Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Hires New Director of Player Development as well as Offensive and Defensive Analysts

February 08, 2021

Nebraska announced three new hires on Monday, reuniting coach Scott Frost with a former coworker from his Central Florida days and a former player from his Oregon days, as well as setting up a reunion with a defensive mind Nebraska fans will surely recognize.

First, Nebraska has hired Marcus Castro-Walker to be its new Director of Player Development. Previously, he served as the director of college personnel for Herm Edwards at Arizona State, but before that was Frost’s director of player development at Central Florida in 2016.

Castro-Walker’s role with the Sun Devils was very similar to the one he will hold at Nebraska. In his time at Arizona State (which began in 2008 and only took him away for the one season at UCF), Castro-Walker served as a graduate assistant, an academic coach and later the director of college personnel. He has assisted student-athletes during that time with academics and life skills training, as well as working with and supporting academic decisions and personal development.

“Marcus Castro-Walker has a natural ability to connect with young student-athletes, help them in their transition to college and maximize their full experience as a college football player,” Frost said in a release. “He will be a great supplement to many of the off-field programs our staff already has in place for our players.

Ron Brown previously held the position for Nebraska, but has been reassigned within the staff. Frost addressed the change for Brown on a recent appearance of Sports Nightly.

“I can’t say enough about Coach Brown for who he is as a person and also the value he brings to our program on a daily basis,” Frost said. “I’m going to kind of reassign, I think, to get the most out of everything he brings to the table for us. He’s as good of coach as we have in the building. He’s a great influence on the players. We’re going to try to max out what he can do for us by shifting him around a bit.”

Rejoining Frost’s staff after playing under him as an Oregon receiver is Keanon Lowe, who will become an offensive analyst for the Huskers. As a player, Lowe had 68 career catches for nearly 900 yards and 11 touchdowns from 2011 to 2014. During his first two years in Oregon as a player, Frost served as the Ducks’ receivers coach before being promoted to offensive coordinator. In Lowe’s final two years, current Nebraska offensive coordinator Matt Lubick served as Oregon’s receivers coach.

“Keanon Lowe is a rising star in the coaching profession and will complement our offensive staff very well,” Frost said. “Having coached Keanon at Oregon, I know the type of character, competitiveness, and football IQ he brings to our program.”

Lowe spent one year most recently at UCLA as an analyst. Prior to serving on Chip Kelly’s staff, Lowe was the head coach at Parkrose High School and West Linn High School in Oregon, though he left the West Linn job before coaching a game to join Kelly’s Bruins staff. He also served on Kelly’s pro staffs with the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles.

Most notably, though, was what Lowe did away from the football field while at Parkrose High School. In May of 2019, Lowe thwarted a potential school shooting by stopping a student with a shotgun from entering into a classroom.

“Everything lined up for me to be in that room on that day and make that play,” he told ESPN. “It was like, ‘All right, Keanon, you say you want to change lives. You say you want to do all this. You say you want to be here for the kids. Well, prove it, right there, in that instant.'”

Finally, Nebraska is hiring Bill Busch as a defensive analyst. Busch had two previous four-year stints at Nebraska, most recently as an assistant coach from 2004 to 2007. He also worked at Nebraska as a graduate assistant from 1990 to 1993. He’s spent the last three years coaching safeties at LSU.

“Bill Busch has a proven track record of coaching success at the highest level throughout his career, and he will be a great addition to our defensive staff,” Frost said. “Bill has an investment in this program and understands what it takes to win at Nebraska.”

The two analysts will be limited to off-field instruction for the Huskers. They can do film work and set up drills during practice, but can’t coach on the field during practice. Interestingly, Nebraska still has not made a hire to address its special teams. Jonathan Rutledge held the title of special teams analyst last season, but was let go earlier this offseason. Nebraska has not publicly announced his replacement. The position is still listed on the university’s jobs website.

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