Ever since Nebraska hired Bill Moos as its new athletic director in October, one question has stood out above all others: Will he keep Mike Riley as the Huskers football coach?
Speaking to ESPN’s Mitch Sherman on Monday, Moos gave what sure looks like a telling answer.
“It’s not like I’ve got a coach to hire this afternoon at 3:30,” Moos told ESPN. “Mike Riley deserves to finish the 2017 season. That’s how I operate.”
Not exactly an encouraging statement for a head coach coming off a 54-21 loss to Minnesota that left fans and even a Nebraska senator frustrated after the Huskers allowed a shocking 409 rushing yards. Nebraska is 4-6, and opened as a 23.5-point underdog to Penn State. But this is something Moos said right when he was hired at Nebraska.
“I don’t think anything’s really accomplished, and I never have, by firing a coach during the season,” Moos told reporters when Nebraska hired him, per Husker Illustrated. “Again, because of distractions and lack of focus, it can be done pretty soon afterwards, but you better have a plan in place of where you’re going. Because in this profession, if there’s several jobs open, it’s like everybody’s coming to everybody’s front door.
“I will tell you this. In my desk at Montana, top drawer, Oregon and Washington State, I have a shortlist in football and men’s and women’s basketball, of who I would be interested in.”
He repeated that stance on Monday, saying he wasn’t making any in-season move.
“I’ve got a coach. He’s got a staff,” Moos told ESPN. “We’ve got players. All that’s in place. I don’t think there’s anything gained by breaking up that furniture, even though it’s not producing like we want it to.
Nebraska ends its season on Black Friday, Nov. 24, against Iowa. Looks like Moos’ final decision on Riley’s job status will come out not long after that.