Monday, December 31, 2007

Bay Area Husker ENews 12-24-07

Ho, Ho, Ho! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Fellow Bay Area Husker Fans!

For the longest time it looked like Santa was going to leave sticks and coal in the Husker Nation stocking again this year, but lo and behold, the Huskers find tidings of comfort and joy just in time for the holidays. Not only has "Santa Tom" brought us new hope and a new coaching staff, but he has graciously agreed to be the permanent AD for the next 2 and a half years (see below). 2008 promises to be a great year for the Huskers (see "A Good Year to be a Husker" below).

And on a more serious note, please take the time to remember the true meaning of this blessed holiday, and also say a prayer for those on watch around the world who are protecting our freedom to worship and our ability to celebrate the season. May they come home safely, and with honor, to eventually enjoy a "belated holiday" with their families. Please see the comments and link to a wonderful and memorable online video commemorating the recent return of Nebraska troops after 15 months in Iraq. Link and photography courtesty of Todd Rundstrom below.

May you and your family enjoy a warm and wonderful Christmas, and may we all look forward to a Happy New Year!

Go Big Red (White and Blue),


Tom Osborne has agreed to serve as Nebraska's Athletic Director until 2010.

Lincoln, Neb., Dec. 19, 2007 - University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Harvey Perlman today announced that the "interim" has been removed from Tom Osborne's title, and Osborne has agreed to serve as Nebraska's Director of Intercollegiate Athletics until June 30, 2010.

"I appreciated Tom's willingness to step in as interim athletic director during a very difficult time for the athletic department," Perlman said. "His presence and his decisions have significantly reduced the controversy surrounding the department and particularly the football program.

"The decision to ask Osborne to serve as NU's permanent athletic director is based on timing.

"It is now beneficial to provide the department with stability in leadership, so it can take full advantage of the progress that already has been made," Perlman said.

"I don't think conducting a search for a permanent athletic director would serve the university's interests at this time," added Perlman. "That's why I offered Tom the opportunity to remove 'interim' from his title and invited him to accept an appointment as athletic director for a term of approximately 2 1/2 years until June 30, 2010."

Perlman and Osborne agreed that a search for Osborne's successor will begin in early 2010 with the intention that Osborne will both assist in the search and help with the transition of a new athletic director.

Osborne, 70, accepted Perlman's offer to direct the department on an ongoing basis and will continue to work as athletic director under the same terms of his original contract, signed on Oct. 24. Perlman and Osborne finalized the new agreement Tuesday.

"When Chancellor Perlman asked me to lead the athletic department and to help unify the state, he gave me the responsibility and the authority to do whatever needed to be done," Osborne said. "We've made some great strides over the last two months, but the chancellor and I agree that these next two years are crucial to keep our program moving forward.

"I have never been enamored with titles," Osborne said. "At the same time, I think it's important for our entire department to realize that we will continue moving down the same path we're already going. Change always breeds at least some uncertainty, and if removing 'interim' from my title helps everyone understand that we'll continue to be consistent in our approach, I'm all for that.

"Everyone associated with the program - coaches, student-athletes, administrators, fans and alumni - want what's best for Nebraska," Osborne said.

"My focus is on working together and giving our best, so the athletic department can continue to improve in every way possible."


Nebraska Head Football Coach Bo Pelini announced Monday that he has completed the process of hiring his first Husker coaching staff. Eight of the assistant coaches have been announced, with all of those having previous coaching experience in the Big 12 Conference, including six coaches who have spent time at Nebraska.

Pelini finalized his staff over the weekend with the addition of a running backs coach. However, Pelini said the announcement of that individual will come in early January, after that coach has finished his work in a bowl game with his current school.

The offensive staff includes Barney Cotton as associate head coach/offensive line coach; Shawn Watson as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks; Ted Gilmore as assistant head coach/receivers coach/recruiting coordinator; and Ron Brown as tight ends coach. Watson and Gilmore were retained from the previous Nebraska coaching staff.

On the defensive side, the Husker staff will include Carl Pelini as defensive coordinator/defensive line coach, Mike Ekeler as linebackers coach, John Papuchis as defensive ends coach and Marvin Sanders as secondary coach.

Pelini also announced that former Husker player and assistant coach Jeff Jamrog will serve as Assistant Athletic Director for Football Operations for the Nebraska football program.

Pelini said the coaching staff he has hired brings the overall characteristics he was looking for in Nebraska assistants.

“I was asked about the qualities I look for in assistant coaches, and I mentioned teachers, communicators and high-energy people,” Pelini said. “I think this group of coaches will be great teachers for the young men in our program, and they are a good fit for Nebraska football.”

Pelini said Cotton and Gilmore will assist him in a variety of roles in their positions as associate and assistant head coach, respectively.

“In addition to coaching the offensive line, Barney will assist me in a number of key administrative duties within our program,” Pelini said. “Ted will continue as our receivers coach and recruiting coordinator, and he will also play a key role in the overall direction of our program.”

The offensive staff will be led by Watson, who directed the Nebraska offense this season. The Huskers ranked eighth nationally in passing offense and 11th in total offense, and Pelini is excited to build on that success.

“Offensively, there has been good success here recently,” Pelini said. “I think we can add some wrinkles to what has worked well the past few years. Coach Watson is a proven offensive coordinator in the Big 12 Conference, and our offensive assistants have extensive collegiate experience, specifically in the Big 12 North.”

Defensively, Pelini said he will be involved in all aspects of the preparation and expects his defensive staff to operate as one cohesive unit.

“Our defensive coaches will all have equal input on what we are doing, regardless of titles or positions,” Pelini said. “Our defensive coaches are outstanding teachers who will bring great energy to the practice field. I have worked with each of them during my career and have great confidence in this group. This staff plans to build on the tradition of hard-nosed Blackshirt defenses at Nebraska.”

Here is a brief capsule on the members of the 2008 Husker staff.

Offensive Staff
Shawn Watson—Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
Watson will be entering his third season at Nebraska in 2008 and his second as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. In 2007, Nebraska threw for a school-record 3,886 yards, including the top three passing days in school history. Watson’s offense averaged 468.2 yards per game, 11th in the country and the best season average at Nebraska since 1997.

Watson coached the Nebraska tight ends and was the recruiting coordinator in 2006, before being promoted to his current post last January.

Watson has a total of seven seasons of experience as an offensive coordinator in the Big 12, serving in the same role at Colorado from 2000 to 2005. Watson was on the staff of four Colorado teams that won the Big 12 North Division, including a conference championship in 2001. He also has head coaching experience, leading the Southern Illinois program from 1994 to 1996.

Ron Brown—Tight Ends
Brown rejoins the Nebraska coaching staff for the 2008 season, after serving as the Huskers’ receivers coach for 17 seasons from 1987 to 2003. During the first 16 of those years, Brown also coached the tight ends, and he was the most veteran member of Frank Solich’s final Nebraska coaching staff in 2003.

Brown has spent the past four years serving as the Nebraska State Director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He also has served as the national spokesman for the FCA and is a regular columnist for the FCA magazine “Sharing the Victory”. Brown and former Husker Stan Parker are co-founders and co-directors of a statewide Christian ministry called Mission Nebraska.

Under Brown, Husker receivers were known for their tenacity and downfield blocking in Nebraska’s run-oriented attack. His receivers helped Nebraska lead the nation in rushing nine times in his 17 seasons. At Nebraska, Brown coached two academic All-Americans, had 12 players picked in the NFL Draft and 14 others who signed professional contracts.

Brown also served as an assistant coach for three seasons (1984-86) at Brown, his alma mater, and was the head freshman coach at the school in 1983.

Barney Cotton—Associate Head Coach/Offensive Line
Cotton will be in his second stint on the Nebraska coaching staff. He served as Nebraska’s offensive coordinator and offensive line coach on Frank Solich’s staff in 2003, helping Nebraska to a 10-3 record and a victory in the Alamo Bowl. Most recently, Cotton spent three seasons at Iowa State as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. With the Cyclones, Cotton directed a potent ISU offensive attack led by quarterback Bret Meyer and record-setting receiver Todd Blythe. He helped guide the Cyclones to an appearance in the 2004 Independence Bowl and the 2005 Houston Bowl.

Before arriving at Nebraska in 2003, Cotton was the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator for six seasons at New Mexico State (1997-2002). He also served as an assistant at St. Cloud State for six seasons and was the head coach at Hastings College in 1995 and 1996.

Cotton played for Nebraska from 1975-78, starting on both the offensive and defensive lines during his Husker career. He played four seasons in the National Football League with St. Louis and Cincinnati.

Ted Gilmore—Assistant Head Coach/Wide Receivers/Recruiting Coordinator
Gilmore has served on the Husker staff each of the past three years as the Huskers’ receivers coach and in 2007, he also handled the role of recruiting coordinator. Gilmore’s receivers have posted record-setting numbers under his direction.

Seniors Terrence Nunn and Maurice Purify finished their eligibility as the No. 2 and No. 5 career receivers at Nebraska. Nate Swift will enter his senior season in 2008 as Nebraska’s No. 4 all-time receiver. Gilmore’s receiving corps played a key role in the Huskers ranking eighth nationally in passing offense and 11th in total offense in 2007.

Gilmore has been a collegiate assistant for 11 seasons, also serving in stints at Wyoming, Kansas, Houston, Purdue and Colorado.

Defensive Staff
Carl Pelini—Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line
Carl Pelini, the older brother of Head Coach Bo Pelini, comes to Nebraska after three seasons as the defensive line coach for Frank Solich at Ohio University. Pelini also has experience at Nebraska, serving as the defensive graduate assistant for the Huskers in 2003, when NU set a school record for takeaways and ranked 11th nationally in total defense.

At Ohio, Pelini played a key role in the resurgence of the Bobcat program. Ohio’s recent success was highlighted by the 2006 season, when the Bobcats won the Mid-American Conference Eastern Division and played in the GMAC Bowl against Southern Miss. The bowl appearance was the first by the Bobcats since 1968. The 2006 defense ranked in the top 30 nationally in scoring and total defense. This season, Ohio finished with a 6-6 record and senior defensive tackle Landon Cohen earned second-team All-MAC honors for the second straight season.

Pelini spent the 2004 season as the defensive coordinator at Minnesota State on the staff of former Husker player and assistant Jeff Jamrog. Pelini was an accomplished high school coach prior to his first stint at Nebraska. He was the head coach at Fitch High School in Ohio for three seasons, after serving as the head coach and athletic director at Winnetonka High School in Kansas City for five years. He also served as a graduate assistant at Kansas State in 1989 and 1990, and as a restricted earnings coach for the Wildcats in 1991. He played two seasons at Columbia University.

Mike Ekeler—Linebackers
A native Nebraskan, Mike Ekeler joins the Husker defensive staff after spending the past three seasons on the LSU football staff. Ekeler spent the 2005 and 2006 seasons as a graduate assistant coach working for Pelini and the Tiger defense. In 2007, Ekeler worked as an intern for the LSU program.

