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."
Key members of Husker football coach Scott Frost's staff
Role: Defensive coordinator
Alma mater: Iowa (2003)
Connection to Frost: Chinander and Frost have coached a total of nine seasons together. First, two at Northern Iowa, then five at Oregon and now the past two at Central Florida. In Orlando, Chinander coordinated the Knights’ defense.
What stands out: At 37 years old, Chinander has moved up the coaching ranks fast. In 2016, he was a finalist for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation’s best assistant coach. This year, the Knights forced 29 turnovers in 12 games. He also is plenty familiar with the Big Ten. He is from Allison, Iowa, and walked on to the Hawkeyes program in 1998.
Did you know: When Chinander and Frost coached together at UNI in 2007-08, Chinander coached offense (tight ends) and Frost defense (linebackers, co-defensive coordinator). Now Chinander will call defensive plays in Lincoln and Frost will call the offense.
2018-present: Nebraska (defensive coordinator)
2016-17: UCF (defensive coordinator)
2014-15: Oregon (outside linebackers)
2013: Philadelphia Eagles (assistant defensive line)
2011-12: Oregon (defensive grad assistant)
2010: Oregon (intern)
2004-09: Northern Iowa (tight ends)
2003: Ellsworth (Iowa) Community College (offensive/defensive line)
Role: Defensive backs
Alma mater: UCF (2001)
Connection to Frost: Fisher was one of only two holdovers from George O’Leary’s staff when Frost arrived in Orlando in December 2015.
What stands out: Fisher will only be in his fifth year coaching college football because after graduating he enjoyed an eight-year NFL career. A second-round draft pick in 2002, Fisher played five seasons for the St. Louis Rams, two for the Detroit Lions and one for the Seattle Seahawks.
Did you know: Fisher has seen the highs and lows of college football in his young career. He has been on staff at UCF for a 12-1 season, an 0-12 season and a 12-0 season.
2018-present: Nebraska (defensive backs)
2016-17: UCF (defensive backs)
2015: UCF (cornerbacks)
2014: Southeast Missouri State (cornerbacks)
2013: UCF (defensive quality assistant)
Role: Tight ends coach
Alma mater: UCF (1993)
Connection to Frost: When Frost got to UCF, he pieced together his staff, turning to coaches who he worked with at Oregon and Northern Iowa. He did, however, keep Beckton, a holdover from the George O'Leary staff. Beckton played a key role in creating a smooth transition from a recruiting standpoint between the old and new staff at UCF. In fact, it was Beckton who landed Frost's first recruit at UCF — running back Adrian Killins.
What stands out: Beckton's comfort level with working for Frost. We're talking about a UCF graduate who has spent all of his life in Florida and was offered a spot on the staff of Josh Heupel, the new UCF coach. Yet Beckton is headed to Lincoln. Under Beckton's watch, UCF tight end Jordan Akins received first-team all-conference honors this season. He also coached Brandon Marshall, who was one of the NFL's top wideouts for some time.
Did you know: Beckton was a standout wide receiver at UCF from 1987-90. In a game against Texas Southern, he threw for a touchdown, ran for a touchdown, caught a touchdown and scored on a punt return. He was named to the UCF Hall of Fame.
2018-present: Nebraska (tight ends)
2016-17: UCF (tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator)
2012-15: UCF (wide receivers coach)
2009-11: UCF (defensive backs)
2008: Orlando Predators (AFL) (wide receivers)
1996-03: UCF (wide receivers)
1992-93: UCF (offensive grad assistant)
Role: Defensive line
Alma mater: UMass-Amherst (1997)
Connection to Frost: Dawson was a member of Frost's UCF staff in 2016-17 and coached the Husker defensive line in 2018 before leaving to take a position on the New York Giants staff.
What stands out: Dawson has been a member of a NFL coaching staff twice, and he drew rave reviews for his work in Lincoln in 2018.
Did you know: Dawson helped Oshane Ximines, the first Old Dominion player ever selected in the NFL Draft, record 4.5 sacks in his rookie season with the Giants in 2019.
