Scott Frost said all the right things during his introductory press conference – about returning to greatness, about going to work, about being home – but now the pageantry is done, the “welcome home” sign that bathed Memorial Stadium in a sea of red Saturday night has been shut off and Frost has gone to work.
One of the first things that will be done is piecing together Frost’s staff. When asked about it Sunday morning, Frost said he would “take a little bit of time to name those guys,” but its starting to come together.
“A lot of coaches, when they get a bigger job or change from one school to another, think they need to go out and hire some different people,” Frost said. “But the guys that helped us win there can help us win here and I expect the majority of them to join me.”
Athletic Director Bill Moos said Nebraska had someone in place in Orlando following the Knights’ AAC championship win Saturday to hire several of Frost’s assistants “on the spot” in order to get them out on the recruiting trail as quickly as possible. The salary pool for assistants is expected to be in the range of $5 million.
Among those assistants that have already been working are names like quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco, defensive coordinator Erik Chinander and running backs coach Ryan Held. Former Husker linebacker Barrett Ruud is also expected to join Frost’s staff as a linebackers coach.
The biggest name from Frost’s UCF staff, offensive coordinator Troy Walters, was named the Knights’ interim head coach Saturday night. At this point, it doesn’t appear that Walters will be joining Frost in Lincoln.
“The staff I hired at UCF is a group of men that are unbelievable coaches that have unbelievable character,” he said. “If it wasn’t that way, we wouldn’t have been able to make the turnaround that we made.”
Frost is expected to fill out his staff with people he knows as opposed to big-name, high-profile hires, and his comments illustrate that much. Held was a teammate of Frost’s at Nebraska, Verduzco was with Frost during his time at Northern Iowa and Chinander spent time with Frost at Oregon. Expect an offensive coordinator hire to fit that same mold.
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.