Mike Riley Fired by Nebraska After Worst Record Since 1961

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 25, 2017

LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 14: Head coach Mike Riley of the Nebraska Cornhuskers looks at the clock in late game action against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Memorial Stadium on October 14, 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)
Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

The University of Nebraska fired head football coach Mike Riley after the Cornhuskers' blowout loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday meant they finished the regular season with a 4-8 record.

Athletic director Bill Moos released a statement about the decision Saturday:

Bruce Feldman of Sports Illustrated reported linebackers coach Trent Bray is the interim head coach. 

Nebraska allowed 42 unanswered points in the second half in the 56-14 defeat. It marked the team's fourth consecutive loss and the sixth in its past seven contests after a 3-2 start to the campaign.

Afterward, Riley told reporters he didn't have "any indication" about his job status but he hoped to receive an opportunity to keep rebuilding the Cornhuskers program:

"I'm going to, I'm going to anticipate [being the coach next season], and when I go to bed tonight I'm going to hope for that because I would love to do this. I truly believe I'm exactly the right person to do this. The football parts, I've been doing this so long we know how to fix, and we also are doing a good job recruiting. Those two things are going to be the key to Nebraska getting back to where everybody wants to go. The football has to grow, and the recruiting has to continue to be high level to get really back there."

Riley received a one-year contract extension in September to take his deal through 2020. His $2.9 million in total pay for the 2017 season ranked 41st among college head coaches, per USA Today.

In all, the 64-year-old Idaho native compiled a 19-19 record across three years at Nebraska. He had a 93-80 mark during a prior 14-year run at Oregon State.

Feldman listed Scott Frost (UCF), Dan Mullen (Mississippi State), Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M), Bret Bielema (Arkansas) and Mike Leach (Washington State) among the potential options to replace Riley.

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