Oregon States Riley named new NU head coach
Four days after announcing that Bo Pelini had been relived of his duties as head football coach, Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst officially found his new man on Thursday morning.
The NU athletic department officially announced that it has hired Oregon State's Mike Riley has its new head coach.
Per a release, Riley is said to assume his duties at Nebraska immediately but will not coach the Huskers in their upcoming bowl game. Interim head coach Barney Cotton will continue to coach the team through the bowl.
Riley's base salary at Oregon State was $1.51 million, compared to $3.1 million for Pelini. Per his contract, Riley will owe OSU a $500,000 buyout.
"There was one coach who fit all the characteristics that I was seeking to lead our tradition rich football program," Eichorst said in a statement. "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."
Riley, 61, comes to Lincoln after serving two stints at Oregon State that spanned a total of 14 years. He led the Beavers to a 93-80 record and posted a 6-2 mark in bowl games. OSU was just 5-7 this season.
In addition to his work in Corvallis, Ore., Riley also was the head coach of the NFL's San Diego Chargers, the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers - where he won two Grey Cup Championships - and also the San Antonio Riders of the World Football League. He went 14-34 in three seasons with the Chargers from 1999-2001.
The Idaho native also served as an assistant coach at California, Southern Cal, Linfield (Ore.) College, Whitworth (Wash.) College and Northern Colorado, along with assistant stints with the New Orleans Saints.
"We have high expectations of the men and women who teach and coach our students and Mike Riley is an outstanding addition to our family," NU chancellor Harvey Perlman said in a statement. "I want to welcome Mike and his family to Nebraska and thank Shawn Eichorst for his great efforts in bringing Mike to Lincoln."
Riley graduated from the University of Alabama and played for legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, helping the Crimson Tide win three SEC titles and the 1973 national championship.
Riley will officially be introduced as head during a press conference scheduled for 9 a.m. on Friday morning at Memorial Stadium. He and his wife, Dee, have two children, Matthew and Kate, and one grandchild, Eli.
"It is truly an honor to join the University of Nebraska family," Riley said in a statement. "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 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."
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