Nebraska defensive coordinator Erik Chinander picked up a cool honor on Monday. He was named as one of the nominees for the Broyles Award. The award goes to the top assistant coach in college football each year.
The Broyles Award—which has existed since 1996—is presented by The Broyles Foundation. The foundation assists Alzheimer’s caregivers and provides them with a game plan and playbook on how to manage their roles as caregivers during a difficult time.
— Nebraska Football (@HuskerFBNation) November 16, 2021
There is a long way to go in the process for those named to the list on Monday. Semifinalists will be announced first. Then comes an announcement on finalists before the college football awards names the winner. Texas coach Steve Sarkisian was last year’s winner. He was Alabama’s offensive coordinator before taking the Texas job.
Inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud felt consistency is why Chinander is being mentioned.
“I think it’s very well-deserved,” Ruud said. “The best way I can describe football in general whether it’s a good coach or player is consistency. He’s extremely consistent. His defense is a product of that. We’ve been pretty consistent on defense this year. He’s the coordinator so he’s been a huge part of that. The way he approaches work on a daily basis in all facets, whether its game planning, interacting with players or recruiting he is extremely consistent. That’s why he’s getting recognized which is very deserving.”
The last five winners of the award helped teams to huge success the seasons that they won it. Sarkisian helped Alabama to a national championship in 2020. Joe Brady won it at LSU in 2019. The Tigers also won the national championship that year. Mike Locksley won it at Alabama in 2018 and the Tide won the national championship over Georgia that season. Tony Elliott won the award at Clemson in 2017 when the Tigers also won the national championship. Brent Venables won the award in 2016, although Clemson did not win the national championship. The Tigers lost to Alabama in the 2016 national championship. The last winner of the award to not at least make the title game was Lincoln Riley in 2015.
The only year that Nebraska has ever had an assistant up for the award was 1996. Then defensive coordinator Charlie McBride was a finalist that season. He didn’t win the award. It went to legendary Florida State defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews. The most recent Nebraska related news with the award was in 2017. Troy Walters was a finalist for the award at Central Florida. That was right before coming to Nebraska as offensive coordinator.
Chinander received texts about it Monday night, which is how Chinander learned about the news. He was actually watching film as the texts started flooding in.
“I feel very honored to be mentioned with the other group of coaches, Chinander said. “To be considered by the Broyles Foundation and the Broyles family. But with that being said, usually when things happen in a bad way on defense that falls directly on me. These types of good things that happen on defense or awards or those types of things that’s a direct reflection of the assistant coaches and the players that we have. I know that and I know that I wouldn’t be under consideration for any type of things if we didn’t have the kind of kids we have and the men we have coached in those positions. So I’m thankful for them as well.“
Being a nominee for this award is a big deal. Nebraska’s assistant coaches haven’t often been honored in this way since the award has existed. Chinander’s work is being recognized during a 3-7 season. That shows the respect that people have for the Huskers defense and the job he is doing.