Ekeler brings an extensive knowledge of the state of Nebraska and the Big 12 Conference to the Husker staff. Before his recent time with Pelini at LSU, Ekeler was a defensive graduate assistant on Bob Stoops’ Oklahoma staff in 2003 and 2004. He helped the Sooners play in back-to-back BCS national championship games and earn a Big 12 title in 2004.

Before his time with the Sooners, Ekeler spent five seasons as a high school coach in Nebraska and Kansas. He spent time coaching at Omaha Skutt High School and Manhattan (Kan.) High School, before getting back into the college game at Oklahoma in 2003.

After graduating from Blair High School, Ekeler played four seasons under Bill Snyder at Kansas State, lettering from 1991 to 1994. He was a special teams standout and was part of two Wildcat teams that played in bowl games.

John Papuchis—Defensive Ends Coach
John Papuchis comes to Nebraska after spending the past four seasons on the football staff at LSU. While with the Tigers, Papuchis worked as a defensive intern, assisting in every aspect of the defensive game plan for the Tigers.

Papuchis first joined the LSU staff under Nick Saban and over the past three seasons has helped the Tigers rank third nationally in total defense each season. In 2007, the Tiger defense featured a pair of consensus All-Americans in defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey and safety Craig Steltz.

Papuchis joined the Tigers prior to the 2004 season after a three-year stint with Kansas. In 2001, he worked with the Jayhawk secondary and then assisted with the linebackers in Kansas' 2003 Tangerine Bowl season.

Papuchis graduated from Virginia Tech in 2001 and earned his master’s degree from Kansas in 2003

Marvin Sanders—Secondary Coach
Marvin Sanders returns to the Husker staff after serving as the defensive backs coach in 2003. In Sanders’ lone season on the defensive staff with Pelini, Nebraska recorded 47 takeaways, including a school-record 32 interceptions and led the nation in pass efficiency defense. In 2003, safety Josh Bullocks recorded a school-record 10 interceptions and became just the second NU sophomore in school history to earn All-America honors.

After his year at Nebraska, Sanders served for three seasons as the defensive coordinator at North Carolina. He helped the Tar Heels reach the Continental Tire Bowl in 2004. Prior to joining the Nebraska staff in 2003, Sanders had assistant coaching stops at Nebraska Wesleyan, Minnesota-Morris, Nebraska-Omaha, New Mexico State and Colorado State. While on coach Sonny Lubick’s CSU staff, he helped the Rams to appearances in the New Orleans Bowl in 2001 and the Liberty Bowl in 2002.

Sanders earned three letters as a defensive back at Nebraska from 1987 to 1989, playing for Tom Osborne and secondary coach George Darlington. He was a starter as a senior in 1989 and earned honorable-mention All-Big Eight honors for a Nebraska team that reached the Fiesta Bowl.

Assistant Athletic Director for Football Operations
Jeff Jamrog
Jeff Jamrog joins Pelini’s staff as Assistant Athletic Director for Football Operations, following four seasons as the head coach at Minnesota State in Mankato, Minn. Jamrog is one of three former Nebraska players on Pelini’s staff and one of five members of the staff who return to Nebraska after having previous Husker coaching experience.

Jamrog led Minnesota State to a 17-27 record in four years, including a 6-5 mark in 2004, the program’s first winning season since 1994. Several Mavericks earned honors under Jamrog’s direction, including two-time Academic All-American Spencer Dickinson.

Before leaving for Minnesota State, Jamrog was an assistant coach at Nebraska for four seasons from 2000 to 2003, when he coached the NU defensive line. The Huskers finished in the top 12 nationally in rush defense twice in that stretch. Jamrog was a three-year letterman at Nebraska where he was a starting outside linebacker in 1987. He was a first-team Academic All-American in 1987 and an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient.


Athletic and academic All-American Christina Houghtelling will receive her diploma during commencement ceremonies at the University of Nebraska on Saturday morning.

Lincoln - One of the largest-ever December graduating classes of Nebraska student-athletes will receive diplomas during winter commencement ceremonies on Saturday, Dec. 22, at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.

Nebraska’s graduating class of student-athletes was nearly 30 percent larger than last December’s group of 31 graduates. The Huskers’ 44-member graduating class consists of student-athletes from 14 U.S. states and three foreign countries, including Germany, Latvia and South Africa. Nearly all of Nebraska’s varsity teams are represented in the group, while the Huskers graduated with nearly 20 different majors in their fields of study. Despite the diversity of the group, a total of 20 Nebraska natives made up nearly half of the class.

Nebraska Senior Associate Athletic Director for Academics, Compliance and Planning Dennis Leblanc said the December 2007 graduating class consists of strong examples of student-athletes who have the ability to excel in the classroom, in the community and in competition.

"I congratulate all of these Nebraska student-athletes for the way they have balanced classwork, community involvement and competition," Leblanc said. "These 45 graduates come from a diverse background from around the country and the world and have represented Nebraska at the highest level in academics and athletics. The athletic department, the University and the state of Nebraska are proud of their accomplishments."

The Nebraska football team produced the largest contingent in the group with a total of 20 players earning their degrees. Brett Byford, Ben Eisenhart, Dan Erickson, Cornealius Fuamatu-Thomas, Tierre Green, Victory Haines, Frantz Hardy, Sean Hill, Andy Kadavy, Sam Keller, Lane Kelly, Kevin Luhrs, Corey McKeon, Josh Mueller, Wali Muhammad, Steve Octavien, Bo Ruud, Andy Sand, Matt Senske and Bryan Wilson all completed their undergraduate academic careers.
Coach Gary Pepin’s track and field program added five members to the group, including national champions Arturs Abolins and Dace Ruskule, along with Bryce Dickmeyer, Bubba Kramer and Alec Maduza.

Coach Pablo Morales’ women’s swimming and diving team also produced a strong contingent of five graduates, including Emilee Crawford, Kate Dulgar, Bailey Ingles, Kaci Ressler and Dani Millis. Millis competed her first four years at Nebraska for Coach Dan Kendig’s women’s gymnastics team, which also featured All-American Michele Zabawa among the graduates.

Christina Houghtelling, the 2005 AVCA National Player of the Year for Coach John Cook’s Nebraska volleyball team, joined former teammate Meghan Smith among NU’s class of December graduates. Houghtelling, a native of Cambridge, Neb., was also a CoSIDA Academic All-American for the Huskers.

A trio of former Husker baseball players (Mike Harmelink, Jon Klausing and Al Smith) earned their diplomas for Coach Mike Anderson’s team, along with Husker softball players Ashley DeBuhr and Devin Porter for Coach Rhonda Revelle.

Joerg Barthel and Sean Coetzee earned their degrees as former members of Coach Kerry McDermott’s Nebraska men’s tennis team, while Ty Capps and Chrissie McArdle completed their degrees as members of the Nebraska men’s and women’s golf teams.

Soccer player Jessie Bruch, men’s gymnast Jason Wassung and Husker All-American bowler Amanda Burgoyne rounded out the list of December student-athlete graduates at Nebraska.

Nebraska continues to feature one of the highest graduation rates in the nation with an exhausted eligibility graduation rate of 94 percent.


Sarah Pavan was selected as one of the NCAA Today's Top VIII honorees on Monday.

Lincoln – University of Nebraska volleyball star Sarah Pavan received one of the highest honors a college student-athlete can receive on Monday, as she was selected as one of the 2008 NCAA Today’s Top VIII.

The NCAA Today’s Top VIII honors eight senior student-athletes among all levels for their athletics success, academic accomplishments, community service and leadership. Pavan will receive the award during the NCAA Honors Celebration on January 13, 2008, at the NCAA Convention in Nashville.

The other 2008 Today’s Top VIII are Rachel Buehler, Stanford University, soccer; Roberto Castro, Georgia Institute of Technology, golf; Dennis Dixon, University of Oregon, football; Ben Wildman-Tobriner, Stanford University, swimming; Lisa Winkle, Calvin College, basketball and outdoor track; Jamie Wolf, Clarion University of Pennsylvania, diving; and Sarah Zerzan, Willamette University, cross country and outdoor track.

The Top VIII honorees are selected by the NCAA Honors Committee, which is composed of eight athletics administrators at member institutions and national distinguished citizens who are former student-athletes.

Pavan is the 16th Husker to earn to the honor, a total that leads the nation, and the fourth Husker volleyball winner, joining former greats Nancy Metcalf (2002), Janet Kruse (1992) and Virginia Stahr (1990). Pavan, the only volleyball player in the 2008 Today’s Top VIII, is just the 12th volleyball player ever receive the award which was first presented in 1973.

"It is truly humbling to see your name with such an elite group of student-athletes," Pavan said. "These people have accomplished so much in their sports and in other areas and it is special to be considered in that group."

Volleyball NCAA Today’s Top VIII Winners

Year-Recepient, School
1986-Susan Harbour, Oregon
1987-Lisa Ice, San Jose State
1989-Dylann Duncan, BYU
1990-Virginia Stahr, Nebraska
1992-Janet Kruse, Nebraska
1995-Amy Albers, Washington (Mo.)
1998-Kasey A. Morlock, North Dakota State*
1998-Carrie Ferguson, Capital (Ohio)*
1999-Kristin Folkl, Stanford
2002-Nancy Metcalf, Nebraska
2005-Ogonna Nnamani, Stanford
2008-Sarah Pavan, Nebraska*-two-sport athletes

"When I came on my visit, they showed me the list of the past Top VIII winners, and I was amazed," Pavan said. "I saw it and said ‘to be one of those you must to do something great.’ I didn’t understand how special it was. Being at Nebraska over the past four years, I began to understand how elite that group is. It is not something I ever expected to receive, and I am really honored to accept this."

"After the honors Sarah has earned during her career, this is the one award that eluded her because it is only presented to seniors," Nebraska Coach John Cook said. "Having had the experience of watching Nancy Metcalf win this award in 2002, this is the most prestigious honor that a college student-athlete can receive. It is truly the elite of the elite."

"While the Honda-Broderick is like the Heisman Trophy for athletic and academics, the Today’s Top VIII means even more because it is chosen from student-athletes, both male and female, from every sport from all three divisions. To be selected among the top student-athletes in the country is the ultimate honor, and it shows the commitment that the University of Nebraska has for its student athletes to succeed both academically and athletically. This is a proud moment for the Husker Nation and a great reflection on our program."

Pavan recently wrapped up one of the most decorated careers in college volleyball history, becoming one of only four players in NCAA Division I history to be a four-time first-team All-American. A three-time Big 12 Conference Player of the Year, Pavan was named the 2006-07 Honda Broderick Cup Winner and 2006 American Volleyball Coaches Association National Player of the Year as a junior. She was a four-time, all-conference selection and was selected as the Most Outstanding Player of the 2006 NCAA Championship, helping the Huskers to a national title. As a senior, Pavan averaged 4.83 kills, 1.90 digs and 0.49 service aces per game in earning Big 12 Player-of-the-Year honors for the third straight year. She led the Big 12 in kills and points per game (5.73) and was among the Big 12 leaders in service aces (second) and hitting percentage (.342, 10th). She finished her career with a school-record 2,008 kills, becoming only the fourth player in Big 12 history to reach that plateau.

