Nebraska fires Frost; coach to get $15M buyout
1: 32 PM ET
Andrea AdelsonESPN Senior Writer
- ACC reporter.
- Joined ESPN.com in 2010.
- Graduate of the University of Florida.
Nebraska fired football coach Scott Frost on Sunday, one day after a 45-42 home loss to Georgia Southern in what had become an untenable situation for the Huskers.
Nebraska 1-2 had been a favorite with three touchdowns.
“Earlier in the day, I met with Coach Frost to inform him that we were making a leadership change in our football program. This will take effect immediately. Scott has given his heart and soul to the Nebraska Football program as both a quarterback coach and head coach. I appreciate his dedication and work,” Trev Alberts, Nebraska vice chancellor of athletics, said in a statement.
Associate head coach Mickey Joseph will take over for the rest of the season. On Saturday, Nebraska hosts Oklahoma.
Frost will receive his full $15 million buyout, Alberts told reporters at a news conference. On Oct. 1, the buyout amount would have dropped down to $7.5million. Alberts stated to reporters that he needed to make changes now to be fair to the players as well as others involved in the program.
” We owed it the players to give them another voice, perhaps a slightly different vision,” Alberts stated. Give them confidence, give them an opportunity. These changes can be disruptive, but we needed to give this team some confidence and help them compete. I would love to see some significant changes and help this team win some games. “
Alberts stated that the goal for both the interim coach Joseph as well as the future is to not look back at the past but instead focus on the future.
” We will stop talking about championships and stop talking about things that we used to do,” he stated. “We will become more process-oriented, detail-oriented and eventually, when you start doing those basic championship habit-type things that lead to those types of wins, they will follow.” We need to focus on the small, fundamental things that eventually lead to these types of things. “
Frost played at Nebraska from 1995 to ’97, returning home to play for Tom Osborne after beginning his career at Stanford. In 1997, he helped the Huskers go 13-0 and win the national championship — becoming the first quarterback in school history to rush for more than 1,000 yards and pass for more than 1,000 yards in the same season. It would be Nebraska’s last national championship.
Frost seemed like the perfect fit to restore Nebraska to glory after the Huskers fired Mike Riley in 2017. Frost was in his second year as UCF head coach — and in the middle of a historic 13-0 season in which the Knights self-declared a national championship — and became one of the hottest coaching candidates in the country. Although Nebraska had not enjoyed the same success as it did when Frost played there, the lure to return home was too strong.
But from the beginning of his tenure in 2018, Frost was never able to get the Huskers going. Frost never managed to win a Nebraska championship under his leadership. The most frustrating thing about Nebraska’s play was the sheer number and closeness of its losses.
Nebraska is 5-22 (. 185) in one-score games since Frost was hired. No other FBS team has more than 16 one-score losses in that span.
The Huskers were 3-9. Seven of those losses were one score games. Frost stated in an interview with ESPN that he wanted this to work so badly. I want Nebraska to be Nebraska. We have a lot of work ahead of us. Although we are still in the process, I am proud of the progress we have made. It’s going happen. “
Considering how close it seemed Nebraska was to turning a corner, Alberts made the surprising move last November when he announced he would bring Frost back — but with the understanding the 2022 season would be make or break.
Frost fired four offensive assistants, had his pay cut from $5 million to $4 million and agreed to having his buyout drop from $15 million to $7.5 million on Oct. 1.
But the 2022 season began the way last season left off — with a one-score loss to Northwestern in Ireland — a game that turned on an onside kick call Frost made with Nebraska leading 28-17 in the third quarter. Nebraska did not score again and lost 31-28.
In explaining that decision, Frost said, “You can’t really foresee them scoring 14 straight and us sputtering after we played well to start the second half on offense. These are just excuses. I would not make the call if I had to do it again. “
Saturday’s match against Georgia Southern was even worse. Nebraska paid $1. 423 million to travel to Lincoln and play. Georgia Southern gained a whopping 642 yards in the game, and the student section chanted, “Fire Frost! Fire Frost! “
Afterward, Frost said, “That one hurt. We win as a group and lose as a group, and today we were defeated. We lost on schemes and I didn’t have any answers. They pursued us. “
Not exactly the answers Nebraskans were looking for after five seasons of hearing similar statements after each loss.
Frost ends his Nebraska coaching career with a 16-31 mark.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.