Nebraska Head Football Coach Bo Pelini announced Monday that he has completed the process of hiring his first Husker coaching staff. Eight of the assistant coaches have been announced, with all of those having previous coaching experience in the Big 12 Conference, including six coaches who have spent time at
Pelini finalized his staff over the weekend with the addition of a running backs coach. However, Pelini said the announcement of that individual will come in early January, after that coach has finished his work in a bowl game with his current school.
The offensive staff includes Barney Cotton as associate head coach/offensive line coach; Shawn Watson as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks; Ted Gilmore as assistant head coach/receivers coach/recruiting coordinator; and Ron Brown as tight ends coach. Watson and Gilmore were retained from the previous
On the defensive side, the Husker staff will include Carl Pelini as defensive coordinator/defensive line coach, Mike Ekeler as linebackers coach, John Papuchis as defensive ends coach and Marvin Sanders as secondary coach.
Pelini also announced that former Husker player and assistant coach Jeff Jamrog will serve as Assistant Athletic Director for Football Operations for the
Pelini said the coaching staff he has hired brings the overall characteristics he was looking for in
“I was asked about the qualities I look for in assistant coaches, and I mentioned teachers, communicators and high-energy people,” Pelini said. “I think this group of coaches will be great teachers for the young men in our program, and they are a good fit for
Pelini said Cotton and Gilmore will assist him in a variety of roles in their positions as associate and assistant head coach, respectively.
“In addition to coaching the offensive line, Barney will assist me in a number of key administrative duties within our program,” Pelini said. “Ted will continue as our receivers coach and recruiting coordinator, and he will also play a key role in the overall direction of our program.”
The offensive staff will be led by Watson, who directed the
“Offensively, there has been good success here recently,” Pelini said. “I think we can add some wrinkles to what has worked well the past few years. Coach Watson is a proven offensive coordinator in the Big 12 Conference, and our offensive assistants have extensive collegiate experience, specifically in the Big 12 North.”
Defensively, Pelini said he will be involved in all aspects of the preparation and expects his defensive staff to operate as one cohesive unit.
“Our defensive coaches will all have equal input on what we are doing, regardless of titles or positions,” Pelini said. “Our defensive coaches are outstanding teachers who will bring great energy to the practice field. I have worked with each of them during my career and have great confidence in this group. This staff plans to build on the tradition of hard-nosed Blackshirt defenses at
Here is a brief capsule on the members of the 2008 Husker staff.
Shawn Watson—Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
Watson will be entering his third season at
Watson coached the
Watson has a total of seven seasons of experience as an offensive coordinator in the Big 12, serving in the same role at
Ron Brown—Tight Ends
Brown rejoins the
Brown has spent the past four years serving as the Nebraska State Director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He also has served as the national spokesman for the FCA and is a regular columnist for the FCA magazine “Sharing the Victory”. Brown and former Husker Stan Parker are co-founders and co-directors of a statewide Christian ministry called
Under Brown, Husker receivers were known for their tenacity and downfield blocking in
Brown also served as an assistant coach for three seasons (1984-86) at Brown, his alma mater, and was the head freshman coach at the school in 1983.
Barney Cotton—Associate Head Coach/Offensive Line
Cotton will be in his second stint on the
Before arriving at
Cotton played for
Ted Gilmore—Assistant Head Coach/Wide Receivers/Recruiting Coordinator
Gilmore has served on the Husker staff each of the past three years as the Huskers’ receivers coach and in 2007, he also handled the role of recruiting coordinator. Gilmore’s receivers have posted record-setting numbers under his direction.
Seniors Terrence Nunn and Maurice Purify finished their eligibility as the No. 2 and No. 5 career receivers at
Gilmore has been a collegiate assistant for 11 seasons, also serving in stints at
Carl Pelini—Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line
Carl Pelini, the older brother of Head Coach Bo Pelini, comes to
Pelini spent the 2004 season as the defensive coordinator at
A native Nebraskan, Mike Ekeler joins the Husker defensive staff after spending the past three seasons on the LSU football staff. Ekeler spent the 2005 and 2006 seasons as a graduate assistant coach working for Pelini and the Tiger defense. In 2007, Ekeler worked as an intern for the LSU program.
Ekeler brings an extensive knowledge of the state of
Before his time with the Sooners, Ekeler spent five seasons as a high school coach in
After graduating from
John Papuchis—Defensive Ends Coach
John Papuchis comes to
Papuchis first joined the LSU staff under Nick Saban and over the past three seasons has helped the Tigers rank third nationally in total defense each season. In 2007, the Tiger defense featured a pair of consensus All-Americans in defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey and safety Craig Steltz.
Papuchis joined the Tigers prior to the 2004 season after a three-year stint with
Papuchis graduated from Virginia Tech in 2001 and earned his master’s degree from
Marvin Sanders—Secondary Coach
Marvin Sanders returns to the Husker staff after serving as the defensive backs coach in 2003. In Sanders’ lone season on the defensive staff with
After his year at
Sanders earned three letters as a defensive back at
Assistant Athletic Director for Football Operations
Jeff Jamrog joins Pelini’s staff as Assistant Athletic Director for Football Operations, following four seasons as the head coach at
Before leaving for