Hank Hughes has spent all 36 years of his coaching career back east.
When Mark Banker asked Hughes if he was interested in coming to Nebraska, Hughes was ready to make a significant move.
“It’s Nebraska,” Hughes said. “To me, that says it all. It’s Nebraska.”
The Albany, New York, native played college ball with Banker at Springfield College.
Hughes’ first coach job was at Albany in 1979. He spent a good part of his career at UConn, including as the Huskies’ defensive coordinator.
The Huskies became known for their strong run defense. The program led the Big East in total defense in 2004, and was sixth nationally in total defense in 2008.
Hughes joined Tommy Tuberville’s staff as co-defensive coordinator at Cincinnati in 2014 before Riley came calling.
Hughes’ defensive philosophy is simple: Stop the run and disrupt the passing game, which starts up front.
“You have to be able to control the run game,” Hughes said. “You have to be able to put pressure on the quarterback. You have to be able to get to the quarterback and disrupt him. Make him uncomfortable. Change his launch point. And, certainly, coaching the defensive line, that will be a huge part of our emphasis.”
Prior to Nebraska
2014: Cincinnati (co-defensive coordinator/defensive line)
2013: Connecticut (defensive coordinator/defensive line)
2011-12: Connecticut (defensive line)
2005-10: Connecticut (assistant head coach for defense/defensive line)
2002-04: Connecticut (defensive coordinator/defensive line)
2001: Connecticut (defensive line)
1998-2000: Memphis (defensive line)
1994-97: Harvard (defensive line/special teams)
1993: Cincinnati (defensive line)
1992: Montreal Machine, WLAF (defensive coordinator/linebackers)
1991: Montreal Machine, WLAF (linebackers)
1985-90: James Madison (linebackers/recruiting coordinator)
1982-84: Lafayette (defensive line)
1981: Northeastern (defensive line)
1980: Springfield College (defensive line)
1979: Albany (defensive line)