Nebraska’s slight restructuring of its personnel and operations departments took a step forward on Wednesday with the hire of Kevin Cristello as the Huskers’ assistant director of football operations. Cristello comes to Lincoln via Eastern Kentucky where he spent the previous six seasons as the Colonels’ director of football operations.
Cristello’s hire is a part of Nebraska’s ongoing efforts to more clearly define its “recruiting department.”
Per the university release, it sounds like Cristello, despite the “assistant” at the front of his title, will handle many of the typical DFO responsibilities — scheduling team travel, arranging lodging on the road, etc. That will allow Dan Van De Riet, who was promoted to associate athletics director for football administration yesterday, to oversee operations without having to handle all of the day-to-day duties of the position. That frees up Van De Riet to also oversee the recruiting department.
Got all that? If not the key point here is that Nebraska seems to be pretty serious about this recruiting department idea.
As for Cristello, all of his football experience to this point has been gained in his home commonwealth of Kentucky. He played at Morehead State before beginning his coaching career at his alma mater. He then spent three years at Kentucky Christian, including one as the interim head coach, before moving into football operations at Eastern Kentucky in 2011.
If you’re not that familiar with Eastern Kentucky, it’s a pretty solid FCS program, winning two national titles and 20 conference titles. Much of that success came under coach Roy Kidd, who led the Colonels from 1964 to 2002 and won 314 games there, second only to Grambling’s Eddie Robinson for most FCS/I-AA victories.
Washington Joins the Coaching Ranks
Former Nebraska cornerback Fabian Washington is getting into coaching at the high school level according to a report from the Bradenton Herald.
Washington recently landed an assistant coaching position with Kissimmee Liberty.
“I look forward to him passing down that knowledge and getting kids excited,” Liberty athletic director Corey Edwards said. “Just not to aspire to be in the NFL, but to go on to college and get that education. I think he’ll bring both aspects to our program and to our kids.”
Washington played at Bayshore and the University of Nebraska. The Oakland Raiders drafted Washington after he ran a 4.29 40-yard time at the NFL combine in 2005. He played three seasons in Oakland, before finishing his playing career for the Baltimore Ravens, with his last season coming in 2010.
Washington won’t be the only ex-NFL player on the Kissimmee Liberty sidelines. His Oakland Raiders teammate, wide receiver Doug Gabriel, recently took over as head coach.
The Grab Bag
- Time is getting short, but if you’re looking for a bracket group to join we have a Hail Varsity group at ESPN.
- Couple of good reads for you from yesterday: Erin Sorensen on what Michael Rose-Ivey and Mike Riley learned from each other this season, and Jacob Padilla on what Jeriah Horne’s departure means for the Huskers. (Both Premium.)
- Fascinating read on John Calipari, who doesn’t have a computer in his office.
- Stanley Morgan Jr. gets a nod as a potential breakout player in the Big Ten in this ESPN roundtable.
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.