Nebraska fires Scott Frost three games in fifth season

One of college football’s most promising coaching hires of the late 2010s met its dismal end on Sunday, when Nebraska fired Scott Frost three games into the fifth season of one of the worst coaching tenures ever. of recent college football history, given expectations and resources. Frost’s 16-31 record at the alma mater for which he played quarterback in the 1990s would have surprised anyone present at the start.

It was December 2017, when a swaggering Frost scored two resounding successes that seemed to make him unmissable: a stint as Oregon’s offensive coordinator that included mentoring trophy-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota. 2014 Heisman in Oregon’s season as a national runner-up; and a turn as head coach at Central Florida, which went 12-0 in 2017 in Frost’s second season, sparked talk of a self-declared national championship and made the Frost-Nebraska rumbles unstoppable. .

Such unmistakable momentum, along with Frost’s past as a native of tiny Wood River, Neb., and as quarterback for the last of Nebraska’s five national title teams (the co-champions from 1997- 1998), incited dozens of Nebraska football dignitaries. congregating in an in-person reception from Frost as an obvious bet to bring Cornhuskers back from pretty good to consistently great. Governor Pete Ricketts declared September 1, 2018, a memorial “Scott Frost Day,” and fanfare saw Frost restore the cherished program from winning percentages deemed insufficient, such as the .551 under Bill Callahan (27-22 ), the . 713 under Bo Pelini (67-27) and the .500 under Mike Riley (19-19), back to Bob Devaney’s .829 (101-20-2 from 1962-1972) or Tom Osborne’s .836 (255 -49-3 from 1973 to 1997).

Instead, the decorated past program never reached a bowl match under Frost, who went 4-8, 5-7, 3-5, 3-9 and 1-2, and developed a bent amazing for losing close matches, a feature. of failed coaching. These began with opening losses in 2018 to Colorado by 33-28 and Troy by 24-19, unsuspected hints of things to come. The record in single-scored games would reach an astonishing record of 5-22 in games decided by score, 0-8 in Frost’s fourth season, 2021, a 3-9 downer that resulted in a pay cut. The grind ended in a 45-42 home loss on Saturday to Georgia Southern, who rushed 75 yards to score the game-winning touchdown with 36 seconds left, and whose new coach Clay Helton had suffered the same fate the second weekend of September last year in Southern California.

“Earlier today I met with Coach Frost and informed him that we were making a change to the direction of our football program, effective immediately,” said sporting director Trev Alberts, also a former Cornhusker, in a statement. “Scott has invested his heart and soul in the Nebraska football program both as a quarterback and as a head coach, and I appreciate his hard work and dedication.

“After a disappointing start to our season” – a 1-2 record including a loss to Northwestern in Ireland and a win against North Dakota – “I have decided that the best way forward for our program is to change our head coaching position. Associate Head Coach Mickey Joseph will be our interim head coach for the remainder of the 2022 season.”

Joseph, 54, a former Nebraska quarterback himself, has coached at 14 high schools, colleges and an NFL team, including LSU from 2017 to 2021, which included its national championship year of 2019. Joseph played quarterback for Osborne from 1988 to 1991, mostly as a backup, completing 55 of 124 passes for 909 yards and rushing 180 times for 1,091. Joseph becomes the first black coach in any sport in Nebraska .

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