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Former Nebraska head coach Mickey Joseph arrested for alleged domestic assault

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Mickey Joseph, Nebraska's interim head coach for the final nine games of the football season, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of a felony domestic violence charge stemming from an alleged assault reported Wednesday, according to police.

Joseph was arrested Wednesday afternoon following a domestic service call from the coach's home near 34th Street and Tree Line Drive, the Lincoln Police Department said in a Wednesday evening news release.

Mickey Joseph

Mickey Joseph

Officers responded to the home just before 2 p.m. Wednesday and later arrested the 54-year-old "at a separate location" on suspicion of third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, and strangulation, a felony.

He was booked into the Lancaster County jail just after 4 p.m. Joseph hasn't yet been charged but is likely to be set for court Thursday afternoon. 

Police in the news release provided no details about the exact nature of the alleged assault in an effort to protect the victim, the department said.

Nebraska athletic director Trev Alberts, in a statement, said Joseph had been placed on administrative leave.

“I was made aware of the charges against Coach Joseph and given the nature of the allegations and based on University policy he has been placed on administrative leave," Alberts said. "We will have no additional comment at this time.”

Joseph's status with Nebraska has been up in the air since NU hired Matt Rhule earlier this week to be the Huskers' head football coach.

While Alberts said Monday that any decision regarding Joseph's status at NU would be up to Rhule, both Alberts and the new coach commended Joseph for how he had led the program for the past 11 weeks.

Alberts said Monday: "I had a lot of respect for Coach Joseph prior to him becoming our interim coach. I have more respect for him now. The way that he worked, continued working, doing the right things, fighting hard for these young men and investing in them, was really something."

Rhule has made several decisions regarding the future of former assistants and the hiring of new ones, but a source told the Journal Star that a decision on Joseph's future at Nebraska had not been sorted out prior to his arrest.

Joseph, who played at Nebraska, was hired by former head coach Scott Frost in December 2021 to be Nebraska's associate head coach, receivers coach and passing game coordinator. After Frost was fired on Sept. 11, Alberts promoted Joseph to be Nebraska's interim coach for the remainder of the season.

After leading Nebraska to its first win over Iowa in eight years last week, Joseph wasn't worried about his future in coaching.

"I’m good," Joseph said on Black Friday. "I’ve been in this thing for over 25 years. And I’ve got a pretty good resume. So, somebody’s going to hire me.”

Joseph's contract with Nebraska runs through Dec. 31, 2023, but he can be fired for cause if he was found to have been in "violation or breach of any applicable federal, state or municipal laws," or "violation of any felony or misdemeanor criminal statute resulting in a conviction that relates to, impacts or impairs [his] ability to perform duties on behalf of the University," according to his contract.

Nebraska interim head football coach Mickey Joseph reflects on his career and being the first Black head coach in Nebraska.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7223 or

On Twitter @andrewwegley


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Breaking news reporter

A Kansas City, Missouri, native, Andrew Wegley joined the Journal Star as breaking news reporter after graduating from Northwest Missouri State University in May 2021.

Husker sports reporter/columnist

A Funk native and graduate of Lincoln Southeast, Amie Just joined the Journal Star as sports columnist after spending five seasons covering football for the New Orleans Times-Picayune and the Missoulian in Missoula, Montana.

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