Huskers Hire Riley As New Head Football Coach

MIke Riley of Oregon State has been named Nebraska's new head football coach. (Photo courtesy of Oregon State University)
December 4, 2014 - 1:30pm

The new head football coach at the University of Nebraska is Mike Riley, who has coached 14 seasons at Oregon State University.  Nebraska Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst made the announcement Thursday morning, four days after the firing of former Husker head coach Bo Pelini.


Riley has compiled a 93-80 record at Oregon State, spanning two different tenures in Corvallis.  He has a 6-2 record in postseason bowl games. 

“There was one coach who fit all the characteristics that I was seeking to lead our tradition rich football program," Eichorst said in a written statement released by UNL.  "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.”

“It is truly an honor to join the University of Nebraska family," Riley said in the university's news release.  "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.”

Riley will be formally introduced at a news conference Friday in Lincoln.  He will assume Nebraska's head coaching 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.

Riley replaces Bo Pelini, who was fired Sunday after the Huskers completed a 9-3 season.  Pelini's record was 67-27 in his seven seasons as head coach at Nebraska.

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.

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