Scott Frost has not announced any of the assistant coaches that will make up his first coaching staff at Nebraska, but already many of the pieces are falling into place.
It’s not a complicated formula: Frost’s staff at UCF was together for two years and turned an 0-12 outfit in 2015 into the only remaining unbeaten team in the Football Bowl Subdivision this fall.
Some of that group is already recruiting and much of it will wind up in Lincoln. The Journal Star’s confirmed five UCF assistants moving here and multiple reports indicate that number could swell to eight, including Barrett Ruud, who was in an off-field role at UCF but will coach linebackers here, per a source.
The biggest remaining opening is offensive coordinator.
Two names to keep an eye on: UCF’s Troy Walters and Washington’s Matt Lubick.
Walters is running day-to-day operations in Orlando as UCF's interim head coach and is reportedly not joining the staff here, at least right away.
Knight athletic director Danny White said he thought UCF's coaching opening was the best in the country and an Orlando Sentinel report on Sunday pegged former Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin as the front-runner for the job.
If Sumlin is hired, or if Walters does not land a head coaching job elsewhere, he would have to be considered a favorite for the coordinator job here. The staff’s continuity only grows stronger and the program adds a Broyles Award finalist.
If Walters is not available, Lubick also fits the bill very well.
Frost and Lubick coached together at Oregon from 2013-15 — Frost as the offensive coordinator for Mark Helfrich and Lubick as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator. Multiple sources say the pair formed a close friendship while in Eugene and that a reunion, now or in the future, would be a natural fit.
Lubick also fits in with how Frost appears to be lining up his staff. Like Walters, he has extensive experience coaching wide receivers. With Mario Verduzco (quarterbacks), Ryan Held (running backs) and Greg Austin (offensive line) here, it appears the offensive coordinator will either coach wide receivers or tight ends.
There’s also Lubick’s current employment situation. He served in 2016 as co-offensive coordinator at UW with Jonathan Smith, who recently was named Oregon State’s head coach. Instead of handing the full duties to Lubick, who makes $475,000, Huskies head coach Chris Petersen reportedly hired one of his former quarterbacks, Bush Hamdan, as offensive coordinator on Sunday.
The Huskers don’t have to rush a decision. Frost called offensive plays at UCF and is expected to here. Also, programs can hire a 10th full-time assistant on Jan. 8, so there’s some flexibility and plenty of coaches to put on the recruiting trail in the meantime.