Shawn Eichorst introduced new Husker football coach Mike Riley as another "outstanding coach and teacher" at Nebraska.
NU's athletic director, who fired Bo Pelini on Sunday, repeated much of what was said at an earlier news conference, stating the goal under Riley is to compete for conference and national championships but to win with class, sportsmanship and integrity.
Today, Eichorst said, we "usher in a new era of Nebraska football."
Riley, 61 and wearing a red tie, was introduced at a Friday morning news conference on the club level of Memorial Stadium.
“I’m excited to be here, I’m excited to coach this football team, excited to be in Lincoln, be a part of this university and be a a part of this fan base which is known as one of the best in college football,” Riley said.
Riley's hiring was announced Thursday, but Eichorst said the decision was made Wednesday night.
Eichorst said he turned his focus to Riley on Monday morning and reached out to see if he’d be interested.
“From that point on I recruited like I’ve never done before,” he said. Eichorst said University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Harvey Perlman was in San Francisco and Riley was recruiting in San Francisco, so the three of them spent some time together earlier this week.
Eichorst said when Riley left the room on Tuesday, “I looked at Harvey and said ‘I think this is our guy.’” Eichorst and Perlman put an agreement together with input from the Executive Council of the Board of Regents and others, he said.
“It was a surprise hire because it was a pretty fast and quiet search,” Eichorst said.
Eichorst said Riley has been on his radar for probably 10 years. “He’s been on my radar because he‘s an elite coach, he’s a teacher.”
Riley said his hiring was a quick process. His initial contact with Eichorst came Monday.
Several Nebraska players were on hand, including cornerback Daniel Davie, offensive lineman Givens Price and wide receiver De'Mornay Pierson-El.
Riley met with his new team shortly after arriving to Lincoln on Thursday night.
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Riley also sent an email to Nebraska lettermen on Thursday.
“We are in this together to build young men and win championships,” Riley said, adding the two goals can go together.
Riley will make $2.7 million in the first year of a five-year deal, NU officials confirmed Friday morning.
Riley's contract, which runs through February 2020, includes automatic $100,000 increases each year.
At Oregon State, Riley was making $1.51 million this year. Former Husker coach Bo Pelini was making $3.1 million and was to go to $3.2 million next year.
Riley was asked about any assistant coaches he might bring with him, but declined to name any.
“Some that I intend to bring don’t even know it yet. So it's probably better if I didn’t mention their name,” Riley joked.
Riley said putting together a staff is a "big, big part" of building a championship program.
Riley said his knowledge of Nebraska football dates back to his playing days at Alabama.
“I was a freshman on that team that Johnny Rodgers ran all over," he said. "I have great admiration for the history of coaching that’s gone on here.”
Riley said he draws from one of Tom Osborne’s books for quotes to share with his players. He also recognized Pelini and his coaching staff for the work that they put in to the football program at NU.
Riley, who will not coach the bowl game, met with interim coach Barney Cotton Thursday night and said he plans to talk to Nebraska assistant coaches as soon as he can.
In his meeting with players, Riley said Huskers -- dozens of them -- came through one-by-one to shake his hand and introduce themselves.
“I know they are facing a time of uncertainty," he said.