Nebraska has its new athletic director as the university announced the hire of Bill Moos on Oct. 15. The 66-year-old Washington native has led multiple programs over the years, including Montana (1991-95), Oregon (1995-2007) and Washington State (2010-17).
Here are five things to know about Moos:
1. You Can Buy Beef from Him: Moos grew up on a cattle ranch in eastern Washington, and as a passion project he built his own operation raising hormone-free, grass-fed beef. Here, see for yourself:
“Two things I loved as a boy were sports and ranching,” Moos said in the video. Pretty sure those are the only two requirements to play fullback at Nebraska. Cultural fit? Check.
2. He Played Football at Washington State: Moos was a three-year letter winner at offensive tackle for the Cougars, earning first-team All Pac-8 honors and being named a co-captain in 1972.
3. He Brought Mike Leach to Washington State: Leach was down in Key West living his most pirate life after his ouster from Texas Tech in 2009, and Moos was able to convince him to come to Pullman. Demand for Leach was high after he’d gone to what has to be considered a Big 12 outpost — Lubbock, Texas — and built Texas Tech into a contender thanks in large part to his high-powered offense. Pullman is also somewhat remote and some of its greatest success came with a similarly pass-based attack. Moos saw the similarities, pursued Leach and got it done. In 2015, Leach’s Cougars climbed to No. 20 in the Associated Press poll, Washington State’s first top-20 ranking since 2003. Washington State was ranked 8th in last week’s poll at 6-0 before falling to California on Friday night.
“Mike Leach is a very, very good football coach and he’s proven than in two different conferences,” Moos said Sunday. “He has a style and he has a blueprint of his own that’s followed very closely . . . He’s a brilliant individual.”
And that’s just the most notable hire. According to Moos, he hired 11 head coaches at Washington State in his fist five years on the job.
4. Moos Was Pretty Plainspoken About Nebraska’s Current Football Fortunes: Moos and Mike Riley are least familiar with one another given their overlapping stints at Oregon and Oregon State respectively. But Moos was pretty diplomatic when he was asked about Nebraska’s current status and Riley’s future.
“As we speak right now, he’s my football coach and I’m going to support him,” he said. “We certainly hope for some victories here towards the latter part of the season and I’m eager to sit down and have a chance to visit with him.”
Later Moos summed up where the Huskers’ football program is at pretty succinctly:
“Once you do find success, it’s important that there’s a reinvestment in that success because it’s far different being hunted than the hunter. And Nebraska for years [in football] has been the hunted and we’re not right now. We need to get back into that position where everybody’s putting Nebraska and circling it on the schedule because that’s going to be one tough game . . . I believe that’s the Huskers’ rightful place and we’re going to see what we can do to get back there.”
5. Nebraska Did a Nice Job of Keeping Things Under Wraps: Rumors were pouring in on Saturday that the Huskers were close to having their guy, but none of the names I heard mentioned included Moos. The ADs at Arkansas, Kentucky, Iowa State and UCF all got mentioned multiple times either in published reports or under-the-radar whisperings. Each of those candidates, like Moos, had impressive resumes, but the real difference probably came down to fit.
“Fit is so important,” Chancellor Ronnie Green said. “You look for the skills and the acumen and the ability to deliver on that position, but fit is important. And I would emphasize, knowing Nebraska, fit is extremely important here, even more so in a lot of other places.
“When we met Bill Moos and talked to him it was so apparent that the fit to Nebraska was right.”