Huskers fire Frost after latest debacle
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Scott Frost era at Nebraska ended at Nebraska on Sunday morning, about 12 hours after the latest disaster that defined his 47-game game run was complete.
NU athletic director Trev Alberts announced he the firing of the former Husker quarterback just three games into Frost’s fifth season. The knockout punch came in a 45-42 loss to 25-point underdog Georgia Southern in a game in which NU gave up 642 yards, the most-ever by an opponent in Memorial Stadium.
Frost was 16-31 at Nebraska and 10-26 in Big Ten games — the worst four-year stretch of Big Red football in over 60 years. Nebraska is one of two out of 66 programs competing in the Power Five conferences that has not reached a bowl game in the last five seasons. The other is Kansas.
The Cornhusker state native, who engineered NU’s last national title 25 years ago, was 5-24 in games decided by one score. Saturday’s likely stung more than any for anyone invested in the program because it came at the hands of a Sun Belt Conference foe that ran roughshod in front of a “Sea of Red” crowd that grew both hostile and solemn, with occasional boo’s and “Fire Frost” chants.
“Earlier today I met with Coach Frost and informed him we were making a change in the leadership of our football program, effective immediately,” Alberts said. “Scott has poured his heart and soul into the Nebraska football program both as a quarterback and head coach, and I appreciate his work and dedication.”
Associate Head Coach Mickey Joseph, who like Frost was a quarterback under Tom Osborne during the glory days of the program, will be an interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
“After the disappointing start to our season, I decided the best path forward for our program was to make a change in our head coaching position,” Alberts added.
“I hoped this day would never come,” Alberts said in a Sunday afternoon news conference.
In the conference, Alberts gave reasoning for the decision to remove Scott Frost as head coach. Alberts said accountability was one factor.
“16-31 is not a record acceptable to us,” Alberts said.
Alberts also said Frost was understanding of the decision.
Nebraska Athletics will pay out Frost’s $15 million contract - which would have been reduced to $7.5 million by Oct. 1.
“Great coaches are people of character, people managers, grinders, people who players want to follow,” Alberts said.
Alberts added that Frost did not lack those characteristics.
The program will begin a national search for a new coach, with Alberts mentioning Joseph potentially becoming a candidate.
“Love to see Mickey grow into an obvious candidate and he’ll be part of that conversation,” Alberts said.
Joseph, 54, piloted the Huskers option offense in 1990, but severely injured his knee while running into a sideline bench at Oklahoma in the team’s final regular season game. He joined Frost’s re-tooled staff before this season after five seasons as an assistant at LSU — the last two as an assistant head coach.
His only head coaching experience came at NAIA Langston for two seasons, going 13-7 in 2011-12. Five years and three jobs up the NCAA ranks later, he was at LSU.
The Omaha North High School alumnus will make his NCAA head coaching debut against No. 6 Oklahoma, a current 15-point favorite, on Saturday in a nationally televised “Big Noon Saturday” game on FOX in Lincoln at 11 a.m.
The star analyst of the “Big Noon” traveling crew is former Florida and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, who guided three national titles and plenty of off-field turmoil at both schools.
Chances are, some Husker fans will bark their pleas for the failed Jacksonville Jaguars coach to come back to Lincoln to coach, while others will hope Alberts does not even consider the polarizing figure and proven college winner.
Whether Alberts, the All-American linebacker on Osborne’s 1993 team, who lost the national championship game to Florida State in crushing fashion, will pay any mind to either sentiment is unclear.
Iowa State coach Matt Campbell is a reported target, according to a tweet from former Sports Illustrated writer and Nebraska native Lars Anderson, who has close ties to the program (or claims as such) recently published a New York Times best-selling book about Alabama coach Nick Saban.
Wisconsin defensive coordinator and former NFL safety Jim Leonard, regarded as one of the best at his craft in the nation, is also a name likely to be tossed around.
Since Osborne retired after a third national championship in four years in 1997, the Big Red has fired each of its next five head coaches — Frank Solich (1997-2003), Bill Callahan (2004-07), Bo Pelini (2008-14), Mike Riley (2015-17) and Frost (2018-22).
Solich and Pelini were fired after nine-win seasons. Callahan and Riley, both after going 5-7.
That record was Frost’s high-water mark in four-plus seasons marked by wild flashes of both promise and rock-bottom futility.
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