COACHING SHAKEUP

Story by Jeff Bundy • Photos by Nebraska Athletic Communications

Nebraska Athletic Director Trev Alberts announced Nov. 8 that Scott Frost would be returning for a fifth season as head football coach and had agreed to a restructured contract.

Alberts said that in his four months at Nebraska, he’d closely observed the football team and had several productive discussions with Frost.

“Scott has laid out a clear plan and vision for the future of Nebraska football,” Alberts said.

Part of that future included the dismissal of four offensive coaches: offensive coordinator/ wide receivers coach Matt Lubick, offensive line coach/run game coordinator Greg Austin, running backs coach Ryan Held and quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco.

Austin, Held and Verduzco all coached for Frost at Central Florida and came with Frost to Nebraska. Lubick coached with Frost at Oregon. Austin and Held played football at Nebraska.

“The guys we let go are really good coaches and even better men,” Frost said.

Tight ends coach Sean Beckton was the only offensive coach retained.

Frost’s restructured contract for the 2022 season has a pay reduction from $5 million to $4 million and reduced his $15 million buyout to $7.5 million.

Frost’s new contract was posted on the university’s transparency website Nov. 12. Frost’s pay could increase back to $5 million in 2023 if the head coach meets agreed upon “metrics,” which were not disclosed in the contract. The buyout for Frost decreases to $2.5 million each year and in the last year of the contract, which is up in 2026, it’s $1.25 million.

Frost would collect $5 million per year remaining on his contract if he is dismissed prior to Oct. 1, 2022.

Frost said he and Alberts talk every week, and the discussions about coaching changes had been going back and forth for a couple of weeks.

The timing of letting coaches go in the middle of the season was unfortunate, Frost said.

“Everything is going to move fast at the end of the season with recruiting and signing, and it’s real important to get guys in place for signing day,” he said.

The search for new coaches started immediately, Frost said.

“There are a lot of people with jobs in other places and I imagine nothing can be done until the season is over.”

Four offensive analysts currently on staff will fill the coaching vacancies for the rest of the season. Ron Brown will coach running backs, Mike Cassano will coach receivers, Steve Cooper will handle quarterbacks and Frank Verducci will coach the offensive line for the final two games.

Frost said he originally brought the contract restructure up to Alberts who then brought some ideas back to Frost, who is 15-27 in four seasons at NU.

“I understand we have not won at a high enough level, but I am confident our football program will continue to take steps forward,” Frost said.

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