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Penn State vs. Nebraska men's tennis

Nebraska head coach Kerry McDermott watches on during the Penn State-Nebraska men's tennis match at the NU Varsity Courts on Sunday, March 31, 2013.

Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos announced Wednesday that Husker men’s golf head coach Bill Spangler and men’s tennis head coach Kerry McDermott will not return following the expiration of their contracts this summer.

“I would like to thank Coach Spangler and Coach McDermott for their dedicated years of outstanding service to the University of Nebraska, and wish them the best in their future endeavors," Moos said in a prepared statement.

A national search for their replacements will begin immediately.

NU deputy athletic director Bob Burton acknowledged the changes were performance-based.

"We've decided to go a different direction," Burton said.

Asked if this is a message of sorts to the rest of the coaches in the system, Burton said, "My answer is that's not how we conduct business. I think we look at each individual and assess where we want to be as a program."

Nebraska also is making changes to its Nebraska Athletic Performance Laboratory and Performance Nutrition. Dr. Jack Ransone, the director of NAPL, and Lindsey Remmers, the director of sports nutrition, will no longer be with the program.

McDermott, an NU graduate and former No. 1 player for the Huskers, took over as Nebraska head coach in 1982, and finished with 408 career victories. He was the Big Eight Coach of the Year in 1988 after guiding the Huskers to a conference runner-up finish. In 1989, McDermott's only All-American, Steven Jung, reached the finals of the NCAA tournament.

The Huskers, however, only made two NCAA Tournaments in 36 years — 2010 and 2011.

NU went 11-15 this spring and 1-10 in the Big Ten after the Huskers suffered through a rash of injuries. It was Nebraska's third season in the $15 million Dillon Tennis Center, considered one of the top tennis facilities in the country.

The Huskers return their entire starting lineup next season and have a recruiting class coming in that includes a pair of three-time Nebraska state high school champions, Will Gleason of Lincoln Southwest and Elkhorn South's Mason Meier.

"I probably had my best recruiting class coming in, and with the guys we have back, I think this will be a good team next year," McDermott said. "I felt like we were moving in the right direction, but the university didn't see it that way."

McDermott, 60, wants to continue to coach college tennis and will begin his own nationwide search. "I like what I'm doing, I'm not ready to retire yet, so I will be looking for an opportunity to coach again," he said.

Spangler, an NU graduate, just finished his 17th season with the Husker golf program. His teams have finished 11th, 13th, 13th, 12th and 11th out of 14 teams in conference meets the past five seasons. Nebraska has only reached the NCAA regional round twice under Spangler's reign, finishing 22nd in 2005-06 and 21st in 2006-07.

Nebraska's best regular-season finish this past season was ninth place, and the Huskers haven't won a tournament since 2012.

Spangler, who replaced Larry Romjue in 2001, guided the Huskers to four straight Herman Awards (2011-14), which recognize the NU team with the highest grade-point average. McDermott's tennis team have been the Herman Award winners seven times since 1997, the latest in 2016.

McDermott was making more than $72,000 annually, and Spangler about $66,000.

Ransone took over as NAPL director in the fall of 2015, about two years after Nebraska built its 20,000-square-foot performance lab. Before that, Ransone was at Texas State, and he also was coordinator of medical systems for the San Antonio Spurs.

Remmers had served in her role since 2012.


Husker columnist

Steven, a lifelong Nebraskan, newspaper enthusiast and UNL grad, joined the Journal Star in 1990 and has covered NU football since 1995.

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