If you've never heard of Terry Joseph, you shouldn't be surprised.
Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini is not the type of guy that hires high-profile coaches, as we've seen over the course of his four seasons. But with Pelini's connections, that isn't necessary.
When former defensive coordinator Carl Pelini left to fill the head coaching position at Florida Atlantic University, big names like Mike Stoops and Ron Zook were thrown around as possible replacements. I, for one, was a big proponent for Stoops.
Pelini's decision to promote defensive line coach John Papuchis wasn't a splashy one and didn't excite the fans too much, but I believe it was the right one.
Hiring Stoops or Zook to a coordinator position would likely have given great benefits in the areas of experience and recruiting, but it also would have been an expensive hire and a fluid situation. Since both were recently head coaches at big universities (Arizona and Illinois, respectively), it would have been likely that either would have bolted the moment a head coaching opportunity came about.
I doubt either one would have stayed more than a year.
Instead, Pelini went with Papuchis, a young and rising coach who is inexperienced but talented. And since he's been with Pelini since Year 1, he also adds an element of stability to the staff, something that I think is very undervalued in this day and age.
Many fans want an elite staff full of big names without considering the chemistry that must be developed between them. Pelini understands that the staff must work together as a single, cohesive unit, and to develop that ability, a staff must stay intact for more than a year.
Was Terry Joseph the right hire for DBs coach?
Unfortunately, the Huskers lost former defensive backs coach Corey Raymond to LSU just a year after he had been hired, and although the secondary struggled in his one season (which should have been expected anyway), he proved to be a great recruiter. One can understand why he accepted such a unique opportunity, but it was very untimely given how the 2013 recruiting cycle is shaping up.
But instead of hiring a guy like Zook, a name that was again mentioned for the DBs job, Pelini worked his connections and swiftly plucked Terry Joseph from Tennessee, a former graduate assistant under Pelini during his days at LSU.
Joseph may be an unknown name in Lincoln, but when you look at his accomplishments during his tenure on Derek Dooley's staff, you get the impression that Pelini knew what he was doing.
Beyond the facts that Joseph has coached solid secondaries and recruited well, his hire will likely be one that lasts. Pelini's staff seems to finally be stabilizing, and while it may always get a few tweaks here and there, the major pieces seem to be here to stay and develop.
With that being said, we obviously can't make a judgment on Joseph just yet. He may end up coming in and leaving after a year in much the same way Raymond did. But unless he comes in immediately, does an outstanding job in all facets and ends up getting a coordinator offer, I would guess he'll be a more permanent solution.
His ties to SEC country (which should be even more extensive than Raymond's, with stints in both Louisiana and Tennessee) should be very beneficial for recruiting. And as a proven commodity in the area of coaching as well, I don't know that Pelini could have made a better hire.