She has been just as successful off the court, where she carries a 4.0 GPA in biochemistry. She is a three-time first-team Academic All-American and was chosen as the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American of the Year during 2006-07. Pavan has been named to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor roll every semester at Nebraska and is a three-time Academic All-Big 12 performer. The Kitchener, Ontario, native is also active in Nebraska’s community outreach program, as she has volunteers for SafeQuarters to Benefit Friendship Home, a breast cancer walk and was a motivational speaker for the "School is Cool" Celebration program during her Nebraska career.


Here is the link

NEBRASKA ARMY GUARD RETURNS FROM IRAQ...(Thanks to Duane Tucker for sending this along)...

I do not have festive Christmasy videos on my website right now. I have something better: 2 weeks ago the 755 Chemical Company National Guard unit returned to Lincoln from a year in Iraq. I went there with two other photogs to take pics for the families. I then created a slideshow of the homecoming and posted it on my site. Here is the link to see the

It runs 8 minutes, so pull up a chair, your kids, and some kleenex.
And pass it on!

Merry Christmas,
- Todd
Todd Rundstrom


Sarah Pavan led Nebraska with 16 kills to top 2,000 career kills in her final match as a Husker.

Lincoln – Second-ranked Nebraska’s quest for consecutive national titles ended Saturday night, as the Huskers fell to No. 6 California, 30-28, 31-29, 30-26 at the UW Field House. The Huskers, bidding to become volleyball’s first repeat champion since USC in 2002 and 2003, ended their season with a 30-2 record, while Cal improved to 26-7 and advanced to its first national semifinal in school history.

The loss ended a remarkable run for Nebraska’s quartet of seniors, as Maggie Griffin, Christina Houghtelling and Sarah Pavan helped Nebraska to a 126-7 record, two national semifinal appearances, four Big 12 titles and the 2006 national championship.

Pavan became the first Husker and just the fourth Big 12 player to ever record 2,000 kills, as the senior right side hitter finished with a match-high 16 kills and finished her career with 2,008 kills to rank fourth in Big 12 history. Stalls finished with seven kills on .462 hitting, ended the year hitting a school and Big 12 record .473, breaking Virginia Stahr’s mark of .440 originally established in 1990. Both were chosen to the NCAA Madison Regional All-Tournament team

Visit our Bay Area Huskers website for additional Husker information, Links, Upcoming Events, Past Events, Watch Sites, and the Schedule of Games. Also order Merchandise online, and get information on Husker Scholarships. Check out the History of the Huskers and meet our Directors.

Say hello today, email us, sign up for our newsletter, and become a member of the Bay Area Huskers Alumni Chapter.

Bay Area Husker ENews 12-06-07

Hey Bay Area Husker Fans!

Happy Hannukah to all those celebrating the Jewish holiday (4th-12th). With the announcement of Bo Pelini as head coach, things have been hoppin' back in Lincoln. I added a couple of articles (provided by some of you) that should help us understand how the process is going.

In addition to all the great football news in Lincoln, (and thanks to all of your votes) Tom Osborne has been voted as the Greatest Coach of All Time according to the the ESPN/Citi online poll. Of course we all knew that...but now the rest of the nation will know!

Root for the Volleyball team this weekend as they compete in the next level of competition in Wisconsin. They meet Michigan State tomorrow night at 5 p.m. our time and you can watch the match on . Assuming they win that match the lady Huskers will meet either Cal or Iowa State on Saturday at 6 p.m. our time and you can watch that game live on ESPNU. See the article below for more details. And assuming they win that match they will be headed for Sacramento the following week for the National semi-finals and the finals to vie for back to back championships. GO HUSKERS! If anyone is interested in joining the group that has already indicated they want to attend the Sacramento matches, let me know and I'll add you to that list.

And don't forget to keep voting for Anne Marie Rye for the Athlon Spirit competition...article and link at the end of this email.

Go Big Red (White and Blue),

(Thanks to all who voted in ESPN's Citi poll)

Final Voting on

Tom Osborne in the College Football Hall of Fame

Tom Osborne was voted the Greatest Football Coach of All Time in a recent fan poll on

Lincoln - Former Nebraska football coach and current interim athletic director Tom Osborne was voted the "Greatest Football Coach of All Time" in a recent contest on

Osborne captured 52 percent of the votes among fans around the world, well ahead of former Alabama Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, who brought home 35 percent of the vote.

No other coach received as many as 5 percent of the total votes. The distinguished list of coaches featured some of the greatest names in the history of college football, including Knute Rockne, Glen "Pop" Warner, Amos Alonzo Stagg, John Heisman, Eddie Robinson, Woody Hayes, Barry Switzer, Bobby Bowden, Joe Paterno, Lou Holtz, Bo Schembechler, John Robinson, Hayden Fry and John Gagliardi.

In October, Osborne was chosen to receive the 2008 Lifetime Acheivement Award from the Paul "Bear" Bryant Awards committee of the American Heart Association.

Osborne will receive the award at the Paul "Bear" Bryant College Football Coaching Awards Dinner on Thursday, Jan. 17, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Houston.

The following day, Osborne will be honored by the Nebraska Alumni Association with its highest award, the Founders Medallion, at the 2008 RED Gala in Omaha.

Osborne coached for 25 seasons at Nebraska, earning three national championships and 13 conference titles. He led the Cornhuskers to a bowl appearance in every season and broke Bryant's record of 24 straight postseason trips. Osborne retired following the 1997 season with a 255-49-3 record, the fifth-best winning percentage (.836) in Division I-A history.

In his final five season, NU went 60-3 and won national titles in 1994, 1995 and 1997. He coached 47 first-team All-Americans who won a total of 55 honors. He also guided a pair of Heisman Trophy winners, six Outland winners, one Butkus winner and one Johnny Unitas winner.

A member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Osborne followed his 36-year career as a football coach by winning a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in Nebraska's third district in 2000. He served three terms in Congress, before being named Nebraska's interim athletic director on Oct. 16.

Pelini, Osborne form intriguing duo
BY STEVEN M. SIPPLE / Lincoln Journal Star

Monday, Dec 03, 2007 - 12:10:25 am CST

Bo Pelini isn't real big on small talk.

"I don't always say a whole lot," he told me recently. "But I notice everything."

As he climbed the coaching ladder, Pelini presumably noticed the strongest traits of George Seifert, Ray Rhodes, Pete Carroll, Mike Sherman, Les Miles, Bob Stoops and Frank Solich - men Pelini mentioned Sunday as being mentors.

Now comes the chance to learn from another mentor. This will be fascinating to watch - Pelini and Tom Osborne. The brash and admittedly emotional former Ohio State free safety learning from the famously calm and understated former congressman and legendary coach. Together they will try to pull Nebraska from the depths of a startling football depression that sometimes seems surreal.

Pelini will notice everything about Osborne, if the 39-year-old Pelini is as wise as he seems.

Some will say it's an odd couple. Well, Bob Devaney and Osborne were disparate personalities who seemed to mesh OK.

People often forget Osborne was a fiery coach in his younger days. However, few have forgotten Pelini angrily confronting Bill Snyder in 2003. People remind Pelini of the incident at seemingly every turn. In fact, he was reminded just before dinnertime Sunday, as he was announced as Nebraska's 28th head football coach.

Surely the Snyder situation was the impetus behind the reporter's question: Your emotions and passions, will you have to temper them now? After all, goes the line of thinking, Pelini's now a head coach for the first time.

Pelini paused. He chuckled. It was a nervous chuckle. He started to answer, then paused. It was sort of uncomfortable for a few seconds.

No problem. Pelini's newest mentor was sitting right behind him. Pelini turned and looked at Osborne, as if seeking guidance. Osborne shrugged his shoulders, as if to say, "You're on your own on this one, young fella."

Everyone laughed and comfort returned.

Let the Pelini era begin.

"I'm going to be who I am," Pelini said. "I'm not going to change."

He repeated it for emphasis.

"Bo Pelini's not going to change."

The native of Youngstown, Ohio, is a boxing fan and a devoted family man. He enjoys Bruce Springsteen and coaching defense. Baby, he was born to lead (my apologies to The Boss). At least that's what virtually every one of his former players will tell you. They'll tell you he has a natural way of inspiring them. Maybe it's his glare, or his tough-guy persona, or his ultraconfident demeanor, or his sheer intelligence. He's whip-smart.

Whatever the case, he gets players to play hard.

"If you don't play hard, you don't have much of a chance," said Osborne, the most powerful interim athletic director in the history of college sport.

Consider this particular hire. Consider the ramifications. How much farther can Nebraska football sink before it permanently becomes a mere shadow of its former power, prestige and utter brilliance? There's plenty of pressure here, folks.

It's interesting that Osborne is entrusting his beloved program to a first-time head coach. He said he hired Pelini after considering "a lot of well-qualified people," including Turner Gill, the beloved former Husker quarterback whom Osborne adores like a family member. Gill, 45, is showing signs of becoming a top-shelf major-college coach.

However, Osborne analyzed the program and determined defense, or lack thereof, topped the list of concerns

"As you know, occasionally you'll win a game if you give up 50 points, but you're not going to win many," Osborne said.

In coming days, Pelini will turn on film of Nebraska's games this season and the new Husker coach will be repulsed. He will see a team that struggled to adjust on the fly. Worse, he will see a defense that too often lacked energy. That too often played with little-to-no passion. Its ineptitude was stunning at times.

Pelini may not be as smooth with the media as Bill Callahan. Callahan sounds like a corporate CEO at times. Pelini is more of a salt-of-the-earth type. Yes, it sounds trite, but Pelini is a people person. He's a notorious prankster. He likes being around players. He means it when he says he'll have an open-door policy. His players seem to trust him and enjoy playing for him, which probably explains why they swarm to the ball and force turnovers - Pelini trademarks.

Never will a Pelini defense (or team) play without emotion.

Pelini is only half-joking when he tells friends with a straight face that he's the only one who can handle this mission. He has a way of expressing confidence that's much more endearing than it is a turnoff. Nebraska needs his confidence badly right now.

Some will say Nebraska needed a veteran head coach right now, someone who's been there, done that in a power conference. But given the Huskers' immediate needs, Pelini fits well - right man, right time.

Hard decisions loom. What type of offense will he employ? For now, he says only that Nebraska will be "very multiple." Reading between lines, it appears Pelini and Osborne may favor an offense that resembles the one in place, meaning Shawn Watson may well be in line for offensive coordinator. Stay tuned.

Will Pelini continue to coach Louisiana State's defense as it prepares for the national title game? That's a tough call, he says. Again, stay tuned.

Pelini's first day as Nebraska head coach seemed to go well. He passed the news conference test with flying colors. It was especially nice to hear Pelini acknowledge Solich, who hired Pelini in 2003 to revive the Huskers' defense.

"I think people along the way have forgotten how important he was to Nebraska and what he did over a long period of time," said Pelini, who now begins the challenging task of trying to restore and invigorate an entire program.

Indeed, it's no time for small talk.

Reach Steven M. Sipple at 473-7440 or

Pelini will have to adjust to role of recruiter as head coach
December 3, 2007
Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- As a recruiter, new Nebraska coach Bo Pelini doesn't have a good or bad reputation.

