Whose decision was it for Darin Erstad to step down as Nebraska's head baseball coach on Monday?
"It wasn't mine," Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos said during an impromptu appearance on Husker Sports Nightly just over an hour after the news broke.
It wouldn't have been much like Erstad to leave that sort of decision up to others. He informed the team he was stepping down shortly after it returned to Lincoln from the Oklahoma City regional on Monday. The university announced the change shortly thereafter.
"This is something that I think he's been contemplating for some time," Moos said. "It really centers around nothing else other than he wants to spend more time around his family."
Erstad cited not wanting to "miss seeing our kids grow up" in his statement accompanying the press release.
The surprising news came on the heels of the Huskers' fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last six years. Nebraska also won the Big Ten regular-season title under Erstad in 2017 and played for the conference tournament title three times in his eight seasons.
"That's the kind of résumé I'm looking for in all of our sports programs. I wish him well and I am going to miss him," Moos said. "There's no greater Husker. I don't care whose name you bring up, he's as good as there is."
Erstad, who played football and baseball for the Huskers, finished with a 267-193-1 record at Nebraska. His worst record as the Huskers' head coach came in 2018 as Nebraska went 24-28 and finished 10th in the Big Ten, failing to qualify for the conference tournament in Omaha.
Moos noted that he didn't think Erstad could've retired "if he felt he had a miserable season and may have felt he was letting the fans down."
Nebraska, fielding a young team, responded in 2019. The Huskers rallied from a mid-season slump that saw them lose nine of 13 games to win four of their last six in the regular season, going 2-1 in series against Arizona State and Michigan. Nebraska advanced to the Big Ten Tournament championship game, falling to Ohio State, and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament where it went 1-2 over the weekend.
"I still think this was a successful season and I think that he did, too, and wanted to leave on a good note," Moos said.
Now Nebraska's AD will be in the coaching market again after already navigating head-coaching changes with the football and men's basketball programs.
"The University of Nebraska has a lot to offer and this is a destination," Moos said. "You don't come here to go get another job, you come here because this is the better job. We have everything in place to be extremely successful in baseball and we'll go out and look for the very best and test the market and make a decision after that."
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.