now make $400,000 in 2020. On top of that, Held as added the title of recruiting coordinator.

Secondary coach Travis Fisher received a $125,000 raise, and will now make $450,000 in 2020. The bump in pay comes on the heels of an SEC job offer and makes Fisher one of the highest-paid secondary coaches in the country.

Both Fisher and Held were instrumental in building the 2020 recruiting class for Frost, and it's clear their work on the trail played a factor in these raises.

And finally, Frost announced a contract extension for offensive line coach Greg Austin, along with the title of run game coordinator. All three contracts for Fisher, Held and Austin have been extended to Dec. 31, 2021.

NU has yet to fill the special teams opening they have on their staff, and it remains to be seen what direction Frost will go with this hire. HuskerOnline has confirmed that at least two people have interviewed for the position.

Dawson's salary before leaving Nebraska to the NFL $475,000. Dewitt made $475,000 this past season for Nebraska, while Dawson's replacement a year ago Tony Tuioti is currently paid $375,000. Dawson's new deal at NU is set to pay him $325,000.

Dawson coached outside linebackers for the Giants this past season and was a part of Pat Shurmer's staff. The Giants fired their entire coaching staff after the regular season came to an end.

Dawson's reasoning for leaving Nebraska at the time for the NFL was to get one more season in the league.

According to head coach Scott Frost a year ago, Dawson was one year away from being fully vested in the NFL's assistant coach pension fund. Before joining Frost at UCF, Dawson spent three seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2013 to 2015 under Chip Kelly.

He also had stops at Boston College (2009-11), Akron (2006-08) and New Hampshire (2000-05).

Another reason Dawson left Nebraska a year ago was he wanted to be closer to home according to reports at the time.

"I am excited to rejoin Coach Frost and the rest of the Nebraska staff in Lincoln," Dawson said in a statement. "The opportunity to coach at a school with Nebraska's football tradition and commitment is special. I am fired up to represent the N, and sell Husker Football and the University of Nebraska to young men around the country. "Our family fell in love with Nebraska during our one year here. The passion of the fans and the culture Coach Frost has brought is extraordinary. We look forward to making it home again."

The Husker coaching staff will hit the road again for recruiting starting today.