He really has no reputation, recruiting analysts say.

As defensive coordinator at Oklahoma and LSU, his charge was figuring out how to use players rather than how to acquire them.

Pelini's first task at Nebraska will be to keep in the fold players who have verbally committed to the Cornhuskers and then add to the class.

Pelini said Sunday he's eager to get started recruiting. Analysts say it's one of the biggest adjustments he'll have to make as a first-time head coach.

"It's just a question of want," said Jamie Newberg, an analyst for who specializes in the Southeast. "Does he want to be that active, be front and center, meet everybody and have that recruit-recruit-recruit type of personality? It's a huge commitment every day. That's what it's going to take."

Pelini said his recruiting role at LSU was as a closer. He made home visits to prospects, outlined their potential roles at LSU and secured pledges.

"He was not the type of coach who would build a relationship with players over weeks and months," Newberg said Monday.

Jeremy Crabtree, national recruiting editor for, said Pelini is well-respected by high school coaches. The fact he hasn't gone on the road to do a lot of recruiting in recent years doesn't mean he wouldn't be good at it.

"He's just been in a position the last few years where he didn't have to be a monster recruiter," Crabtree said.

It is not uncommon for offensive and defensive coordinators to play peripheral roles in recruiting.

The key to Pelini's recruiting success will be the position coaches he hires. Pelini said he planned to quickly assemble his staff.

"There's a lot that has to be done as far as recruiting goes," he said Sunday. "It's going to be a process of everyone getting their collective efforts together and making sure we head this thing in the right direction."

The role of head coaches in recruiting has changed over the years, Newberg said.

Coaches such as Nebraska's Tom Osborne and Florida State's Bobby Bowden were great closers. But closing the deal is a small fraction of the job now, Newberg said, because the process moves much faster.

"Now the head coaches have to be on the road during the May evaluation period with their assistants," Newberg said. "You've got to be seen, you've got to be heard, you've got to be everywhere. More teams are offering (scholarships) early, doing earlier evaluations, and kids are committing earlier."

Former coach Bill Callahan came to Nebraska with the reputation as an outstanding recruiter from his days at Wisconsin and Illinois. Callahan relished the chase for players and would go after the top prospects across the nation.

"That was Coach Callahan's strong suit," Newberg said. "They put a lot of effort into recruiting. But that's what it takes no matter where you are."

Pelini said he would re-establish Nebraska's in-state recruiting efforts and ramp up the walk-on program. Those are good ideas, Crabtree said.

"Callahan was all over the map," Crabtree said. "We're going to see a more concentrated effort with Nebraska, the Midwest, Texas. And they'll spot recruit some areas. I like that formula. It's a good way to have success early on."

Newberg said Pelini has learned from some of the best recruiters in the nation, having worked with Oklahoma's Bob Stoops and LSU's Les Miles.

Pelini also has a great resource in Osborne, the interim athletic director and a highly respected recruiter during a 25-year Nebraska coaching career in which he averaged 10 wins a season and won three national championships.

Just as important as recruiting players, Crabtree said, will be recruiting assistant coaches.

"Whoever he surrounds himself with will go a long way to how he gets judged as a recruiter," Crabtree said.

ASSISTANT COACHES RETURN TO NEBRASKA (got this from a Lincoln source...Thanks Mark!)...

It's official, Barney Cotton, Ron Brown and Marvin Sanders have returned to the Big Red as assistants. Coach Cotton's son, a tight end, has changed his mind and has de-committed from Louisville in order to be a Husker.


Nebraska has announced that there will be date changes for 2008 home games against Virginia Tech and Western Michigan.

The previously scheduled Sept. 27 game against Western Michigan has been moved to Aug. 30 and will be the first game of Bo Pelini’s coaching tenure at Nebraska. Nebraska’s game with Virginia Tech will now be played on Sept. 27 instead of the originally scheduled Sept. 20 date. Television announcements for the two games will be made at a later date, but the Nebraska-Virginia Tech game will air on ABC, ESPN or FSN. The move allows Nebraska an early-season open date on Sept. 20.

The Huskers will open the 2008 campaign with five consecutive home games, marking the second time in four seasons NU has played its first five games at home. Following the Aug. 30 opener with Western Michigan, Nebraska will play host to San Jose State on Sept. 6 and New Mexico State on Sept. 13. Following a week off, Nebraska will conclude its five-game homestand against Virginia Tech on Sept. 27 and Missouri on Oct. 4.

In addition to the five home games to open the season, Nebraska will also entertain Baylor (Oct. 25), Kansas (Nov. 8) and Colorado (Nov. 28/29). The home schedule features three games against teams ranked in the top eight of the final BCS standings (Kansas, Missouri, Virginia Tech). Nebraska’s road games next year include trips to Texas Tech, Iowa State, Oklahoma and Kansas State.

2010 Husker Schedule Finalized
Nebraska has also announced that it has finalized the 2010 football schedule with the completion of contracts for three non-conference home games that season.

Nebraska will play host to contests against Western Kentucky (Sept. 4), Idaho (Sept. 11) and South Dakota State (Sept. 25) adding those games to a previously announced non-conference matchup with Washington in Seattle on Sept. 18, 2010. All of those contracts were finalized earlier this fall.

The Huskers will open the 2010 campaign against Western Kentucky in Memorial Stadium. A member of the Sun Belt Conference, Western Kentucky is a long-time Division I-AA power, which is making the transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision. The Hilltoppers won the 2002 I-AA national title, but will be a full member of the Bowl Subdivision in the 2009 season. The Hilltoppers are coached by Dave Elson, who owns a 37-22 record in five seasons in Bowling Green, Ky., including a 7-5 mark in 2007.

A week following the first-ever matchup with WKU, the Huskers will meet Idaho for the first time on Sept. 11, 2010. Rob Akey just completed his first season as head coach at Idaho. The Vandals have a recent history of taking on top opponents. In 2007, the Vandals’ non-conference schedule included games at USC and Washington State, adding to non-conference games since 2004 against Michigan State, Oregon State, Washington and Oregon.

After the trip to Washington, Nebraska will complete non-conference play against South Dakota State on Sept. 25. The Jackrabbits finished 2007 with a 7-4 record and won the Great West Conference title. SDSU won its final five games of the season, while their four losses were by a total of 26 points, including three by six or fewer points. South Dakota State will move to the Gateway Conference in 2008. The Jackrabbits open the 2008 season at Iowa State and have 2009 game at Minnesota.

Following its non-conference schedule, Nebraska will open Big 12 play at Kansas State on Oct. 2. The Huskers have also completed their 2009 non-conference schedule.


CAA Madison Regional
Regional Semifinal #2: No. 18 Iowa State (19-13) vs. No. 6 California (24-7)

Friday, Dec. 7 • UW Field House (Madison, Wis.) • 3 p.m. PST

Regional Semifinal #2: No. 2 Nebraska (29-1) vs. No. 24 Michigan State (21-13)

Friday, Dec. 7 • UW Field House (Madison, Wis.) • 5 p.m. PST (or 30 minutes following first match)

Television: None
Radio: Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and KHUS 93.3 FM in Omaha, and on
Live Stats:

Regional Finals: Friday’s Winners
Saturday, Dec. 8 • UW Field House (Madison, Wis.) • 8 p.m.

Television: ESPNU (DirecTV Ch. 609; DISH Network Ch. 148; Time Warner Cable Ch. 235)Radio: Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and KHUS 93.3 FM in Omaha, and on
Live Stats:

The Nebraska volleyball team heads north to continue its quest for its second straight national title, as the Huskers travel to Madison, Wis., for the NCAA Madison Regional this weekend. The Huskers will depart Lincoln on Wednesday afternoon for the regional which begins Friday evening at the UW Field House.

No. 2 Nebraska (29-1) will take on No. 24 Michigan State (21-13) in the evening’s second semifinal, scheduled for 5 p.m. PST or 30 minutes following the conclusion of the first match between No. 18 Iowa State (19-13) and No. 6 California (24-7). The winners will face off in the regional title match Saturday night at 6 p.m. PST with a berth to the national semfinals in Sacramento on the line. All-session tickets are on sale through the University of Wisconsin Ticket Office (800-GO BADGERS or and are $12 for adults and $8 for students, youths and seniors.

Friday's match can be viewed on for free, while Saturday's televised match will not be carried over the Internet. All of Nebraska's postseason contests can be heard across Nebraska on the Husker Sports Network and for free on the Internet at

The Huskers head to their 14th consecutive regional following impressive sweeps over South Dakota State and Wichita State last weekend. Nebraska used strong serving and blocking, averaging 3.50 service aces and 3.67 blocks per game in the two wins. NU reached double figures in aces in consecutive matches for only the second time in the last four seasons and has averaged 2.71 aces per game over the last seven matches.The Huskers are 72-22 (.766) in 26 NCAA Tournament appearances and have won 13 of the last 14 NCAA Tournament matches dating back to 2005. NU is 28-12 all-time in NCAA regional play, reaching the national semifinals on 10 occasions, most recently in 2006.

Worth Noting

•-Nebraska is making its 26th NCAA Tournament appearance in 2007, a total which ties for third among all Division I programs. Only Penn State and Stanford have longer streaks, as those two schools have qualified for all 27 NCAA Championships. NU’s streak is easily the longest among Big 12 teams.

•-The Huskers’ streak of 14 straight NCAA Regionals is the longest active in the country, as only three programs (Nebraska, UCLA and Penn State) have advanced to an NCAA Regional in each of the past five seasons. NU is 26-12 all-time in NCAA regionals.

•-The Big 12 has turned in an impressive showing in the NCAA Tournament, going 8-3 in the first two rounds and placing three teams in the NCAA Regional for the second straight season. Big 12 teams went 5-1 in the first round with only Missouri’s five-game loss at No. 6 seed Washington. It marks the third time in the last five seasons (2003, 2006, 2007) and the fifth time in Big 12 history that three teams advanced to a regional.

•-The Big 12 had six teams in the 2007 NCAA Tournament field (Nebraska, Texas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Iowa State and Missouri), which equaled the most by any conference. The Big 12 was the only conference with two of the four regional No. 1 seeds (Nebraska and Texas).

•-This weekend’s trip to Madison marks the first regional that Nebraska has ever participated in without the host institution being present. It also marks only the fourth time since the NCAA pre-determined seeds in 2003 that the host did not advance to a regional. Including 2007, hosts have reached a regional 75 percent of the time (15-of-20).

•-NU finished 16-0 at the NU Coliseum in 2007, which marked the 17th time - and fifth time in eight years - that NU has had a perfect home record.

•-NU will look to reach the 30-win plateau for the fourth straight year and the 19th time in school history on Friday against Michigan State. During the 11 years of Big 12 competition, the Huskers have reached 30 wins eight times, while the other 10 teams in the league have accomplished the feat once - Kansas State in 2003.

•-According to research by Rich Kern, Nebraska’s 15-1 record against the other NCAA Tournament qualifiers is the best of any team in the NCAA Tournament field. Nebraska’s 16 matches against NCAA Tournament teams trailed only Stanford, which played 17 contests against NCAA qualifiers during the regular season.

