Monday, December 31, 2007

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

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