Busch’s safeties have been among the team’s top athletes over the past three seasons. Among his defensive corps last year, Husker safeties recorded six of Nebraska’s 12 interceptions in 2006. Strong safety Tierre Green, who returns for his third season as a starter in the defensive backfield, added one pickoff and assisted the Blackshirts by ranking fifth in tackles. Rickey Thenarse, a freshman, added an interception and made significant contributions on special teams. Together they helped the Blackshirts rank 13th nationally in pass efficiency defense.
The lofty ranking was nothing new as Busch helped guide the 2005 Husker defense to an impressive No. 10 national pass efficiency defense ranking and the No. 2 ranking in the Big 12 Conference. The Huskers held six opponents to less than 200 yards passing and nine to one or fewer passing touchdowns in 2005.
Following the 2005 campaign, Daniel Bullocks joined his twin brother, Josh, as Daniel was selected by the Detroit Lions in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft. A year earlier, Josh, who started two years at NU, was a second-round selection of the New Orleans Saints. Ironically, each Bullocks brother was taken with the 40th pick.
Busch's expertise has also paid dividends for the Huskers on special teams. Over the past three seasons, the Huskers have blocked 15 kicks, including seven in 2005. NU's special teams recorded two important plays in the final minutes of a contest – a 40-yard field goal to beat Kansas State and a block of a Pitt field-goal attempt – that proved to be game winners.
Nebraska ranked in the top 25 nationally in net punting (24th in 2006) and punt returns (17th in 2005) under Busch during the past three years as well. NU’s kickoff coverage unit ranked 15th nationally in 2006 after finishing 22nd the previous year.
Busch spent his first season in Lincoln working with the outside linebackers, who accounted for three of the Huskers' top six tackle totals during the 2004 season.
Off the field, Busch is responsible for preparing the officials evaluation reports, serves as the team's liaison to the Big 12 Conference officials and is the staff resident expert on rules of the game.
Busch came to NU after spending three seasons at the University of Utah where he coached the safeties in 2001 and 2002 and the defensive backs in 2003.
Utah boasted one of the top defenses in the Mountain West Conference in 2003 to help the Utes to an impressive 10-2 record and their first outright conference title since 1957. Utah’s 10 victories that season tied the then-school record and its No. 21 final national ranking in both polls was the school’s highest since 1994. 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.
In 2002, Antwoine Sanders earned first-team all-league honors, a year after he was the league’s defensive newcomer of the year. In 2001, Utah ranked 17th nationally in pass efficiency defense while earning an 8-4 overall record that concluded with a victory over USC in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Before his three seasons at Utah, Busch spent four years 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. Busch also served as the co-defensive coordinator in 1996.
The Pender, Neb., native had previous ties to NU head coach Bill Callahan and defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove from their days together at Wisconsin. Busch spent the 1994 season as a graduate assistant at UW and helped the Badgers to a Hall of Fame Bowl appearance.
Busch was a graduate assistant at NU from 1990 to 1993, assisting George Darlington with the defensive backs. Among the defensive backs Busch worked with at Nebraska were all-league performers Tyrone Byrd, Barron Miles, Tyrone Williams and Mike Minter.
Busch began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Nebraska-Kearney in 1989, after playing wide receiver at Nebraska Wesleyan from 1985 to 1987. Busch earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Nebraska Wesleyan in 1988 and added a master’s degree from Nebraska-Kearney in 1990.
The Busch File
Date and Place of Birth: Born April 27, 1965, in O'Neill, Neb.
Education: Nebraska Wesleyan, bachelors in education, 1988; Nebraska-Kearney, masters degree, 1990
Playing Experience: 1985-87, Nebraska Wesleyan
Coaching Experience: 1989, Nebraska-Kearney (graduate assistant/defensive ends); 1990-93, Nebraska (graduate assistant/secondary); 1994, Wisconsin (graduate assistant); 1995, Northern Arizona (assistant coach/secondary); 1996, Northern Arizona (co-defensive coordinator/secondary); 1997-2000, New Mexico State (assistant coach/secondary); 2001-02, Utah (assistant coach/safeties); 2003, Utah (assistant coach/secondary); 2004, Nebraska (assistant coach/outside linebackers/special teams coordinator); 2005-present (assistant coach/safeties/special teams coordinator)
Recruiting Emphasis: Arizona, Southern California