•-Seniors Sarah Pavan, Christina Houghtelling and Tracy Stalls became the second group of seniors to win four straight Big 12 titles, joining the 2002 senior class of Greichaly Cepero, Amber Holmquist, Laura Pilakowski and Lindsay Wischmeier.

•-Sarah Pavan and Tracy Stalls could finish their careers during one of the most successful eras in college volleyball history. They have been a part of a national championship team (2006), two national championship matches (2005-06) and four Big 12 titles (2004-06). Here is a look at the winningest classes in school history during the NCAA era.

•-Nebraska has won 22 of its last 23 matches against ranked foes going back to the start of the 2006 season. The Huskers are 85-12 (.876) against ranked teams in eight seasons under John Cook.

•-Nebraska has held its last seven opponents to .086 hitting dating back to Nov. 11.

•-Christina Houghtelling is four kills shy of 1,000, while Sarah Pavan needs 26 kills to be the first Husker with 2,000 kills.



Sophomore Rachel Holloway was one of Nebraska's five first-team all-region selections.

Lincoln – Five University of Nebraska volleyball players were honored, as the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced its all-region teams Wednesday afternoon.

Nebraska had five first-team Central Region selections – Rachel Holloway, Christina Houghtelling, Jordan Larson, Sarah Pavan and Tracy Stalls – as the Huskers were the only program in the nation to have five first-team all-region selections. The five players are now eligible for AVCA All-America honors, which will be announced next Wednesday.

The list is headed by senior right-side hitter Sarah Pavan, who was selected for the fourth consecutive year. Pavan, a three-time Big 12 Player of the Year and 2006 AVCA National Player of the Year, averages 4.88 kills, 1.91 digs and 0.52 service aces per game, pacing the Big 12 in kills and points per game (5.80), ranking second in aces and eighth in hitting percentage (.353). She is bidding to become only the fourth player in NCAA Division I history to be a four-time first-team All-American.

Holloway is an all-region selection for the second straight season, guiding a Husker offense that tops the nation in kills (17.91) and assists (16.55) per game and ranks third in hitting percentage (.331). On the year, she averages 13.66 assists, 2.28 digs and 0.98 kills per game, ranking ninth nationally in assists. She helped NU hit .300 or better 24 times in 30 matches against one of the most difficult schedules in the country, including five matches of .400 hitting or better.

Houghtelling collects her second all-region selection of her career, as she was the 2005 AVCA National Player of the Year. Houghtelling, who was the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Year, averages 3.15 kills on .311 hitting and a team-high 4.02 digs per game, ranking seventh among conference players and first among outside hitters in the league. She is also 10th in the Big 12 with 0.30 aces per game.

Larson earns her second consecutive all-region nod after averaging 3.44 kills, 3.24 digs and 0.53 service aces per game. She leads the Big 12 in aces per game and ranking ninth in points per game (4.42). Larson totaled a team-high 10 double-doubles this year and is only the third player in school history to total 1,000 kills and 1,000 assists.

Stalls rounds out the five first-team honorees, as she collects her second straight all-region honor. The senior middle blocker leads the Big 12 and ranks third nationally in hitting percentage (.471), averaging 2.83 kills and 1.13 blocks per game. She is on pace to shatter NU’s single-season record for hitting percentage and become just the second Husker to hit over .400 in consecutive seasons. Stalls hit .500 or better in 13 matches and totaled double figures in kills 11 times, including each of the last five matches.

Upsets in NCAA volleyball tourney leave Huskers wary
12/4/2007, 4:41 p.m. EST
By ERIC OLSON The Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — If Nebraska's volleyball players think they have a clear path to the final four, coach John Cook recommends they look at the NCAA tournament bracket.

Four of the top 11 seeds were knocked out in the first two rounds.

"That's putting us on edge," Cook said Tuesday. "You cannot mess around."

Among the teams upset was Wisconsin, the host of this weekend's Madison Regional. The defending champion Cornhuskers (29-1) had anticipated playing the Badgers in front of a large crowd in the regional final.

Now, if the second-seeded Huskers beat Michigan State (21-13) on Friday, they'll see either Iowa State (19-13) or No. 10 California (24-7) on Saturday.

Cook coached Wisconsin, 1992-98, before joining Terry Pettit's staff at Nebraska. He took over as head coach in 2000.

"It's a bummer Wisconsin is not in it, because I think that will take away a little from the excitement of the regional, what it could be," Cook said.

Nebraska cruised through the first two rounds with three-game sweeps of South Dakota State and Wichita State in Lincoln last weekend.

Michigan State, which finished fifth in the Big 10, is in a regional semifinal for the first time since 2002 after knocking off No. 15 Dayton in three games.

California beat No. 22 Duke in four games to advance to Friday's match against Iowa State, which is in regionals for the first time.

The Cyclones, coached by former Nebraska setter Christy Johnson, is one of the hottest teams in the tournament. They upset No. 16 San Diego in the first round, then knocked off No. 7 Wisconsin on the Badgers' floor.

"Watching some of these other good teams get upset, I guess it does just kind of show that it is possible," two-year Nebraska captain Tracy Stalls said. "We need to make sure we stay on it."
Nebraska swept Iowa State twice this season and have won all 72 matches against the Cyclones since 1975.

Kori Cooper said history doesn't count for much.

"They have a lot of heart, and they fight, and you can never count them out," she said.

Iowa State hasn't lost since a five-game defeat to Big 12 co-champion Texas on Nov. 21. The Cyclones led the fifth game 14-9 before losing 18-16.

"What's remarkable is how they bounced back after that," Cook said. "Many teams would just tank. You get so close to a win and give it away. But they've come back even stronger from it.

The question will be whether they can keep it going or if they're just happy to get to the sweet 16."

The Huskers encountered difficulty in last year's regional final in Gainesville, Fla., rallying to beat Minnesota in five games after losing the first two. Earlier that season, Nebraska had beaten the Gophers in four games.

"We learned that it's going to be a tough regional no matter who you're playing," Cook said. "You know it could go four or five games, so be ready for a battle. The reminder is, if you're not ready to play in this tournament right now, anybody can beat anybody. That's why we feel that sense of urgency. It doesn't matter who we're playing. We're going to have to play great."___

On the Net:
University of Nebraska athletics:
Iowa State athletics:
Michigan State athletics:
University of California athletics:
National Collegiate Athletic Association:


Nebraska Head Coach Mike Anderson announced his fall recruiting class on Tuesday.

Lincoln –Nebraska Baseball Coach Mike Anderson announced Tuesday that 13 student-athletes have signed National Letters-of-Intent to play baseball at Nebraska during the recently completed fall signing period.

The class includes nine high school seniors and four junior college transfers and comprises recruits from six states (Colorado, Kansas, Missouri Nebraska, Texas and Washington).

“I am excited about the class we have put together and the methods and energy from both our recruits and from Dave (Bingham) and Eric (Newman),” Anderson said. “They worked very hard to find young men that understood what we were looking for in Nebraska baseball.”

The class is highlighted by a trio of in-state performers in Jake Kuebler (Lincoln Southeast), Kash Kalkowski (Grand Island) and Nick Ludemann (LaVista and Creighton Prep). Both Kuebler and Kalkowski were both all-state performers who could be used as two-way players at Nebraska, while Ludemann is considered one of the state’s top high school pitching prospects.

“We really liked them and had targeted them early in the recruiting process. We are excited they selected Nebraska,” Anderson said. “We were very impressed with all three of their work habits and they all have the tools to enjoy success in this program during their college years.”

Anderson called this class as a whole “very athletic” but was more impressed with other key attributes of this group of student-athletes.

“The biggest thing besides the talent they possess is their character and leadership abilities,” Anderson said. “They are high-character kids and many of them have been leaders on their teams in high school or at the junior college level. They already have an understanding of what it takes to be successful at the next level.”

Nebraska Baseball Recruiting Class
Name Yr. Pos. Ht. Wt. B/T Hometown (School)
Erik Anderson JC RHP 5-11 185 R/R Prairie Village, Kan.
(Barton County CC/
Shawnee Mission East HS)

Cody Asche HS INF/OF 6-1 185 L/R O'Fallon, Mo. (Ft. Zumwalt
West HS)
Cory Burleson HS C/INF 6-2 195 L/R Midland, Texas (Midland
Christian HS)

Boomer Collins HS UTL 6-0 185 R/R Waxahachie, Texas

Shane Dyer JC RHP 6-3 180 R/R Eaton, Colo. (South Mountain
(Ariz) CC/New Mexico/Eaton HS)

Seth Hood HS INF 6-1 200 R/R Moline, Ill. (Moline HS)

Kale Kiser HS INF 5-10 175 S/R Plano, Texas (West HS)

Jake Kuebler HS INF/RHP 6-5 195 R/R Lincoln, Neb. (Southeast HS)

Nick Ludemann HS RHP 6-5 195 R/R LaVista, Neb. (Creighton Prep HS)

Kash Kalkowski HS RHP/INF 6-1 195 R/R Grand Island, Neb. (Grand Island

Curtis Petersen HS RHP 6-4 180 R/R Aubrey, Texas (Denton Ryan HS)

Colt Simon JC LHP 6-1 205 R/L Grand Prairie, Texas (Howard
College/South HS)

Cade Thompson JC 1B/OF 6-3 200 L/L Eatonville, Wash. (Central Arizona
College/Eatonville HS)


Vote now for Anne Marie Rye in the championship round of the Athlon Sports Sideline Spirit Contest.

Lincoln – Nebraska cheerleader Anne Marie Rye will represent the Huskers and the Big 12 Conference in the final round of this year’s Athlon Sports Sideline Spirit contest. Voting for the final round begins on Saturday, Dec. 1 at midnight and will run through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 21. No registration is necessary to vote and there is no limit to the number of times a person can vote.

The Athlon Sports Sideline Spirit Contest is entering its fifth year and is one of the most popular programs on our website. This year’s sponsor, JVC, adds broad national exposure and promotion for this competition. Contestants were chosen from across the country to participate in the contest, which began with the kickoff of the college football season in September.

The contest was divided into four rounds, featuring seven cheerleaders or dancers in each round (one from each BCS conference and one non-BCS representative).

Rye, a Lincoln native, earned nearly 150,000 votes to win the second round of the contest. Voting for the second round ended on Oct. 13, and Husker fans pushed Rye into the finals by more than 27,000 votes ahead of second-place Taylor Nix from Florida State.

Rye automatically advanced to the championship round by receiving the most votes in the second round. The winner of the championship round wins the overall contest.

Rye, a junior communications major from Lincoln, will try to become the second Husker to win the Athlon Sideline Spirit Contest. In 2004, former Husker Cheer Squad member Chelsea Kimmerling captured the honor. The nursing major from Beatrice, Neb., received more than 95,000 votes, nearly 36,000 votes ahead of the runner-up from North Carolina State.

The 2007 Athlon Sports Sideline Spirit Contest winner will be featured in the 2008 Athlon Sports College Football annuals and her school's spirit squad will receive $1,000, plus 2 JVC Camcorders, a 42-inch LCD JVC TV and a JVC Portable Kaboom Box.

