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HUSKER FOOTBALL

New Husker OC Whipple becomes highest-paid assistant coach in program history; Busch to make $400,000

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Mark Whipple is Nebraska's highest-paid assistant coach. 

The new Husker offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach will make $875,000 in the first year of a two-year deal and $900,000 in the second year, according to a copy of his contract released by the university on Friday morning. The contract runs through Dec. 31, 2023.

Whipple made $476,000 annually as the offensive coordinator at Pittsburgh. 

His new salary makes him the highest-paid assistant coach in Nebraska history, surpassing the $825,000 former defensive coordinator Bob Diaco made in 2017. 

Current defensive coordinator Erik Chinander made $800,000 in 2021 and could earn a raise that would match or approach Whipple's salary. 

Since his arrival, Whipple has already started to see changes in the Husker quarterback room. Nebraska added Texas transfer Casey Thompson to the mix and is hosting Florida State transfer Chubba Purdy on an official visit this weekend. 

New special teams coordinator Bill Busch is set to make $400,000 annually in his new role. Busch had made about $450,000 previously as the safeties coach at LSU and was still being paid by the school in 2021 when he served as a defensive analyst for NU. His deal, like Whipple's, runs through Dec. 31, 2023. 

Nebraska also bumped inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud's salary by $75,000 to $325,000 and tight end coach Sean Beckton by $25,000 to $450,000, according to updated copies of their contracts.

With Busch and Whipple's contracts on the books and two raises accounted for, NU's current assistant salary pool stands at $5.2 million, with the details of new running backs coach Bryan Applewhite's contract still to be finalized and released. 

It is possible that any of the other three returning staffers — Chinander, secondary coach Travis Fisher and defensive front coach Mike Dawson — could see slight increases, too. 

"There will be some slight bumps for some folks, nothing dramatic," Nebraska athletic director Trev Alberts told the Journal Star on Tuesday, before the four updated contracts had been released. 

"I’m all in to try to help Scott," he added. "The market has shifted. I know what’s in his contract for assistant coaches ($5 million pool), but I know what the rest of the Big Ten is spending as well in terms of $7 and $8 million dollars. He’ll probably be north of ($5 million), but remember that he’s also giving up some salary to help. I just tried to be as helpful as I can.

"Investing in areas where there’s a significant return, while there’s always risk, I feel better about than spending a bunch of money in an area where there’s no opportunity for return. … We need to get the right people here."

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.

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Husker football reporter

Parker joined the Journal Star as the University of Nebraska football beat writer in August 2017. He previously covered Montana State athletics for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012.

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