Buckle up, because the coaching carousel is spinning and Nebraska’s on it, looking to grab a defensive coordinator.
Things seem to be fluctuating from “this thing is wide open” to “this thing is almost done,” but based on what we’re hearing former UConn head coach and Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco might have his pick of the Nebraska or Arkansas jobs.
He has emerged as one of the top candidates in Lincoln, but there were reports yesterday that Diaco has interviewed for the Arkansas job. Diaco, a New Jersey native, was a linebacker at Iowa from 1992 to 1995. Razorbacks’ head coach Bret Bielema finished his playing career in Iowa City in 1992, but was then a GA for the Hawkeyes in 1994 and 1995.
It makes sense that there would be some demand for Diaco’s services, and if there is he could get expensive quickly. The average reported defensive coordinator salary in the SEC — not including Arkansas (open spot) Mississippi State (no announced salary for Todd Grantham yet) or Vanderbilt (not required to report) — is $1.03 million with LSU, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Auburn, Florida and Alabama all paying their DCs more than a million. Arkansas’s former defensive coordinator, Robb Smith, made a reported $825,000 last year.
The highest-paid assistant on Nebraska staff is currently offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf who was paid $527,875. If Diaco is the Huskers’ pick, Nebraska is probably going to offer SEC money, which sort of changes the pay scale for others members of the staff as well.
Should Diaco opt for Arkansas, there has been at least little smoke around Alabama outside linebackers coach Tosh Lupoi as a potential Nebraska candidate. California could be the complicating factor there. The Golden Bears appear close to hiring Justin Wilcox. Lupoi played and coached at Cal and is rumored to be considering a return to Berkley.
We have some additional updates on the search over on the Hail Varsity Premium board. Not a subscriber? Try us out for free for 30 days.
The Grab Bag
- If you’re feeling confident enough in Diaco-to-Nebraska to go on a deep dive into his scheme, you can do so here.
- And, if you’re football ravenous enough to go on a deep dive into why Oregon fell apart this past season, this is a fascinating read.
- Fenway Park is going to host a football triple-header next November: Brown-Dartmouth (11/10), UMass-Maine (11/11) and UConn-Boston College (11/18). Sign me up for that first weekend. UConn-BC? Meh.
- Ashland-Greenwood lineman Brett Kitrell has decommitted from Minnesota.
Today’s Song of Today
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.