Former Nebraska head coach Mike Riley is heading back to Oregon State as an assistant head coach, new Beavers coach Jonathan Smith announced Wednesday.
— Jonathan Smith (@Coach_Smith) December 7, 2017
Riley was the head coach at Oregon State for 14 years before accepting the head job at Nebraska in 2015. He compiled a 93-80 record in Corvallis with a 6-2 record in bowl games. But that success didn’t follow him to Nebraska, where Riley ended his tenure with a 19-19 record in three seasons.
Riley won nine games in 2016 and had Nebraska ranked as high as seventh in the country, the highest in-season ranking since 2011, but was let go by Athletic Director Bill Moos on Nov. 25 following the completion of a 4-8 season that was the worst such year at Nebraska since 1961. Riley’s legacy at Nebraska might not be viewed as poorly as his on-the-field struggles suggest though, as a hallmark of the Riley tenure was a first-class program.
On the day he was fired, Riley spoke with media and said goodbye to Husker fans. Moos asked Riley if he would want to speak, and Riley responded by saying how appreciative he was of the opportunity to coach Nebraska for three seasons, how sorry he was the wins didn’t come more frequently and how much he valued the relationships he built with people in the state.
Riley will also be joined by former Nebraska associate athletics director for football administration Dan Van De Riet at Oregon State as a chief of staff and director of football operations. Reports have also indicated that former Nebraska linebackers coach and Oregon State alum Trent Bray could join the Beavers' staff.
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.