For more information and to place your vote, visit

Visit our Bay Area Huskers website for additional Husker information, Links, Upcoming Events, Past Events, Watch Sites, and the Schedule of Games. Also order Merchandise online, and get information on Husker Scholarships. Check out the History of the Huskers and meet our Directors.

Say hello today, email us, sign up for our newsletter, and become a member of the Bay Area Huskers Alumni Chapter.

Bay Area Husker ENews 12-03-07

Hey Bay Area Husker Fans!

Wanted to get this out ASAP. No more rumors, no more guesses, its the real thing. Tom Osborne announced in a press conference yesterday that Bo Pelini, former Husker coach and LSU Defensive Coordinator, will be the next Head Coach at Nebraska. I'm sure Bo won't waste any time recruiting his assistant coaches (with Tom's help of course) and setting the tone for next year's football team.
Enjoy reading the article below and check out the links to the press conference and other comments.

And don't forget to vote for Husker Cheerleader, Anne Marie Rye, in the next round of the Athlon Spirit Contest (info and weblink below).

Go Big Red!


Lincoln – University of Nebraska Interim Athletic Director Tom Osborne Sunday named Bo Pelini the school's 28th head football coach – and only the fifth head coach since 1962.

Osborne said his eight-day search for a successor to Bill Callahan was based on analyzing the qualities of individual coaches and balancing them with the needs of the program.

“We need a head coach with strong defensive credentials and great leadership,” Osborne said. “We were also looking for someone who can inspire confidence and get players to play with great effort. And, of course, we also wanted our new head coach to understand our traditions, including the importance of our walk-on program and the importance of football in this state.”

Osborne said Pelini “fit the bill in all respects.”

According to Osborne, Pelini “made a significant difference when he was defensive coordinator of our (10-3) team in 2003, especially after we struggled considerably on defense the year before. I was particularly impressed with the way we beat Michigan State (17-3) in the Alamo Bowl. As interim head coach, Bo motivated the team on both sides of the ball, and we played with a great deal of passion and intensity in that game – both on defense and on offense.”

In 2004, Pelini was co-defensive coordinator for an Oklahoma team that won the Big 12 championship and lost to USC in the national championship game. The last three seasons, he has been defensive coordinator at LSU, helping the Tigers to three consecutive years of a top-three national ranking in total defense.

“It takes good coaching and good leadership to have a defense ranked either at or near the top of the national charts,” Osborne said. “Last night, I thought LSU's defense played well and was important in that Southeastern Conference championship game.”

Osborne acknowledged an aggressive timeframe for hiring a new coach. “We wanted to get this done as quickly as possible, so Bo can put together his new staff and concentrate on recruiting,” he said. “These next two weeks are really critical to the recruiting process.”

For more on Pelini, please click here

Bo Pelini Career Biography

Bo Pelini Press Conference (audio)

Trev Alberts talks about the hiring of Bo Pelini (audio)

Husker defensive end Zach Potter on Bo Pelini (audio)

Current and Former Husker Player Quotes

Press conference quotes

Press conference photo gallery

What others say about Bo Pelini

Watch Press Conference (Dec 2nd, 2007)


Junior linebacker Tyler Wortman was one of 15 Huskers named to the Academic All-Big 12 team on Tuesday.

Fifteen Nebraska football players have been named to the 2007 Academic All-Big 12 football team, the conference office announced on Tuesday. Among the group of Husker players honored, 12 were named to the first team with another three players earning second-team recognition.

The Nebraska honorees were led by junior linebacker Tyler Wortman who posted a perfect 4.0 grade-point average during the past year. Among the 151 student-athletes honored by the Big 12, Wortman, a mechanical engineering major, was one of seven players recognized for carrying a perfect grade-point average.

Also notable among Nebraska’s first-team selections is tight end J.B. Phillips, who was a first-team selection for the fourth consecutive year. Phillips graduated with his degree in marketing in December of 2006, and is currently pursuing his master’s degree.

Senior linebacker Lance Brandenburgh and junior wide receiver Todd Peterson earned first-team academic All-Big 12 honors for the third time in each of their careers. Five others players earned academic honors for the second time, including senior tight end Josh Mueller, junior punter Dan Titchener, junior safety Matt O’Hanlon, junior defensive end Zach Potter and senior linebacker Bo Ruud.

Seven Huskers earned Academic All-Big 12 honors for the first time in their careers, including Wortman, sophomore receiver Wes Cammack, senior safety Ben Eisenhart, senior offensive lineman Victory Haines, junior offensive lineman Lydon Murtha, senior fullback Andy Sand and senior fullback Matt Senske.

Nebraska’s 15 Academic All-Big 12 selections were the third-most among conference schools and NU’s 12 first-team selections were the second-highest total in the league.

To qualify student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or during the two previous semesters and must have participated in 60 percent of his team’s scheduled contests. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except percent of participation are also eligible.


Lucky scored 12 touchdowns and totaled more than 1,700 all-purpose yards in 2007.

Nebraska junior I-back Marlon Lucky and senior offensive tackle Carl Nicks have been selected as second-team All-Big 12 selections, the conference office announced on Tuesday. The selections were made by the conference’s 12 head coaches, who are not permitted to vote for their own players.

In addition to the selection of Lucky and Nicks to the second-team offense, 10 other Huskers received honorable-mention All-Big 12 accolades.

The 6-0, 210-pound Lucky produced one of the top all-purpose yardage seasons in Nebraska history. On the ground, Lucky ran for 1,019 yards and nine touchdowns, marking the 28th, 1,000-yard rushing season in Nebraska history. Lucky was just as dangerous for Nebraska in the passing game, catching a school-record 75 passes for 705 yards and three touchdowns. His 75 receptions are the most by a running back in the nation and his 705 receiving yards are the fifth-most in school history.

A native of North Hollywood, Calif., Lucky finished with 1,743 all-purpose yards, the seventh-best single-season total in Nebraska history and the best since Ahman Green totaled 1,982 yards in 1997. This marks the second straight year Lucky has been honored by the conference, as the coaches made him an honorable-mention selection as a sophomore, while the Associated Press selected him as a second-team all-purpose player in 2006.

Nicks was the anchor of an offensive line that helped Lucky produce his yardage totals, while also guiding Nebraska to a school-record passing total. The 6-5, 330-pound Nicks started 11 of 12 games at left tackle, providing the push for Nebraska to rank eighth nationally in passing offense and 13th in total offense.

The offensive line allowed just 18 sacks in a school-record 481 pass attempts in 2007, and provided the protection to allow quarterbacks Sam Keller and Joe Ganz to produce five of the top eight passing games in school history.

Ten Huskers were selected to the honorable-mention list—four on offense, four on defense and two on special teams. Offensively, the players honored were senior center Brett Byford, junior tackle Lydon Murtha, sophomore guard Jacob Hickman and senior receiver Maurice Purify. On the defensive side, junior defensive end Zach Potter, senior linebackers Bo Ruud and Steve Octavien and sophomore safety Larry Asante received honorable-mention honors. Rounding out the Huskers recognized were senior kickoff/punt returner Cortney Grixby and junior punter Dan Titchener.

This marks the third straight season Grixby and Ruud have received honors from the conference, while Byford and Purify were honored for the second consecutive year.

2007 All-Big 12 Team


The Huskers head to an NCAA regional for the 14th consecutive year.

Lincoln, Neb. – Behind a solid all-around effort, the second-ranked Nebraska volleyball team advanced to its nation-leading 14th consecutive NCAA Regional appearance with a 30-22, 30-19, 30-19 sweep of Wichita State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament before 4,056 fans at the NU Coliseum.

The Huskers had an edge in nearly every statistical category, out-hitting the Shockers .325-to-.122, totaling 52 kills to WSU’s 35. Defensively, the Huskers recorded 10 blocks to Wichita State’s three, while Nebraska out-dug the Shockers 54-45.

One of the more impressive areas where Nebraska excelled was at the service line, where the Huskers (29-1) tallied a season-high 11 aces and were aced just once. It marked the second straight match where NU totaled at least 10 aces after not reaching double figures in aces during the regular season.

Sarah Pavan, one of four seniors playing their final match at the Coliseum, finished with 15 kills on .481 hitting to lead three Huskers with double figures in kills. Jordan Larson added 11 kills, nine digs and five aces, while Tracy Stalls pounded 10 kills and had four blocks, as the seniors wrapped up their 72nd consecutive home win.

Even with the Huskers’ All-Americans shining, the play of freshman Tara Mueller stood out. One night after receiving her first career start at outside hitter, Mueller pounded a career-high nine kills on .316 hitting, while adding the first solo block of her young career. Mueller came off the bench midway through game one and by the halfway point of game two, she had already pounded a career-high six kills on 10 swings without an error.

Mueller’s performance highlighted a night where Nebraska had moments of brilliance in every phase of the game, both from the starters and the bench. The Huskers, who won their nation-leading eighth consecutive NCAA Tournament match and collected their 39th win in the last 40 matches.

Nebraska now advances to the Madison (Wis.) Regional, where the Huskers will take on Michigan State, an upset winner over Dayton next Friday at a time to be determined


Lincoln, Neb. – The Nebraska volleyball team was dominant in opening defense of its national title, as the second-ranked Huskers cruised to a 30-13, 30-14, 30-13 sweep of South Dakota State in front of 4,189 fans in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament at the NU Coliseum.

Nebraska hit at least .367 in every game, while South Dakota State hit negative in each of the three games. The Huskers also recorded 12 blocks, while the Jackrabbits were unable to record a single stuff.

On the match, NU hit .378, while SDSU committed 24 errors and recorded just 19 kills en route to a season-low -.052 attack percentage.

Tracy Stalls and Sarah Pavan paced the potent Nebraska offense with 11 and 10 kills, respectively, while Jordan Larson added eight kills on 12 swings without an error. Larson also added a season-high five aces, as six different Huskers contributed to Nebraska’s season-high 10 aces.


Tracy Stalls has been invited to train with the U.S. National Team in January.

Lincoln – USA Volleyball announced Monday that University of Nebraska middle blocker Tracy Stalls is one of three current college athletes invited to train with the U.S. National Team in January.

Stalls, a two-time selection, joins the Stanford duo of Foluke Akinradewo and Cynthia Barboza as the three players who were invited based on their performances with the U.S. National Team in 2007.

Stalls trained with the U.S. National Team over the summer and started three matches for Team USA at the Pan American Cup in Colima, Mexico last June. The senior middle blocker averaged 2.25 kills per game while hitting .615 on 39 swings, as Team USA went 3-0 with Stalls in the lineup.

A two-time All-Big 12 performer and second-team All-American, Stalls leads the Big 12 and ranks third nationally in hitting percentage (.472), averaging 2.79 kills and 1.09 blocks per game this season for the second-ranked Huskers, who won a share of the Big 12 title this season.

In addition, junior Jordan Larson was one of 13 players chosen to attend an invitation-only tryout with the U.S. National Team in January. A first-team All-American in 2006, Larson picked up her second straight All-Big 12 award on Monday and averages 3.48 kills and 3.19 digs per game in helping Nebraska to a 27-1 regular-season record and the No. 2 overall seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. Larson is second in the Big 12 in service aces (0.46/gm) and ninth in points per game (4.33).

