In a shocking move on the coaching carousel, Mike Riley has been hired away from Oregon State by the Nebraska Cornhuskers. While this move does not impact Washington Husky football directly, there are several indirect impacts that can and should be discussed.
First is the recruiting situation. As Kirk noted in his recruiting roundup, Oregon State was considered a strong dark horse candidate for Washington target Benning Pota'e. There are several other candidates that both Washington and Oregon State were competing for. The one commit on the Beavers that I think was a UW target was TE Matt Pistone out of Arizona. We'll have to see what how all of that shakes out.
Second is the coaching replacement situation. It's hard to ignore the fact that Jonathan Smith is a former OSU player and considered one of the greatest Beavers to ever don the Orange and Black. Other replacement candidates that come immediately to mind are guys like Dennis Erickson (what?), Oregon OC Scott Frost, EWU HC Beau Baldwin and Fresno State HC Tim DeRuyter. But that's just off the top of my head. Who knows?
Here is the release from Nebraska. Use the comments section as your open discussion thread.
The University of Nebraska has hired Mike Riley as its new Head Football Coach, Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst announced today. Riley will be formally introduced at a news conference on Friday, December 5th at 9:00 a.m. in the West Memorial Stadium – 3rd Floor Club.
Riley comes to Nebraska after 14 seasons as the head coach at Oregon State University, spanning two different tenures in Corvallis. Riley has led OSU to 93 wins and a 6-2 record in postseason bowl games. In addition to his time at Oregon State, Riley has served as the head coach of the San Diego Chargers, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League, with whom he won two Grey Cup Championships, and the San Antonio Riders in the World Football League. He has served as an assistant coach at California, USC, Linfield College, Whitworth and Northern Colorado as well as with the New Orleans Saints and in the Canadian Football League.
Riley is a native of Idaho and a graduate of the University of Alabama, where he played for Paul "Bear" Bryant and won three SEC titles and one National Championship.
Mike and his wife, Dee, have two children, Matthew and Kate, and one grandchild, Eli.
Mike will assume his duties immediately but will not coach the Huskers in the upcoming bowl game as Interim Head Coach Barney Cotton will coach the team through the bowl.
Statement from Chancellor Harvey Perlman
"We have high expectations of the men and women who teach and coach our students and Mike Riley is an outstanding addition to our family. I want to welcome Mike and his family to Nebraska and thank Shawn Eichorst for his great efforts in bringing Mike to Lincoln."
Statement from Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst:
"There was one coach who fit all the characteristics that I was seeking to lead our tradition rich football program. Mike Riley has a proven record of success, a sound approach to football and teaching, an understanding of the educational mission of our university and the integrity and values that we cherish at Nebraska. I have no doubt that Mike will assemble a tremendous staff and lead our student-athletes to win Big Ten titles and compete for national championships in the years ahead."
Statement from Mike Riley:
"It is truly an honor to join the University of Nebraska family. Though we love Corvallis and Oregon State, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to coach at one of the nation’s most storied football programs and I can’t wait to get started. My sincere thanks to Chancellor Perlman and Shawn Eichorst for their confidence in me and I look forward to becoming a part of the Nebraska family and building upon the great history and tradition."