Football Coaching Staff
Barrett Ruud
Assistant Coach - Inside Linebackers
Coach Info:
Position: Assistant Coach - Inside Linebackers
City/State: Lincoln, Neb.
High School: Southeast
Alma Mater: Nebraska
Graduating Year: 2005

Barrett Ruud, the all-time leading tackler in Nebraska history, is in his second season as the Huskers' inside linebackers coach in 2019. Ruud entered the coaching ranks shortly after an eight-year NFL career, and he has been a member of Scott Frost's staff in four of his five seasons, including each of the last four years.

Ruud spent his first four years in the profession in an off-field coaching role, but he was elevated to inside linebackers coach in January of 2018 on the first day that FBS programs were permitted to add a 10th full-time assistant coach.

Ruud made a big impact in his first season on the sideline, as his starting inside linebackers were the top two tacklers on the team, combining for 195 stops. Mohamed Barry had the top tackling season by a Husker linebacker in seven seasons in his first year working with Ruud, making 112 tackles, ranking second in the Big Ten in tackles per game and earning all-conference accolades. Dedrick Young II also had a career high in tackles in his lone season with Ruud as his position coach, which is worth noting considering Young ranks fifth at Nebraska in career tackles.

It should come as no surprise that Ruud produced two prolific tacklers in his first season coaching Nebraska's inside linebackers. As a Husker linebacker himself, he recorded 432 tackles, 90 more than any other player in program history. Ruud then went on to make more than 650 tackles during his NFL career.

Nebraska (2014; 2018)

In his first season as a full-time assistant coach in 2018, Ruud's inside linebackers helped Nebraska improve by 27 spots in the national scoring defense rankings from the 2017 season and by 61 spots in pass efficiency defense. Both of Ruud's starting inside linebackers put together impressive seasons in 2018, with Mohamed Barry leading the team with 112 tackles and Dedrick Young II ranking second with 83 stops. 

Barry enjoyed a breakout season under Ruud's tutelage en route to All-Big Ten honors. Barry recorded 112 tackles in 2018 after totaling just 44 stops in his first two seasons combined. He ranked second in the Big Ten and 38th nationally with an average of 9.3 tackles per game, and Barry's 112 tackles were the most by a Husker since All-American Lavonte David had 133 tackles in 2011. Barry had seven games with 10 or more tackles, becoming only the fifth Husker to have seven double-figure tackle efforts in one season and the first in eight years. Barry also set a career high with 11 tackles for loss and posted the first 2.0 sacks of his career.

Young was nearly as productive in his only year under Ruud, setting career highs in what was one of the most impressive statistical careers by a Husker defender. Young totaled a career-high 83 tackles in 2018 to end his career with 284 tackles, the fifth-highest total in Nebraska history. In addition to his career high in tackles, Young also broke up a career-high five passes and intercepted the first pass of his career under Ruud's guidance.

Ruud also served as a defensive intern at Nebraska in 2014. That marked his first venture into the coaching profession and came two years after his NFL playing career had ended.

Before Nebraska

UCF: Following an eight-year career as an NFL linebacker, Ruud got his start in coaching on the Nebraska staff as a defensive intern in 2014. Ruud then served as a quality control administrator on Frost's staff at UCF in 2016 and 2017, helping the Knights to the greatest two-year turnaround in modern college football history, including a 13-0 record in 2017, when UCF was the nation's only unbeaten team and won the American Athletic Conference title and the Peach Bowl.

Ruud is in his fourth season overall working with defensive coordinator Erik Chinander. Ruud helped Chinander's UCF defense make dramatic improvements, especially in takeaways. The Knights were also among the top teams in the nation in takeaways, with their 58 takeaways in 2016 and 2017 ranking third among FBS schools in that time period.

Playing Career (Nebraska & NFL)

Ruud boasts extensive knowledge of the linebacker position from his playing days. He totaled a school-record 432 tackles in his Nebraska career, 90 more than any other Husker. He was a freshman All-American, a three-time All-Big 12 selection and a 2004 third-team All-American. Ruud played in the 2002 Rose Bowl, when Nebraska battled Miami for the national championship.

Following his NU career, Ruud was a second-round pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected him with the 36th overall pick. Ruud spent eight seasons in the NFL, recording 658 tackles with six sacks, seven interceptions and six forced fumbles. He played six seasons in Tampa Bay and also played for Tennessee, New Orleans and Houston.


Ruud graduated with a degree in business management from Nebraska in 2005. He and his wife, Jenna, have two sons, Brooks and Hudson.

Coaching Career

2018-present: Nebraska, Assistant Coach (Inside Lienbackers)
2016-17: UCF, Quality Control Administrator
2014: Nebraska, Defensive Intern