Nebraska Cornhusker defensive coordinator Erik Chinander gives instructions during football practice
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

After Strong Season On Defense, Nebraska’s Erik Chinander Gets Contract Extension, Pay Raise

January 19, 2022

Coming off a 2021 season where Erik Chinander’s defense was the strength of Nebraska’s football team and showed improvement from previous years, the Huskers’ defensive coordinator was given a raise with an extra year tacked on to his contract.

According to a copy of the contract released by Nebraska, Chinander’s deal now runs through Dec. 31, 2023, and he’ll make $850,000 in 2022, which is a bump from his previous $800,000 salary.

Chinander wasn’t the only defensive staff member to see contract extensions and pay raises. Mike Dawson, Barrett Ruud and Travis Fisher’s deals were extended through Dec. 31, 2023, as well.

Dawson, who will coach the interior defensive linemen as well as the outside linebackers in 2022, gets a previously-agreed-upon pay raise of $50,000 that puts his 2022 salary at $550,000. Dawson also has a $100,000 retention bonus if he stays with the team through April 30, 2022.

Ruud, who coaches inside linebackers, will be paid $325,000 in 2022, which is a $75,0000 bump from his 2021 salary. Fisher will receive $450,000, which is the same as what he’s been being paid.

The Blackshirts allowed an average of just 19 points per game if one takes out the safeties, pick-sixes and punts returned for a touchdown that they were not on the field for. Even if all those miscues were put on the defense’s tab, the average comes out to 22.7, which is still Chinander’s best mark since 2018, when he got to Lincoln.

The contract details were finalized for some of the offensive staff, too, including tight ends coach Sean Beckton, who was extended through Dec. 31, 2023. Beckton will get a $25,000 raise, bringing his salary for 2022 to $450,000.

New running backs coach Bryan Applewhite,is set to make $325,000 on a two-year contract that runs through Dec. 31, 2023. Applewhite was recently on ‘Sports Nightly’ to detail his whirlwind last few weeks while also talking about Anthony Grant, and intriguing junior-college transfer running back from New Mexico Military Institute.

Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mark Whipple was given a two-year contract ending on Dec. 31, 2023 and will be paid $875,000 in 2022 and $900,000 in 2023, making him the highest-paid coordinator in Nebraska football history.

“I’m a guy that likes challenges,” Whipple said during his first meeting with the media at Nebraska. “I’ve been everywhere, done everything, but I haven’t been at Nebraska. I hadn’t coached in the Big Ten. So, why not?”

Whipple comes to Nebraska from the Atlantic Coast Conference champ Panthers, where he coached and developed 2021 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award winner and Heisman Trophy finalist quarterback Kenny Pickett. Under Whipple’s watch, Pickett, a fifth-year player, broke two records in last week’s ACC championship game against Wake Forest. One was Dan Marino’s school record of 79 career touchdowns passes—Pickett now holds the record with 81. The other was the ACC record for touchdown passes in a season, which Pickett now owns with 42, breaking the old mark of 41.

The Huskers’ new receivers coach, passing game coordinator and associate head coach, Mickey Joseph, will be paid $600,000 annually in a two-year contract that runs through Dec. 31, 2023.

“Mickey Joseph brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our coaching staff,” head coach Scott Frost said in a statement released by Nebraska. “He is an excellent teacher and mentor for young players and is a proven recruiter. We are excited to bring Mickey back to his alma mater and have him play a key role in the success of our offense.”

Offensive line coach Donovan Raiola will be paid $325,000 annually in a two-year contract that also runs through Dec. 31, 2023. New special teams coordinator Bill Busch was given a two-year contract ending on Dec. 31, 2023, and will be paid $400,000 in both years.

“Bill Busch is a strong addition to our full-time coaching staff,” Frost said in a statement. “Bill has brought a veteran presence to our staff over the past year in his role as an analyst. I look forward to him coordinating all aspects of our special teams moving forward. Bill’s experience and track record as both an outstanding coach and recruiter speaks for itself.”

Strength coach Zach Duval’s contract runs through Dec. 31, 2022, and will pay him $425,000.

Nebraska’s assistants are being paid a total of $5,150,000. Here’s a quick breakdown:

OC: Mark Whipple $875,000
RBs: Bryan Applewhite: $325,000
WRs: Mickey Joseph $600,000
TEs: Sean Beckton $450,000
OL: Donovan Raiola $325,000
DC: Erik Chinander $850,000
DL/OLB: Mike Dawson $550,000
ILB: Barrett Ruud $325,000
DBs: Travis Fisher $450,000
Special teams: Bill Busch $400,000

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