Lincoln -- Nebraska Head Coach Bill Callahan announced on Monday he has hired Bill Busch and Randy Jordan as assistant coaches on the Husker football staff. A Nebraska native and a former NU graduate assistant, Busch will coach the Huskers’ outside linebackers, while Jordan, an NFL player for nine seasons, will tutor the Nebraska running backs.
Busch comes to Nebraska after spending the past three seasons at the University of Utah. Busch coached the Utah safeties in 2001 and 2002 for former head coach Ron McBride, and handled the Ute defensive backs in 2003 for first-year head coach Urban Meyer.
"Bill has an excellent background from many top programs across the country," Callahan said. "I am excited to have Bill be a part of a tradition that he knows well and respects deeply."
This past season Utah boasted one of the top defenses in the Mountain West Conference, helping the Utes to a 10-2 record and their first outright conference title since 1957. Utah closed the season with a pair of shutouts, defeating rival BYU, 3-0, in the regular-season finale, before a 17-0 shutout of Conference USA champ Southern Mississippi in the Liberty Bowl. Utah’s 10 wins tied a school record and its No. 21 final national ranking in both polls was the school’s highest since 1994.
The play of Busch’s secondary allowed Utah to finish second in the Mountain West and 27th nationally in pass efficiency defense, as Utah surrendered just nine passing touchdowns in 12 games. The consecutive shutouts to close the season pushed Utah to 19th nationally in scoring defense at 19.1 ppg. The Utes also ranked in the top 35 nationally in pass defense (28th) and total defense (31st). Ute safeties Morgan Scalley and Dave Revill both earned second-team All-Mountain West Conference honors in 2003, while two more Utah defensive backs picked up honorable-mention honors.
The 2003 season continued the success the Utah secondary enjoyed under Busch. In his first two seasons in Salt Lake City, Busch’s safeties were the strength of the Ute defense. In 2002, Revill was a second-team all-league pick, while Antwoine Sanders earned first-team all-league honors, and in 2001 Sanders was the league’s Defensive Newcomer of the Year. In 2001, Utah ranked 17th nationally in pass efficiency defense, helping the team to an 8-4 record and a Las Vegas Bowl victory over USC.
Before his three seasons at Utah, Busch spent four years on Coach Tony Samuel’s staff at New Mexico State where he coached the defensive backs. His first full-time coaching job was at Northern Arizona where he was the secondary coach in 1995 and 1996, and served as the co-defensive coordinator in 1996.
In addition to Busch’s previous association with the Husker program, the 38-year-old Pender, Neb., native has ties to Callahan and Nebraska defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove. Busch spent the 1994 season as a graduate assistant at Wisconsin, and helped the Badgers to a Hall of Fame Bowl appearance. The 1994 season was Callahan’s final season as an assistant at Wisconsin, while Cosgrove coached the Badger linebackers under Barry Alvarez.
Busch spent the 1990 to 1993 seasons on the Nebraska staff as a graduate assistant, helping with the Husker defensive backs. Among the defensive backs Busch worked with at Nebraska were all-league players Tyrone Byrd, Barron Miles, Tyrone Williams and Mike Minter. Busch began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Nebraska-Kearney in 1989, where he worked with the defensive ends. He played wide receiver at Nebraska Wesleyan from 1985 to 1987. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Wesleyan in 1988 and added a master’s in education from UNK in 1990.
"To have the opportunity to be part of this historic football program and a member of Coach Callahan’s new, energized staff is very exciting," Busch said. "I’ve worked my entire professional career to coach at the University of Nebraska, and I can’t wait to get started."
The 33-year-old Jordan finished his playing career under Callahan with the Oakland Raiders in 2002, then served on Callahan’s coaching staff during the 2003 season. Jordan joined the Raiders’ staff at mid-season in 2002 as a special teams assistant to Oakland’s special teams coach Bob Casullo.
"Randy brings a wealth of professional expertise to our coaching staff," Callahan said. "His background provides us with a uniqueness in his knowledge at both running back and special teams. Nebraska has a coach that can instruct and inspire. I am confident Randy will do a great job for the Cornhuskers."
Jordan will bring nine years of NFL experience as a running back to Nebraska, as he played in 122 career games from 1993 to 2002. Jordan began his career with the Los Angeles Raiders in 1993, before joining the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars for three seasons, beginning in 1995. Jordan scored Jacksonville’s first-ever touchdown on a 71-yard reception against Cincinnati in 1995. He returned to the Raiders in 1998 and played the next five seasons for the Silver and Black.
Jordan rushed for 159 yards for the Raiders in 1998, then had a career-high 213 yards and three touchdowns during the 2000 season when Oakland reached the AFC Championship Game. Jordan also caught 27 passes for 299 yards and a touchdown in 2000. He finished his career with 574 yards rushing and seven touchdowns, while catching 58 passes for 596 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The Manson, N.C., also made an impression in the National Football League for his special teams play. A standout on special teams throughout his career, Jordan was named the special teams captain for Callahan’s 2002 Raider squad that reached Super Bowl XXXVII. He finished his career with 801 yards on 38 career kick returns, including 553 yards on 26 returns for the Jaguars in 1996. Jordan also made 64 career tackles on special teams, including a career-best 14 in 1999.
Jordan played in the NFL after a standout collegiate career at the University of North Carolina. Jordan played for Coach Mack Brown at UNC from 1989 to 1992, and earned three letters for the Tar Heels. He rushed for 1,134 yards and nine touchdowns in his career, including 618 yards and seven touchdowns in 1991. Jordan earned his bachelor’s degree in speech communications from North Carolina in 1993.
"To have an opportunity to coach at a football program that is rich in tradition such as Nebraska is awesome," Jordan said. "Coach Callahan has assembled a staff that will work hard to continue the winning tradition at Nebraska."
The hiring of Busch and Jordan leaves Callahan with just one full-time assistant coaching position open on his staff. The Huskers also have one graduate assistant spot to fill for the 2004 season.