College coaching experience
2022: Nebraska (defensive line)
2020-21: Nebraska (outside linebackers)
2019: New York Giants, Assistant Coach (Outside Linebackers)
2018: Nebraska, Assistant Coach (Defensive Line)
2016-17: UCF, Defensive Line
2014-15: Philadelphia Eagles, Assistant Coach (Assistant Defensive Line)
2013: Philadelphia Eagles, Defensive Quality Control
2009-11: Boston College, Assistant Coach (Special Teams)
2006-08: Akron, Assistant Coach (Linebackers)
2004-05: New Hampshire, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
2002-03: New Hampshire, Assistant Coach (Linebackers)
2001: New Hampshire, Assistant Coach (Offensive Line)
2000: New Hampshire, Assistant Coach (Linebackers)
1999: Pittsburgh, Graduate Assistant
1998: Maine, Defensive Assistant
1998 (Spring): UMass-Lowell, Assistant Coach (Defensive Line)
Role: Inside linebackers coach
Alma mater: Nebraska (2005)
Connection to Frost: Ruud served on Scott Frost's staff the past two seasons at UCF as defensive quality control coach. When Ruud was hired, he recalled being a Lincoln middle schooler who "went to every game he (Frost) played as a quarterback."
What stands out: Ruud is regarded as one of the best linebackers in NU history, finishing his career with a school-record 432 tackles. He was a freshman All-American, a three-time All-Big 12 selection and a 2004 third-team All-American.
Did you know: Ruud was a second-round NFL Draft pick in 2005 and played eight seasons in the NFL, the first six with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He also played for Tennessee, New Orleans and Houston.
College coaching experience
2018-present: Nebraska (inside linebackers)
2016-17: UCF (defensive quality control coach)
Role: Head strength and conditioning coach
Alma mater: Nebraska (1998)
Connection to Frost: Frost and Duval go way back. Duval was an assistant in the NU strength program when Frost played quarterback here. He was a graduate assistant in 1995-96 and then an assistant strength coach from 1997-02.
What stands out: Duval is considered to be on the leading edge of strength and conditioning in college athletics. He puts an emphasis on sleep and nutrition, and reportedly developed a strong rapport with many UCF players in his two years there.
Did you know: In 2002, Duval founded Xplosive Edge in Omaha. His brother, Gibbie, now owns and operates the business.
College coaching experience
2018-present: Nebraska (strength and conditioning)
2016-17: UCF (director of sports performance for football)
2013-14: Wyoming (director of sports performance)
2010-13: Buffalo (director of sports performance)
2009: Creighton (director of athletics performance)
2008: Nebraska (assistant strength coach)
1997-02: Nebraska (assistant strength coach)
1995-96: Nebraska (graduate assistant, strength)
Role: Offensive coordinator, quarterbacks
Alma mater: Brown (1979)
Connection to Frost: Whipple and Frost are believed to have first met more than a decade ago, at a social function before Oregon and Auburn played for the national title in January 2011 in Arizona. Frost says, “I’ve known ‘Whip’ for a long time and kept in touch with him for a long time."
What stands out: Experience. Whipple has been around the block, and he's even coached in the NFL as a quarterbacks coach for some guy named Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh. Last season at Pitt, Whipple oversaw quarterback Kenny Pickett's rise to a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate.
Did you know: Whipple once was an assistant coach in a NFL Pro Bowl game. His three quarterbacks? Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.
2022: Nebraska, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2019-21: Pitt, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2014-18: Massachusetts, Head Coach
2011-12: Cleveland Browns, Assistant Coach (Quarterbacks)
2009-10: Miami, Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2008: Philadelphia Eagles, Assistant Coach
2004-06: Pittsburgh Steelers, Assistant Coach (Quarterbacks)
1998-2003: Massachusetts, Head Coach
1994-97: Brown, Head Coach
1988-93: New Haven, Head Coach
1986-87: New Hampshire, Offensive Coordinator
1984: Arizona Wranglers (USFL), Assistant Coach (Quarterbacks)
1983: Brown, Assistant Coach (Wide Receivers)
1981-82: Union, Offensive Coordinator
1980: St. Lawrence, Assistant Coach
Role: Special teams
Alma mater: Nebraska Wesleyan (1988)
Connection to Frost: Busch has been around the Huskers program dating back to 1990, when he was a graduate assistant. Since then, he's had one other full-time stint with Nebraska (2004-07) and Frost brought him on as an analyst last season.
