Nebraska Football: John Papuchis Will Be the Next Defensive Coordinator

Mike WehlingAnalyst IDecember 19, 2011

LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 25: Cornerback Marcus Mendoza #32 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers jumps atop a pre game scrum as the Nebraska Cornhuskers prepare to plan the Iowa Hawkeyes at Memorial Stadium November 25, 2011 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska defeated Iowa 20-7. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images

Well, based on all of the reports coming in of head coach Bo Pelini looking for a defensive line coach from Nebraska, writer Steven Sipple's twitter, the Lincoln Journal Star, the Omaha World Herald, and Football Scoop, it seems all but certain that John Papuchis will be taking the job as the Cornhuskers' defensive coordinator.

Why else would Bo be looking at Iowa's defensive line coach Rick Kaczenski?  John Papuchis is the current defensive line coach (and special teams coordinator and recruiting coordinator); why would you be looking for another one?

Unless Papuchis was moving up.

So it comes down to the obvious hire that many Nebraska fans had guessed would happen.  Don't get me wrong, I think John Papuchis is a great coach and is doing a great job as the defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator. 

Seriously. Papuchis helped bring Rex Burkhead to Nebraska.  He currently has gotten 4-star defensive end Greg McMullen to come to Nebraska, and he is also the lead recruiter on guys like 4-star safety Jordan Diggs and 4-star defensive end Johnathan Bullard. 

But is it just me, or does this hire seem to lack any kind of excitement?

I mean what happened to Mike Stoops?  Ron Zook?  What happened to the hundreds of other names that were thrown around when discussing the job?

Even Charlie McBride's name was thrown around.  Mike Stoops isn't going to Ohio State, so he could have come to Nebraska.  Ron Zook currently doesn't have a job; I'm sure he'd like one.

McBride is a great coach, but I don't think Bo wanted to hire Tom Osborne's old defensive coordinator.  Hiring a big-time coach with experience adds excitement and hope to a program. 

Look at Michigan. 

They hired a great defensive coordinator in Greg Mattison and look at the results—the Wolverines went from one of the worst defenses in the country to one of the best.

If Papuchis is hired, that means Nebraska's two coordinators will have (get this) one year of experience as a coordinator combined, as this year was Tim Beck's first year as a coordinator. 


With our defense having a bad year, you would think Nebraska would try to find someone who has experience as a coordinator.

So if Papuchis is moving to defensive coordinator, that leaves open who will take over as special teams and recruiting coordinator. 

My guess is the special teams coordinator will be linebackers coach Ross Els.  Els coached special teams for four years at Ohio under Frank Solich. 

The recruiting coordinator I think will either be wide receivers coach Rich Fisher or secondary coach Corey Raymond.

Who knows, maybe Papuchis will be as great a defensive coordinator as former Nebraska defensive coordinators like Charlie McBride or Monte Kiffin (betcha you didn't know Monte was from Nebraska did you?).

Papuchis will need time to settle into his role as a first-time defensive coordinator, so we may not be able to expect miracles on the defensive side of the ball. 

We already have one in-house promotion coordinator in Tim Beck; let's see how another one does.