Riley introduced as Nebraska head coach

Mike Riley led Oregon State to a record of 93-80 in 14 years as head coach. (Photo by Karl Maasdam)
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December 5, 2014 - 10:17am

Mike Riley was introduced as Nebraska's new head football coach Friday morning. Riley, 61, comes to Lincoln after 14 years at Oregon State in the Pac-12 conference. He has a college coaching record of 93-80 including 3 wins over top-10 ranked teams. He was also head coach of the the NFL's San Diego Chargers for 3 years from 1999-2001. 

The new Nebraska head coach, Mike Riley, was introduced to reporters Friday morning at Memorial Stadium. (Photo by Gavin Felix, NET)

The new Nebraska football coach displayed a laid back style as he answered sportswriter’s questions for thirty-five minutes. Mike Riley grew up in Idaho. Football has been his life. His father was a coach. He started his own coaching career in the 1970s after playing college football. He's even asked his family to stop by football stadiums while on family vacations.

"I grew up on the bus when my dad was a high school coach in northern Idaho, and that's what I was going to be," Riley said. "I went to college and got my history degree and I never taught history."

Coming to Nebraska, Riley ends his run with Oregon State where he coached a total of 14 years. He’d also coached in the Canadian Football League and NFL with mixed success. He hadn’t even considered changing jobs until he got the phone call from Nebraska on Monday. 

"We are in this together to build young men and win championships. And they don't have to be exclusive of one another," Riley said.

Riley is not  a stranger to the Nebraska legacy. He played college football at Alabama during the Bob Devaney era at Nebraska when Johnny Rogers was king of the running backs. And Riley had one of Tom Osborne’s books on the shelf in his office at Oregon State.

The first challenge for Riley is picking his coaching staff. He hinted a couple of his current assistant coaches may be asked to pack a moving van and head to Lincoln, Nebraska.

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