What stands out: Recruiting. Former LSU head coach Ed Orgeron told Steven M. Sipple that Orgeron played a major role in bringing quarterback Joey Burrow to the Tigers.
Did you know: Busch is a Pender native.
2022: Nebraska (Special Teams Coordinator)
2021: Nebraska (Defensive Analyst)
2018-20: LSU (Safeties)
2017: Rutgers (Co-Defensive Coordinator, Defensive Backs)
2016: Rutgers (Defensive Backs)
2015: Ohio State (Defensive Quality Control)
2013-14: Wisconsin (Defensive Backs, Special Teams)
2011-12: Utah State (Special Teams Coordinator, Safeties)
2009-10: Utah State (Defensive Coordinator)
2005-07: Nebraska (Special Teams Coordinator, Safeties)
2004: Nebraska (Special Teams Coordinator, Outside Linebackers)
2001-03: Utah (Secondary)
1997-2000: New Mexico State (Defensive Backs)
1996: Northern Arizona (Co-Defensive Coordinator, Secondary)
1995: Northern Arizona (Secondary)
1994: Wisconsin (Graduate Assistant)
1990-93: Nebraska (Graduate Assistant, Defense)
1989: Nebraska Wesleyan (Graduate Assistant)
Role: Wide receivers, passing game, associate head coach
Alma mater: Nebraska (1993)
Connection to Frost: Both Frost and Joseph enjoyed successful playing careers with the Huskers in the 1990s.
What stands out: Recruiting. With Joseph, LSU assembled the best group of receivers in SEC history. The Tigers’ three starters— Ja’Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson and Terrace Marshall —combined for 241 receptions for 3,991 yards and 51 touchdowns.
Did you know: Joseph started nine games in his Nebraska career, rushing for 1,091 yards and 16 touchdowns while passing for 909 yards and 14 touchdowns.
2022: Nebraska, Associate Head Coach (Wide Receivers/Passing Game Coordinator)
2020-21: LSU, Assistant Head Coach (Wide Receivers)
2017-21: LSU, Assistant Coach (Wide Receivers)
2016: Louisiana Tech, Assistant Coach (Running Backs)
2014-15: Grambling State, Assistant Coach (Wide Receivers/Special Teams Coordinator)
2013: Alcorn State, Assistant Head Coach (Wide Receivers/Special Teams Coordinator)
2011-12: Langston University, Head Coach
2008-10: Langston University, Assistant Coach
2006-08: Desire Street (New Orleans) Academy, Head Coach
2004-05: Central Oklahoma, Assistant Coach (Running Backs)
2001-03: Nicholls State, Assistant Coach (Quarterbacks)
2000: Alabama State, Assistant Coach (Wide Receivers)
1999: Tulane, Graduate Assistant
1998: Archbishop Shaw (La.) High School, Assistant Coach (Quarterbacks)
1997: Wayne State College, Assistant Coach (Run Game Coordinator)
1995-96: Omaha North High School, Assistant Coach (Quarterbacks/Wide Receivers)
Role: Running backs
Alma mater: Northern Colorado (1998)
What stands out: Experience. Applewhite has over 20 years of college coaching experience, many of those years spent overseeing running backs. That kind of knowledge will be much-needed at Nebraska, which has question marks at the position heading in to the 2022 season.
Did you know: A standout fullback at Northern Colorado from 1994-98, Applewhite played on teams that won two NCAA Division II National Championships (1996 and 1997), competed in the Division II Playoffs for four straight seasons (1995-98) and won North Central Conference crowns during his junior and senior seasons.
College coaching experience
2022: Nebraska (Running Backs)
2020-21: TCU (Running Backs)
2015-19: Colorado State (Running Backs/Recruiting Coordinator in 2018-19)
2010-14: Louisiana-Monroe (Running Backs, Recruiting Coordinator)
2009: Montana State (Running Backs)
2003-08: Wyoming (Running Backs)
2000-2002: Northern Colorado (assistant coach)
1999: Northern Colorado (graduate assistant)
Contact the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.