HUSKER VOLLEYBALL SUBJECT OF NET TV SPECIAL (hope you know someone in Nebraska who can record this for you...)...

The Huskers celebrate the 2006 NCAA title

Lincoln -- When the Nebraska volleyball team defeated Stanford last December at Omaha's Qwest Center to win the 2006 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship, a record crowd of more than 17,000 celebrated in their victory.

But the Husker championship was not a fairy-tale success.

"Nebraska Volleyball: Dream Like a Champion," airing Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 8 p.m. CT and Sunday, Dec. 9, at 5:30 p.m. CT on NET1 and in high-definition on NET-HD, is an inspiring look at Nebraska's own "Dream Team."

From former head volleyball coach Terry Pettit to current coach John Cook, follow the Husker volleyball team on its journey to winning the 2006 National Championship title and along the way learn some of the history behind one of the nation's premier women's volleyball programs.

After a devastating loss to the Washington Huskies in the 2005 National Championship match, "Dream Like a Champion" captures how the Husker team rebounded from the defeat and forged team unity and lasting friendships during a trip to China.

The documentary then follows the Nebraska women as they persevere through the pressure-filled and roller coaster ride of the 2006 season, culminating in the national championship match against Stanford in Omaha. Commentary from current and past Husker players, as well as national rivals, is featured in the program.

"Dream Like a Champion" chronicles how the accomplishments of Pettit's teams -- 694 victories, a 1995 national championship and six Final Four appearances -- led to volleyball becoming to Husker women's athletics what the Big Red football program is to the men's athletic program. It also explores how Cook -- who took over when Pettit retired in 1999 -- has made the Nebraska volleyball program his own.

"Nebraska Volleyball: Dream Like a Champion" is a production of NET Television for broadcast on NET1. NET Television is a service of NET. For a complete program schedule, visit


Sarah Pavan was named Academic All-American of the Year in volleyball.

Pavan Repeats as Academic All-American of the Year

Lincoln – For the first time in school history, three Nebraska volleyball players were named first-team Academic All-Americans, as the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America teams were unveiled Wednesday morning.

Seniors Sarah Pavan, Christina Houghtelling and Tracy Stalls earned that distinction on the six-member first team with Pavan repeating as Academic All-American of the Year. The 2007 campaign marks only the second time in school history that NU has had three Academic All-Americans, as the 2001 class featured only one first-team honoree.

It is the third selection for Pavan, who was a first-team selection in 2005 and 2006, and second for Houghtelling, who earned the honor in 2005. The 2007 season marks Stalls’ first selection to the team.
Senior Associate Athletic Director Dennis Leblanc, who coordinates the Huskers’ academic efforts, says that the three players honored shows the level of commitment that program has consistently shown in both academics and athletics.

“When you talk about having three first-team Academic All-Americans on a defending national championship team and a team GPA of 3.60, it says a lot about the type of individuals in this program,” Lablanc said. “With only six first-team selections and over 2,000 players at the Division I level, it is truly a great honor for Sarah, Christina and Tracy individually, as well as for the other teammates and the coaching staff. It shows the type of individuals that Coach Cook and his staff are bringing to Nebraska.”

Nebraska now has a national-best 32 academic All-Americans in volleyball, a total that nearly triples runner-up M.I.T. total of 12. The Husker program has had 13 volleyball academic all-Americans, including nine first-team selections, under John Cook since the start of the 2000 season.

Pavan becomes the third Husker to repeat as Academic All-American of the Year, joining Janet Kruse and Virginia Stahr, and is the second Husker volleyball player to become a three-time first-team Academic All-American. Pavan, who was named Big 12 Player of the Year for the third straight year on Monday, carries a perfect 4.00 GPA in biochemisty. With Pavan's selection in 2007, Nebraska has now had four players combine for seven volleyball Academic All-Americans of the Year.

Houghtelling becomes the fifth Husker to become a two-time first-team Academic All-American, as the senior from Cambridge, Neb., has a 3.91 GPA in elementary education. A three-time academic All-Big 12 selection, Houghtelling is a two-time All-Big 12 performer and was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year on Monday.

Stalls becomes the ninth different Husker to earn Academic All-America honors under Coach Cook, as she carries a 3.95 GPA in an individualized program of studies. A two-year captain and All-Big 12 performer, she has been a three-time first-team All-Big 12 honoree and earned second-team academic All-District VII honors in 2006.

Nebraska now leads the nation with 255 Academic All-Americans in all sports, 61 more than second-place Notre Dame’s total of 194.


Debby and I would like to ask all of you to show your Husker spirit and vote for our daughter Anne Marie in the final round of the Athlon College Football Sideline Spirit Contest!. Voting for the final round will begin on Saturday, December 1st at 12:00am and will run through 11:59pm on Friday, December 21st. No registration is necessary to vote and there is NO LIMIT to the number of times a person can vote each day.

Click on the following link to vote:

Please send this e-mail to all your Husker friends and family. Also if you have access to a website can you please post a link?

THANKS and GO BIG RED!!Matt & Debby

Visit our Bay Area Huskers website for additional Husker information, Links, Upcoming Events, Past Events, Watch Sites, and the Schedule of Games. Also order Merchandise online, and get information on Husker Scholarships. Check out the History of the Huskers and meet our Directors.

Say hello today, email us, sign up for our newsletter, and become a member of the Bay Area Huskers Alumni Chapter.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Bay Area Husker ENews 11-30-07

Hey Bay Area Husker Fans!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and made it home from travels near and far. The changes back in Lincoln are happening quickly and if you didn't hear the news, Tom Osborne is now also the interim coach to help keep the recruiting machine going while searching for a head coach...lots of rumors about Bo Pellini and Turner Gill but no hard facts yet. Hope you get a chance to watch the Mizzou Tigers take on the Sooners in tomorrows Big XII championship game.

And check out the lady Husker volleyball team info as they start their bid for another national championship. You should be able to pick up at least the audio on the webcast.

You should also read the funny "Husker Nation Gospel" at the end of the email. Some creative Husker fan penned a fabulous and funny "King James" style gospel of the latest trials and tribulations of the Husker Nation.

Go Big Red (White and Blue),



Thursday, November 29, 2007

Osborne now 'interim coach' in order to recruit

Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Few Nebraska football fans are going to argue with Tom Osborne's decision on an interim head coach.

Already the interim athletic director, Osborne declared himself the coach until he hires a successor to Bill Callahan, allowing Nebraska's beloved former coach to visit prospective recruits and try to prevent the program from slipping during the recruiting contact period.

Athletic department communications chief Randy York said the 70-year-old Osborne, who took over the department after the firing of Steve Pederson last month, passed an NCAA certification test on his first try Wednesday and has informed the Big 12 office of his new title.

Osborne was unavailable for comment Thursday. York said he would be on the road recruiting through the end of the week.

Gary Bargen, assistant athletic director in charge of compliance, said the interim AD tag would have limited Osborne to meeting with prospective recruits only if they visited campus. Now he can visit recruits in schools and homes until Dec. 15.

Several recruits who had been committed to Nebraska have said publicly that they are considering other schools while awaiting to see who the next coach will be.

Callahan was fired last Saturday following a 65-51 loss at Colorado, where the Huskers squandered an 11-point halftime lead by allowing 34 consecutive points.

Nebraska finished a dismal 5-7, a year removed from reaching the Big 12 championship game. The season featured a 76-39 defeat at Kansas, the most points allowed by a Nebraska team, and included six games in which its famed defense surrendered 40 or more points.

Osborne, who won 255 games and three national championships from 1973-97, has said he has no interest in returning to the sidelines -- even going so far as to say his wife, Nancy, would "shoot me" if he did.

Once a hire is made, Osborne could continue to recruit until the new coach assembles a full staff of nine assistants, York said.

Two assistants from Callahan's staff, defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove and cornerbacks coach Phil Elmassian, are no longer recruiting for Nebraska.

Osborne said in a radio interview with the Husker Sports Network on Wednesday that he hoped to have a new coach selected by next week. He already interviewed Buffalo coach Turner Gill and LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini and spoke informally with Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe, according to media reports.

Another coach linked to the search, Cincinnati's Brian Kelly, told local radio station WCKY on Wednesday that he had not been contacted by Nebraska.

Nebraska Interim Athletic Director Tom Osborne discussed his search for the Huskers' next football coach on Wednesday night.


Lincoln - In an interview with Lane Grindle Wednesday on the Husker Sports Network’s “Sports Nightly” Show, Nebraska Interim Athletic Director Tom Osborne said the search for a new head football coach was “pretty much on track.”

After indicating that he had interviewed several candidates for the new head coaching job, Osborne was asked how long the search process will take. “We would hope that we would be moving along pretty well by at least the middle of next week,” he said. “But if it takes longer, it takes longer.”

Osborne wouldn’t say if Nebraska is done interviewing candidates. “But I think we’re really in pretty good shape,” he said, adding that he wanted to keep interview options open.

Nebraska’s interim athletic director also became NU’s interim head football coach Wednesday when Gary Bargen, NU’s assistant athletic director for compliance, faxed a letter to Keri Boyce, director of compliance for the Big 12 Conference.

In the letter, Bargen notified the conference that Osborne is also now serving as interim head football coach until a new head football coach is named. According to the letter, Osborne passed the 2007-08 Coaches’ Certification Examination on Wednesday and is now permitted to recruit off-campus until he is no longer serving as a designated, countable coach.

In his radio interview, Osborne explained his approach to hiring a new head football coach.

"You can overwhelm yourself with numbers to where you’re talking to so many people that you don’t really remember what the last person you interviewed said,” Osborne said. “On the other hand, you want to have a large enough pool that you were able to really examine some of the best qualities that some of the best coaches have. And I think we’ve been able to do that.”

Osborne said there are two ways to look at hiring a new head coach and staff.

One is to find a coach who has either played at Nebraska or worked at Nebraska and understands the culture. “They understand where North Platte is and where Oshkosh is, and they know the importance of football to young people in this state,” Osborne said. “They know what walk-ons meant to the program in the past.”

Another possible approach, Osborne acknowledged, is hiring an experienced coach with a solidified staff “that can come in here and sometimes save a lot of time and grief simply because they all have a common terminology. They know each other. Their systems are well in place, and they don’t have to spend several months trying to figure out what each one of them is meaning by a certain term.”

Osborne said the candidates he’s interviewed understand the game, have been successful and are very passionate about football. Money does not appear to be a driving force for the candidates he’s interviewed. “Now having said that,” Osborne added, “it does seem the going rate on salaries has really gone through the roof a bit . . . a little bit amazing.”


