Nebraska Cornhuskers defensive line coach Tony Tuioti works with the defensive line during football practice
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Defensive Line Coach Tony Tuioti Leaving For Oregon

December 22, 2021

New Oregon head coach Dan Lanning is looking to build a staff around him, and that process brought him to Lincoln.

Nebraska defensive line coach Tony Tuioti is leaving the Huskers to coach the same position in Eugene, a source confirmed to Hail Varsity. Tuioti has been at Nebraska for the past three seasons after being hired by head coach Scott Frost in 2019. 

The move to Oregon will put Tuioti back on the west coast, where he coached for a large majority of his career. Prior to Nebraska, Tuioti coached the d-line at California. He began his college coaching career at his alma mater, Hawaii, and was there for six seasons from 2008-13 where he had two-season stints as director of player personnel and linebackers and d-line coach.

After being a quality control and assistant d-line coach with the Cleveland Browns from 2014-15, Tuioti jumped back into college football in 2016 as Michigan’s director of player personnel. 

Tuioti will be leaving a d-line room at Nebraska that has improved and done well against Big Ten offensive lines. Playing in front of the Blackshirt d-line, two linebackers finished with the third- and sixth-most tackles in the Big Ten in Luke Reimer (109) and Nick Henrich (99). The Huskers’  run defense held opponents to 146.92 rushing yards per game, which was the fewest since Tuioti got to Lincoln. Against conference competition, the run defense held opposing offenses to just 3.98 yards per carry, the lowest mark since the 3.51 average from 2013.

With Damion Daniels and Deontre Thomas having declared for the NFL Draft and Ben Stille exhausting his eligibility, the Huskers still boast young talent in the trenches. Players like Ty Robinson, Casey Rogers, Nash Hutmacher and the pair of 2021 class members, Ru’Quan Buckley and Jailen Weaver, have potential. Tuioti also recruited Brodie Tagaloa, a three-star defensive lineman/tight end from San Francisco, in the 2022 class, and four-star linebacker Wynden Ho’ohuli of Hawaii in the 2021 class.

Tuioti will be stepping into a d-line room at Oregon that just signed a four-star prospect in Gracen Halton and three-star Ben Roberts, who recently visited Tuioti in Lincoln before choosing the Ducks last week during the early signing period.

The loss of Tuioti creates another opening on Nebraska’s coaching staff. There’s currently not a full-time running backs coach or special teams coordinator. Mike Dawson, the outside linebackers coach who handled special teams duties this past season, coached the d-line at Nebraska the year before Tuioti got to Lincoln, in 2018. 

Under Tuioti’s watch, the Davis Twins—Khalil and Carlos—were drafted into the NFL in the sixth and seventh rounds in 2020, respectively. Current San Francisco 49er Darrion Daniels is a third former Blackshirt lineman who played under Tuioti in 2019 and is currently on an NFL roster.

Tuioti has three sons who either are playing college football or are going to in the near future. Teivis Tuioti spent two seasons at Nevada before entering his name in the transfer portal and quickly picking up offers, Nebraska included. Teilor Tuioti recorded 38 tackles this season for New Mexico Military Institute, which beat Iowa Western to win the National Junior College Athletic Association championship last weekend. Teitum Tuioti is a 2023 three-star edge prospect at nearby Lincoln Southeast High School who owns offers from Nebraska and many other Power Five programs.

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