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NU finalizes football staff additions, including return of former assistant Bill Busch as analyst
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HUSKER FOOTBALL

NU finalizes football staff additions, including return of former assistant Bill Busch as analyst

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Bill Busch

Bill Busch joined Ed Orgeron's staff as LSU's safeties coach in 2018.

Scott Frost discussed several Husker football topics in a 20-plus minute news conference Thursday.

A native Nebraskan is returning to join Scott Frost’s football staff.

Bill Busch, a Pender native with a long history as a college assistant coach, is back at Nebraska to join Frost’s staff as an analyst on the defensive side of the ball, the school announced Monday.

NU also finalized the additions of two other off-field staffers: Offensive analyst Keanon Lowe and director of player development Marcus Castro-Walker. 

“The three men we have added to our staff will all impact our program in a positive way,” Frost said in a statement. “Marcus Castro-Walker has a natural ability to connect with young student-athletes, help them in their transition to college and maximize their full experience as a college football player. He will be a great supplement to many of the off-field programs our staff already has in place for our players.

“Keanon Lowe is a rising star in the coaching profession and will complement our offensive staff very well. Having coached Keanon at Oregon, I know the type of character, competitiveness, and football IQ he brings to our program. Bill Busch has a proven track record of coaching success at the highest level throughout his career, and he will be a great addition to our defensive staff. Bill has an investment in this program and understands what it takes to win at Nebraska.”

Busch can help implement schemes and can be in meetings, but cannot coach on the field in his capacity as an analyst. 

He spent 2004-07 at Nebraska under head coach Bill Callahan coaching outside linebackers (2004) and safeties (2005-07) while also serving as the special-teams coordinator. 

Busch is also an accomplished recruiter. He recruited Nebraska's last first-round NFL Draft pick, cornerback Prince Amukamara and also was heavily involved in some of NU's top-ranked recruiting classes, like the 2005 group. 

Busch has worked at six Power Five schools since his last stint at Nebraska, including Utah State (2009-12), Wisconsin (2013-14), Ohio State (2015), Rutgers (2016-17) and LSU the past three seasons as the Tigers' safeties coach. 

NU had an analyst opening on defense after Bill McGovern left recently to become the Chicago Bears' inside linebackers coach

Busch is set to make $36,000 from Nebraska, but is also likely still being paid by LSU. According to an Associated Press report, he was under contract until March 31, 2022 at $457,000 annually.

Salary mitigation from previous employers often has an impact on incoming staff salaries. McGovern, for example, had a $36,000 salary at NU because he was still getting paid by the New York Giants, where he worked in 2019.  Senior special-teams analyst Jonathan Rutledge, on the other hand, made $150,000 annually before he was fired last month

Frost and offensive coordinator Matt Lubick also tapped their Oregon connections Monday to bring on board their latest offensive staffer. 

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That's Lowe, a former Ducks wide receiver, who is joining the program as an offensive analyst. 

Lowe was a regular for Oregon, appearing in 35 games between 2012-14 and catching 68 passes for 891 yards and 11 touchdowns. 

He is most famous for what happened after his playing career, though. While he was the football coach at Parkrose High in Portland, he stopped a potential school shooting when he grabbed a student who tried to walk into a classroom with a shotgun

The incident led to him being named one of Time Magazine's heroes of the year and Disney in December announced it plans to make a movie about him and the incident. 

Not long after, he told The Athletic that he remembered Frost’s daily position group meetings being about much more than football.

“Coach Frost told us that if you haven’t already made up your mind what you would do in an emergency situation, then you are going to be too slow and you are not going to help the situation,” Lowe told the site. “It’s going to happen too fast.”

Later, he added, “I don’t know about the word 'hero.' To me, this was one of those things in life where my whole life I’ve been getting prepared, without me knowing it, for this moment right here. For me not to hesitate and me not to crack under pressure and be there not only for those students who were scared for their lives but also for the student himself in that situation.”

Lowe was set to be the head coach at powerhouse West Linn High in Oregon, but left that job before coaching a game over the summer to take an analyst job on Chip Kelly's UCLA staff. Lowe is set to make $40,000. 

NU had an offensive analyst role open after another former Duck, Dustin Haines, left the program before the 2020 season and became a coach at Glacier High in Kalispell, Montana, near his hometown. 

NU on Monday also confirmed Castro-Walker as the school's new director of player development, a hire that was first reported last week by Football Scoop

Castro-Walker, a native of Toronto who played college football at Eastern Washington, is a familiar face for Frost and most of NU's coaching staff. 

He served in the same role for Frost at Central Florida in 2016, Frost's first season as a head coach, and spent stints at Arizona State both before and since. Castro-Walker is set to make $92,500 at NU. 

Frost recently told the Journal Star that the director of player development is, in his mind, an "all-encompassing role." 

“Those guys are usually plugged in with the players," Frost said. "A perfect guy in that role is somebody that can relate to all the kids, regardless of background, and that the kids trust to go to if they have anything going on off the field. Somebody that has a relationship with compliance, somebody that has a relationship with academics and can make sure the kids are doing what they’re supposed to do. Somebody that has a relationship with everybody in housing, so if there’s an issue in the dorms, they can take care of it. May even have a relationship with campus police in case one of our kids gets picked up for jaywalking.

“That role is almost all-encompassing, and if you have a really good guy in that role, it takes a lot off everybody else’s plate and it helps the players out a lot.”

NU also had a graduate assistant, former Duck Tony Washington Jr., accept the director of player development at Oregon over the weekend. 

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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