He is rumored to be close to adding a veteran presence to the defensive coaching staff with the addition of Bob Elliott. It appears that Elliott will be taking over as safeties coach for the departed Brian Stewart, who has moved on to take the defensive coordinator position at Rice.
This is a good move on many levels. Elliott, 63, has been involved coaching in the college ranks for 36 years and most importantly has a connection with new Nebraska defensive coordinator Bob Diaco.
The pair coached together on the Notre Dame team that faced Alabama in 2012’s national championship game when Diaco was the defensive coordinator and Elliott watched after the safeties. Nebraska’s rumored hire was the Iowa secondary coach during Diaco’s playing days for the Hawkeyes.
Elliott also served as Iowa’s defensive coordinator while Diaco was getting his feet wet as a graduate assistant.
Familiarity and the trust that comes with it is a good thing when it comes to coaches. I have to wonder how much impact Diaco had on the hire as the Huskers look to pick it up on the defensive side of the football.
For Riley, it is another move on his staff during a busy offseason and he seeks to keep things moving in the right direction after parting ways with former defensive coordinator Mark Banker, a confidant who coached with Riley for nearly 20 years.
Coaches are a notoriously loyal group and for Riley to continue to make changes within his staff sends a tough but positive message from the soft-spoken coach to everyone in the program.
Expectations are going up in Lincoln and just being good isn’t good enough.