|Position:||Assistant Coach - Quarterbacks|
|Alma Mater:||San Jose State|
Mario Verduzco is the veteran of Nebraska’s 2018 coaching staff, as he boasts 41 years of coaching experience, including serving as both a junior college and high school head coach. Verduzco spent the past two seasons coaching the quarterbacks on Scott Frost’s staff at Central Florida, and he also coached with Frost for two seasons at Northern Iowa (2007-08).
At Central Florida, Verduzco helped Frost increase the Knights’ win total by 13 games in only two seasons. UCF was the nation’s most improved team in 2016, and the Knights won a conference title and put together the first perfect season in program history in 2017, which also marked the first perfect season in American Athletic Conference history. UCF improved from ranking 125th nationally in scoring offense and 127th in total offense in 2015 to first and fifth in those respective categories in 2017. The Knights’ quarterback play was a big reason for the turnaround.
Under Verduzco’s direction, McKenzie Milton developed into one of the nation’s top quarterbacks. Milton completed better than 64 percent of his passes and threw for 6,020 yards and 47 touchdowns in his two seasons with Verduzco, while adding 771 rushing yards. In Verduzco’s two seasons, the UCF quarterbacks posted a nearly 3-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio, throwing 52 touchdown passes against only 18 interceptions.
Milton made great strides under Verduzco in 2017, posting one of the nation’s best individual seasons. Milton completed more than 67 percent of his passes and threw for 4,037 yards with a school-record 37 touchdowns. He also ran for 613 yards and averaged 5.8 yards per carry while scoring eight touchdowns. Milton ranked second nationally in passing efficiency (179.3), was fourth in completion percentage (67.1), total offense (357.7 yards per game) and passing touchdowns (37), fifth in yards per completion (15.2) and seventh in passing yards (4,037).
Milton was selected as the 2016 American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year and was a finalist for the Manning Award, in addition to being a semifinalist for the Maxwell and Walter Camp national player-of-the-year awards and a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien Quarterback Award. Milton's backup was Noah Vedral, who completed 22-of-29 passes for 276 yards and one touchdown as a true freshman in 2017 before transferring to Nebraska in January of 2018.
In 2016, Verduzco dealt with injuries to his quarterbacking corps but helped develop Milton into the starter as a true freshman. Milton set a UCF freshman record with 194 completions and threw for 1,983 yards while completing 57.7 percent of his passes.
Verduzco spent the 2015 season as Missouri State’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. His stint with the Bears came after he spent 14 seasons at Northern Iowa. Verduzco served as the Panthers’ co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for nine seasons from 2006 to 2014 after coaching UNI’s quarterbacks in his first five seasons on staff from 2001 to 2005. Northern Iowa won six Missouri Valley Conference titles and made eight trips to the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs in Verduzco’s 14 seasons at the school, including playing for the 2005 FCS national championship. Seven Panther quarterbacks combined for 13 all-conference awards under Verduzco, including Eric Sanders, the 2007 Missouri Valley Offensive Player of the Year who finished his career with the best completion percentage in FCS history, including an FCS-record 75.2 completion percentage in 2007.
Before spending 15 seasons in the FCS ranks, Verduzco was an assistant at Rutgers for five seasons from 1996 to 2000, where he coached the Scarlet Knights quarterbacks and was the school’s recruiting coordinator.
Verduzco went to Rutgers after totaling 19 seasons coaching at various levels in California. He was at De Anza College in Cupertino, Calif., for five seasons from 1991 to 1995, including serving as the Don’s head coach in 1994 and 1995. Verduzco spent the 1990 and 1991 seasons as a graduate assistant at San Jose State after previously serving as the offensive coordinator at Gavilan College for three seasons from 1987 to 1989. Before entering the collegiate ranks, Verduzco coached for 10 seasons as an assistant at Soquel High School, including three seasons as the school’s defensive coordinator.
Originally from Pittsburg, Calif., Verduzco earned his bachelor’s degree in human performance from San Jose State in 1988 and his master’s degree in biomechanics and exercise physiology from San Jose State in 1990. He and his wife Cate have one son, Charles.
2018: Nebraska, Assistant Coach (Quarterbacks)
2016-17: UCF, Assistant Coach (Quarterbacks)
2015: Missouri State, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2006-14: Northern Iowa, Co-Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2001-05: Northern Iowa, Assistant Coach (Quarterbacks)
2000: Rutgers, Assistant Coach (Quarterbacks/Recruiting Coordinator)
1996-99: Rutgers, Assistant Coach (Assistant Quarterbacks, Recruiting Coordinator)
1994-95: De Anza (Calif.) College, Head Coach
1991-93: De Anza (Calif.) College, Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks/Receivers
1990-91: San Jose State, Graduate Assistant
1987-89: Gavilan (Calif.) College, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks/Receivers
1982-86: Soquel (Calif.) High School, Assistant Coach (Pass Offense)
1979-81: Soquel (Calif.) High School, Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs/Linebackers
1977-78: Soquel (Calif.) High School, Assistant Coach (Defensive Backs)