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Nebraska AD Successful

February 22, 2018

The night of October 14, 2017 was not a good one for Nebraska Athletics. Only one of Nebraska’s six major sports, volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, football, baseball and softball, were performing anywhere near their regular standards.  

 

As the Nebraska vs Ohio State football game was winding down in front of about 80,000 empty seats and 10,000 fans at Memorial Stadium, the fall of a once proud athletic department was obvious. As the clock finally hit triple zeroes, the scoreboard read Ohio State 56, Nebraska 14. The Buckeyes were leading 35-0 at halftime. The loss dropped Nebraska’s record to 3-4. To the east, in West Lafayette, the Nebraska Volleyball team was coming off of their 4th loss of the year with a 3-1 win over Purdue to improve their overall record to 18-4. The Volleyball team was considered a 3 or 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament, while the football team was considered one of the worst the school has fielded in over 50 years.  

 

On the hardwood, both of the basketball teams were getting ready for 2017-18 campaign. Both squads did not have high expectations for the year. The Men were coming off of a dismal 12-19 season, where coach Tim Miles barely kept his job after his fifth season, while the women were even worse at 8-22 in coach Amy Williams’ first season. The only bright spot was on the diamond where the baseball team was coming off a Big Ten regular season title. But Darin Erstad’s crew did have a disappointing 2 and Q exit in the NCAA Tournament. The softball team was coming off of a frustrating 30-30 campaign, just 4 years after a WCWS appearance.  

 

The following day, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green named Bill Moss the new Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Nebraska. Moos replaced Sean Eichorst who was fired on September 21, five days after Northern Illinois 21, Nebraska 17. Eichorst had a tenacious 5 years in Lincoln. No longer wanting to play Black Friday Football, hiring Mike Riley, barely appearing in public, announcing Tim Miles’ job would be retained via twitter, then never having a press conference, just to name a few.  

 

The Huskers ended their dismal football season with another 56-14 home loss, this time to Iowa, to finish 4-8, their worst record since 1961. Riley was fired the next day, and Nebraska successfully lured Scott Frost to come home and away from UCF. The Huskers also operated one of the best searches of this years’ coaching carousel. The transition was drama free, unlike the dumpster fire at Tennesse, uninspiring hires at Arizona St and Arkansas, and Florida who got their third choice. 

 

As the year progressed the other programs also began to thrive. The Nebraska Volleyball season was supposed to be a rebuilding year. The Huskers did not lose after October 15 and won the national championship in a 3-1 win over Florida. On that same night the men’s basketball team took the Kansas Jayhawks to the wire, falling in heartbreaking fashion 73-72 on a KU three in the waning seconds. 

 

As the hoops season progressed both teams were getting progressively better. Amy Williams’ squad was receiving votes in the January 29 AP Poll. As of February 1, Williams was the front runner for Big Ten coach of the year and surging towards a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Tim Miles was also having a good run the conference play, and on February 1 was fourth in the Big Ten Standings at 17-8 and 8-4 in conference play. Miles squad was also in contention for a berth in the NCAA Tournament, what would be only the eighth tourney berth in school history. 

 

As the baseball and softball seasons get under way, the entire athletic department is obviously thriving again, and Nebraska is winning again. It is not a coincidence a lot changed of October 15, Bill Moos has done a fantastic job thus far as Nebraska’s AD. 

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