The Candidates To Become Nebraska’s New Defensive Coordinator

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With all but the contract signed to make Nebraska defensive coordinator Carl Pelini the new head coach at Florida Atlantic University. Nebraska has a short list of coaches that could come in and fill Pelini’s shoes. Here is what we think that short list will look like. 1. John Papuchis: 

Papuchis is the current defensive line, and special teams coach at Nebraska. He has been Lincoln, and worked with both Carl and Bo Pelini for 4 years now. Coach JP, is a Virginia Tech graduate, and learned under Bud Foster.  Papuchis understands what Bo Pelini wants to do with his defense. He is widely regarded as one of the best recruiters on the Husker staff.  With the offensive and defensive coordinators being the face of your recruiting base, Papuchis has to be the best choice to succeed Carl Pelini.

2. Mike Stoops:

Stoops was recently released of his head coaching duties at Arizona University. Stoops went 41-50 as the Wildcats head coach, and only put two winning seasons together in 7 years. Not the ideal numbers for a head coach, but Stoops was an excelent defensive coordinator at Oklahoma under his brother Bob.

3. Mark Stoops

Mark is the younger brother of Bob and Mike Stoops. Mark is in his first year as defensive coordinator of the Florida State Seminoles. Mark has the Seminoles ranked No. 6 in the nation at the end of the 2012 season. The Stoops family is very close to the Pelini family. Both families are from Youngstown, Ohio. Carl Pelini was a member of Mark Stoops wedding party. If Nebraska can get Stoops to leave Florida State, he could be a huge get for the Huskers.

4. Mike Ekeler

Ekeler is in his first season as co defensive cordinator at Indiana. He was previously the linebackers coach at Nebraska for the previous 3 years. Ekeler was widely known as a “players coach.” He was one of the best recruiters on Nebraska’s staff, and was a huge loss. He would be welcome back with open arms if Bo Pelini can’t land anyone higher on this list.

5. Tom Bradley 

With the allegations facing Penn State, and Joe Paterno being fired this season, and Bradley being considered one of the best defensive coaches in the nation this would be a huge get for the Huskers. Penn State finishes the season ranked 10th in the nation in total defense, but no.3 in the nation in scoring defense. Bradley could easily retire after the season. He spent 34 years in Happy Valley, but if he wants to continue to coach, Nebraska, and Bo Pelini could benefit greatly from having him on the staff.

By Jimmie Allen

Image provided by Huskers.com