Bo Pelini is the new coach at Nebraska, leaving the defensive coordinator post at LSU for a job many Cornhuskers fans thought he should have been given four years ago.
Interim athletic director and former head coach Tom Osborne announced Pelini’s hiring Sunday, after introducing Pelini to the players.
“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.”
It’s the first head coaching job for the 39-year-old Pelini, who spent three years at LSU orchestrating one of the nation’s top defenses. He replaces Bill Callahan, fired Nov. 24 after the Huskers’ second losing season in four years.
Unlike Callahan, a former NFL coach many Nebraska fans never felt comfortable with, Pelini doesn’t come to the football-crazed state as a stranger.
He was interim coach after Frank Solich was fired following the 2003 regular season and went on to coach the Huskers to an Alamo Bowl victory over Michigan State. As he walked off the field in San Antonio, Husker fans chanted “We want Bo.”
“It’s something I’ve worked a long time for,” Pelini said Sunday of becoming a head coach.