WASHINGTON — Tim Miles has a new addition to his to-do list as Nebraska head coach next season.
Oh yeah, he’s also going to be Nebraska’s head coach next season.
“I’m back!” Miles said after the Cornhuskers’ 76-67 overtime loss to Penn State in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament on Wednesday at Verizon Center.
That was a light moment in an otherwise somber and frustrating end to the season for Nebraska, which was once 3-0 in conference play before dropping 13 of its final 16 games.
But Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst tweeted his support for Miles immediately after the game ended.
— Shawn Eichorst (@BigRedAD) March 8, 2017
After the Miles quip about next season, he offered some insight into discussions about the future of the program.
“[Eichorst] and I talked over the last few weeks,” Miles said. “There was no doubt he was with me and supporting me. I knew he was probably going to do something after the season (like this). Shawn is a man that believes in us, supports us. Even when we were struggling, he wouldn’t waver. Although the media kind of has a field day with it — I guess they are just bored, right?
“Shawn has been there for me, and I’m going to come through for him. We’re going to show that his faith in us is justified.”
There’s plenty of work to be done for Miles to justify that faith. The Cornhuskers finished the season 12-19, the most losses by the Huskers since the 2002-03 and tied for the most losses in program history.
Next season will be Miles’ sixth with the team. Nebraska finished fourth in the Big Ten and reached the NCAA Tournament in 2013-14, but the past two seasons have not met expectations.
The Cornhuskers will have to replace do-it-all star Tai Webster, but he is the only regular from the rotation who won’t be back next season. Getting Ed Morrow, Jr., completely healthy will be a nice place to start.
Nebraska was a different team this season after he sustained a foot injury.
“All that drama,” Michael Jacobson said of the speculation about Miles’ job now being a thing of the past. “I think this means a lot. I think we all enjoy playing for Coach Miles. I think we all wanted him to stay. We’re excited and ready to get back to work. This year did not go the way we wanted.
“I think it has to be a culture thing. We have to trust each other, trust the coaches. We all just need to be together.”