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|12-02-2007, 08:17 PM||#1|
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Huskers hire Pelini
Nebraska names Pelini new coach
LSU defensive coordinator Pelini takes over Huskers
Posted: Sunday December 2, 2007 3:12PM; Updated: Sunday December 2, 2007 5:08PM
Bo Pelini was interim coach after Frank Solich was fired following the 2003 regular season
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Bo Pelini is the new coach at Nebraska.
Quarterback Joe Ganz said Pelini was introduced to players Sunday before a news conference to formally announce the hiring of LSU's defensive coordinator.
The 39-year-old Pelini replaces Bill Callahan, who was fired last weekend after the Cornhuskers' second losing season in four years.
Interim athletic director Tom Osborne had interviewed Pelini and Buffalo coach Turner Gill, a former star Nebraska quarterback, longtime assistant at the school and friend of Osborne's. Osborne also reportedly spoke informally with Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe.
On Saturday, Pelini declined to discuss published reports he was taking over for Callahan but Osborne moved swiftly to finalize a deal.
"We'll see what happens over the next couple of days," Pelini said shortly after the Tigers defeated Tennessee in Saturday's Southeastern Conference championship. Advocate for a story on its Web site Saturday.
LSU athletic director Skip Bertman said he spoke with the 39-year-old Pelini before the SEC title game about the reports.
"Pelini doesn't know anything about that, at least that's what he told me," Bertman said. "I'll tell you this, he would deserve a head job. He's an excellent, excellent coach."
Osborne had said when announcing Callahan's firing that the next coach didn't need to have Nebraska ties. Pelini was only at Nebraska in 2003, but his no-nonsense, hardworking style of coaching defense quickly made him a popular figure.
Pelini was interim coach after Frank Solich was fired following the 2003 regular season, coaching the Huskers to an Alamo Bowl victory over Michigan State. As he walked off the field in San Antonio, Huskers fans chanted "We want Bo."
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