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Steven M. Sipple: Moos won't meddle in coaching staff hires the way predecessor did
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Steven M. Sipple: Moos won't meddle in coaching staff hires the way predecessor did

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Football Facility, 9.27

Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos (left) and football coach Scott Frost attended the announcement of the Huskers' new athletic facility last September at the East Stadium Plaza.

Things I know, and things I think I know: 

As Nebraska football coach Scott Frost's staff evolves in the future — including the immediate future — he'll perhaps seek input from various sources before making moves. 

His athletic director potentially could be one of the sources. After all, Bill Moos understands football at a high level. But Frost probably would have to ask Moos for input because the boss prefers to stay out of those decisions. 

"My philosophy is I hire the coach to make those moves," Moos told me earlier this week. "You have to make sure you have the right head coach. And then I tell that head coach, 'You make your own decisions on your staff. I'm going to support you and get a quality salary pool and all that. But if it isn't working, you have to be the judge of that.'

"In the end, the head coach is going to be responsible. It's his job that's on the line." 

So, Moos, the third-year Nebraska athletic director, takes a different approach than his predecessor did. Before the 2017 season, Shawn Eichorst was heavily involved in bringing Bob Diaco to Lincoln as the new defensive coordinator. Then-Husker head coach Mike Riley has said that he’d been told by Eichorst that his longtime defensive coordinator, Mark Banker, would not be allowed to return for the 2017 season. Riley fired Banker by phone while Banker was recruiting in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

That, my friends, was a fiasco. I'd be surprised if we saw that sort of weak leadership during the Moos/Frost era. 

"Scott will keep me aware of things," Moos said. "I have to approve (contracts). The main thing is, I'm going to help my coaches do what they think is right. They're working it day to day to day. They know what's working and what isn't." 

There's value in understanding Moos' approach with his coaches, especially with Frost changing up his current staff.

"They keep me informed," Moos added, "so I don't wake up and read the Journal Star and find out we've just fired a couple coaches. I'm well aware of it and the plan before it ever happens." 

* So, Jovan Dewitt moves on to North Carolina to coach outside linebackers and be special teams coordinator, the same roles he had at Nebraska the past two seasons. We'll likely learn of Dewitt's replacement in coming days (as opposed to weeks). But will there be additional movement on Frost's staff? Let's put it this way, I'm more in the mode of thinking that it'll be an intriguing month ahead. 

Frost continues to make moves that he hopes are good for the program in the long haul. No shortcuts, he says. But you just know he pushes forward with a degree of urgency, especially with the Big Ten West Division's improvement from top to bottom. 

A John Wooden phrase comes to mind: "Be quick, but don't hurry." 

* You probably noticed Iowa's Luka Garza barking at Nebraska's Cam Mack on Tuesday night, and Hawkeye basketball coach Fran McCaffery drawing a technical foul early in the game. Pinnacle Bank Arena heated up quickly and stayed hot as the Huskers pulled off the 76-70 upset. 

Moos noticed the chippy nature of the game, and liked it.

"We have to continue to stoke the fire of that rivalry," he said. "We've had Iowa's number (in basketball) lately. I really like that. That plays right into the blueprint." 

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It was Iowa's fifth loss in its last six visits to Nebraska.

"We need a heated rival!" Moos added. "Iowa athletic director Gary Barta is a good friend. It's why we want to do the Black Friday thing again. Let's face it, we've been a lost soul at Nebraska. Once the Oklahoma thing was over, who do we want as a rival? It only makes sense that it's Iowa." 

Yes, we've talked about all this before. But I always enjoy hearing Moos' passion on the subject. It's genuine. He'll literally talk for hours about his personal experiences with rivalry games such as the annual Griz-Cat showdown pitting the Montana Grizzlies and the Montana State Bobcats (Moos' first stint as an AD was at Montana, from 1990-95). 

"I moved the Griz-Cat game at Montana to the end of the year," he said, his voice rising. "It was in the middle of October and inevitably both teams would lose the next week because they would just lay it all out."

"With that rivalry," he added, "it's kind of like fans went to a fight and a football game broke out. It's unbelievable."

Sounds like a hoot.

* Moos, on Fred Hoiberg: "He's a hell of a coach. He knows what he's working with this year. He knows how to get the best out of who's on the court. We're not going to go in the paint and just bang the hell out of teams. But we got hot from the perimeter (against Iowa). You know how it is: If you don't have a sound running game, throw the ball. We're going to battle with the weapons we have and it's fun to watch."

* Some Moos family news: Bill's son, Bo Moos, recently took a job as an associate athletic director at Montana State. Yes, the rival. The 30-year-old Moos will be in charge of fundraising. 

The former Arizona State defensive lineman apparently is quite the conversationalist. Wonder where he gets that trait.

"He can light it up and have some fun," Bill Moos said. 

* Meanwhile, Ben Moos played mostly special teams for the Cal Golden Bears this season as a sophomore. He's an outside linebacker playing for a program with an excellent defense. Bill was on hand for Cal's 35-20 win against Illinois in the Redbox Bowl in Santa Clara, California.

Moos mentioned that the Golden Bears perhaps should make staff changes on offense — not a mandate, just a suggestion. LOL.

* Sometimes I have to remind myself to have fun while covering Nebraska football.

I highly doubt football writers in the state of Mississippi will have to remind themselves of that in coming years. 

* Mike Leach, 58, is great for our country. Obviously. But I'll never agree with his take on disco.

"What a dark time for our country," he has said. 

What a beautiful time for the SEC.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7440 or ssipple@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraSip.

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