NO. 2 HUSKERS BEGIN TITLE RUN AT HOME...(should be available on a webcast)

The Nebraska volleyball team begins the postseason at home, as the second-ranked Huskers will play host to the first and second rounds at the NU Coliseum this weekend. Action begins Friday, Nov. 30, when the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (27-8) of the Sun Belt Conference take on the Wichita State Shockers of the Missouri Valley Conference (26-5) at 4:30 p.m. Nebraska (27-1), which earned its bid by sharing the Big 12 title with Texas, will play in the evening’s second match and will take on the South Dakota State Jackrabbits (25-10) of the Summit League beginning at 7 p.m. or 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first match. The second round will take place on Saturday, Dec. 1, at 5 p.m., as Friday’s winners will square off for a right to compete in the Madison (Wis.) Regional.

Tickets for the first and second rounds in Lincoln are already sold out, but additional tickets may become available later in the week, as the other participating teams determine their ticket allotment. Fans can listen to all of the Huskers’ postseason action on the Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln, KHUS 93.3 FM in Omaha and on the Internet at

The 2007 season marks the 23rd time that Lincoln has played host to first- and second-round competition. Last year, Nebraska hosted the first and second rounds at the NU Coliseum before winning the Gainesville Regional en route to its third national title. Nebraska is 70-22 (.761) in 25 previous NCAA Tournament appearances, ranking second among NCAA schools in wins and winning percentage.

NU Volleyball Quick Hits
  • Nebraska is 43-3 all-time at the NU Coliseum during the NCAA Tournament.
  • Nebraska and South Dakota State have not met since a 2-1 Husker win in 1975 - NU’s first varsity season.
  • Nebraska’s 26 NCAA Tournament appearances ties for third all-time, trailing only Stanford and Penn State with 27 apiece.
  • The Huskers have held their last five opponents to a combined .105 hitting, including three of the last four foes to under .100 hitting.
  • Nebraska’s seniors are 70-1 at home over the last four years and have dropped just eight games at home since losing to Florida A&M in the 2004 home opener.



Portrait of a Leader
The Four Highly Effective Traits of Tracy Stalls

Last Saturday night, in front of the 103rd consecutive volleyball sellout at the NU Coliseum, Tracy Stalls took 13 swings and had 11 kills as second-ranked Nebraska swept 22nd-ranked Oklahoma.

Stalls’ .845 hitting performance impressed everyone, including Dan Whitney, a.k.a. Larry the Cable Guy, who went into a meeting room afterwards to both praise and entertain the defending national champion Huskers.

The "GIT-R-DONE!" Guy probably thought he was going to be the post-game show, but Stalls delivered her own comedy act with what others describe as an impressive repertoire of animal noises. “She was cracking him (Larry the Cable Guy) up,” Nebraska Coach John Cook said.

Stalls, a 6-3 senior co-captain and middle blocker from Denver, might be the most serious-minded amateur comedienne in the country. “Everything she does has a purpose,” Cook said. “She is your classic leader and will do anything to encourage and inspire her teammates. I’ve coached a lot of dedicated athletes, but I don’t know if I’ve ever coached a more dedicated leader.”

Stalls has all the credentials . . . first-team All-Big 12, first-team Academic All-Big 12, first-team All-Central Region, second-team All-American, U.S. National Team Camp participant, team representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

We could keep going, but Stalls is focused on one thing only finishing her Cornhusker career with another national championship. Individual honors are nice, but not part of her priority system. The same applies to individual stats. “I don’t like numbers,” she says. “They’re just a dangerous thing.”

All that matters to Stalls is helping her team get into the physical and psychological shape needed for another successful national championship run.

The Four Highly Effective Traits of Senior Tracy Stalls
1. Live by Example
2. Communicate with Compassion
3. Share a Vision
4. Be Proactive and Be Humble

While reluctant to step into the spotlight, Stalls agreed to sit down with us and share her views on leadership. By the time Shamus McKnight, our volleyball sports information director, turned off his tape recorder, we had a gold mine of insight and candor.

We’ve decided to package our portrait of a leader and call it “The Four Highly Effective Traits of Tracy Stalls.” We thought it best to let Tracy explain those traits in her own words. Then, if you wish, please feel free to share with us the ones that mean the most to you. Better yet, think of some other successful leaders in Nebraska athletic history and describe how you think they stack up to Tracy’s take, which includes:

Live by Example
This means more to me than anything because no matter what comes out of your mouth, if what you do isn’t in line with what you say, there is no respect and no reason to listen to you. Living by example allows people to respect your voice.

How you live is what you are. What is your character? How are you working to develop your character? Are you maxing out in everything that you’re doing and everything that you can control? Do you understand what it is that you can and can’t control? As a competitor, on the court, during intense times, do you want to make the play or are you afraid? That makes a difference between being a leader and a non-leader.

Leaders find a way to win and be good when it is hard. Leaders relish the battle. They listen and have patience. They respond to things instead of just react. Leaders make choices in their lifestyle that support their character. When you lead by example, you’re honest, trustworthy. You can keep a secret. When you are in a position of leadership, people watch what you do and how you respond. Enjoy the responsibility. Take on the challenge.

Communicate with Compassion
The most important role of a captain is to be a mediator between coaches and players. If there are small issues, you do your best to figure them out and get them taken care of. Don’t let anything slide. Make sure everyone knows what’s going on and where everything stands.

Things always go on in the locker room. Leaders decide what can be taken care of between and among teammates, and determine when we need to bring issues to coach. We have to be aware and discern what’s happening, so he is fully aware of how we feel. When you become aware, you can communicate without fear of confrontation. That is something I’ve learned here. I am not afraid of confrontation, and I know there is a right way to handle it.

If you watch and understand how people respond, you know what to say to them. My faith helps me communicate with compassion, patience and love. That is something I’ve really learned since I came to Nebraska what it’s like to serve my teammates and look for opportunities . . . taking time to hear about their day and developing that love and trust.

Being a good listener is the biggest part of being an effective communicator. When you know what people are thinking and how they’re feeling, you can help build them up. Don’t look to gain anything from that person. Just find ways to know who they are, so you understand why something might be tearing them down. Sometimes, communicating can take a lot of hard work, but it’s the only path to mutual respect.

Share a Vision
When you learn how to communicate with compassion, you gain the ability to share a vision. Leaders get others involved and engaged because they actively pursue and get others’ feedback. Leaders do the best they can to get everyone on the same page and keep everyone there. When you have an issue, everyone works together to figure it out.

On every successful team that I’ve been on whether it’s a club championship or last year’s national championship it’s important to have a mission statement. Any successful corporation has a mission statement that makes it very clear what your purpose is. When you know and understand the desired outcome, you can focus on the process and what you can control versus what you can’t control. It’s amazing how much more you can accomplish when everyone understands what’s expected.

Last year, our team used a pyramid to guide our actions, and it worked well. This year, we have a circle. We’re looking at intangible things that aren’t necessarily measured by stats, but still affect the outcome.

For example, I can’t necessarily control where the set is, but I can control how I prepare to get whatever comes my way. I can control if I am giving my best effort to get up to the ball on time and how my mindset is. If I’m ready to compete and swing, I’ve controlled what I can control.

The circle approach is designed to help a teammate who might fall back or distance herself when something goes wrong. As a leader, you have to be aware when that happens and do what you can to help whether it’s having lunch or talking to them . . . just doing something to pull them back in to the circle so that we are unified.

Be Proactive and Be Humble
I’m convinced that leaders need to be both proactive and humble. I’m hyperactive and want to have too many meetings, so I’ve asked my fellow seniors to help me with that. We’re all aware that we’d rather be proactive to eliminate confusion or make sure something doesn’t fester, but we’re also trying for the right balance.

Humility is just as important as being proactive. There’s no question that I don’t know what I’m doing all the time. I am going to mess up. But that’s part of the process of the circle approach to be able to create a sense of vulnerability where people can feel like they can be themselves. When we can all acknowledge our own weaknesses and talk about them we’re living by example, communicating with compassion, sharing a vision and being proactive and humble.

When you put all those elements of leadership together, you create the will to change, the opportunity to grow and improve your chance to succeed . . . together, as a team.

Editor’s Note: Tracy Stalls, who had 10 kills in 20 swings in the Huskers’ three-game sweep at Baylor Wednesday night, is one of four Nebraska seniors who will play their last regular-season game in the Coliseum Saturday night against Texas Tech. Sarah Pavan, Christina Houghtelling and Maggie Griffin will join Stalls in a post-match ceremony honoring the seniors.

(Thanks to Carlos, Buck and Dick for sending this along)...

And it came to pass in the land of Lincoln, in the kingdom of Husker Nation, that a man named Pederson arose to rule the realm ofAthletics. For he was of the Kingdom, from the city of North Platte, and was a follower of the Huskers of Corn.

But he was not a wise man, forsaking the ways of the HuskerNation, sending the leader Solich into the wilderness, and turning away the warriors of old who wore the tunics of black into battle in ages past, even removing their portraits and pictures.

And in the place of Solich, he selected from the land of La-La a strange man, once known as leading a failed army known as Raiders to defeat after defeat in the grand Coliseum of the Land of Oaks, a city by the bay of San Francisco, a wicked city of Sodomites and practitioners of perversion.

And did this man, known as Callahan, become the general ofthe Husker armies, forsaking all traditions held dear to the hearts of the citizens.

And a strange plan known as the West Coast Offense was forced upon the armies, and the proven tactics of old were called evil and sinful by Callahan. And complex and confusing were the plans in the Offense,and failure was the result.

And the Husker armies fell apart on the fields of battle,and adversaries from the Land of Troy, the hated Sooners, the powerful Orange Cowboys from the land of Still Water, yea even the despised PurpleCats from the wasteland of Kansas, did achieve victory after victory over the once-mighty Husker armies, and the wearers of the Tunics of Black.

And in the fourth year of the reign of Callahan, did theHusker armies struggle against warriors from a land where canning jars were made. And lo, the armies of Troy, the Tiger tribe from Columbia, yea, even the Orange Cowboys, did soundly defeat the Husker armies. And it came to pass during the battle with the Orange Cowboys, in the presence of St. Thomas of Osborne and his brave soldiers of yore, that the members of Husker Nation did turn their backs upon the slaughter of the weakened armies of Callahan.

And a hue and cry arose throughout the land, in cyberspace,and on the program ESPN, for the removal of the failed general Callahan and his aides, and his master Pederson the Jerk.

And the Chancellor heard their cries, and dispatched Pederson into exile.

And St. Thomas was summoned by the Chancellor, and was given the power to rule in the department of Athletics.

And o, did Callahan wail and gnash his teeth, telling one and all of the fine works he had done. And his lies fell on deaf ears.

And there was great joy in Husker Nation as St. Thomas restored the traditions of old, welcoming with open arms the warriors of old known to the Nation.

But there was a reminder from St. Thomas that no remedies would be quick in coming, and that time shall pass before the great Husker armies are strong and feared once again throughout the land of the Allianceof 12.

Even so, once again hope is strong among the faithful of the Husker Nation, and some day in the future the Tunics of Black shall once again be worn by the fierce defenders of the field.

Visit our Bay Area Huskers website for additional Husker information, Links, Upcoming Events, Past Events, Watch Sites, and the Schedule of Games. Also order Merchandise online, and get information on Husker Scholarships. Check out the History of the Huskers and meet our Directors.

Say hello today, email us, sign up for our newsletter, and become a member of the Bay Area Huskers Alumni Chapter.