Nebraska football: Mike Riley officially joins Oregon State coaching staff

(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /

Former Nebraska football head coach Mike Riley is heading home one more time. This will be his third stint with Oregon State.

Former Nebraska football coach Mike Riley is going home again. After three years coaching the Huskers, Riley is headed back to coach at Oregon State.

While this will technically be his third stint on the staff, this time is a bit different. Jonathan Smith was named the head coach at Oregon State a few weeks back.

Smith has been putting together what has to be considered an “all-star” staff when talking about former Beavers. Earlier this week, it was confirmed former Cornhuskers’ linebackers coach Trent Brey was headed back to Corvallis.

A former member of the Huskers athletic department Dave Van Riet, who was brought over with Riley is going back to OSU as well. Though Riley has served two stints as the head man for the Beavers, this time around he’s going to be the assistant head coach.

The move is an interesting one for Smith. This would be something like Scott Frost hiring Tom Osborne as his assistant head coach.

While that comparison might make some Husker fans bristle, it’s absolutely accurate. Riley is someone who took a program that was absolutely moribund and made it into one that was at least envisioned as one that could be a spoiler every now and then.

That’s a big leap from say, this season when Oregon State lost to every FBS team it played and most of those losses were embarrassing. Despite usually not having the same level of talent, Riley was able to beat in-state rival Oregon five times. Compare that to the 69-10 loss OSU suffered this year to the Ducks, and you understand why there’s at least a bit of excitement over the return of Riley in any capacity.

Mike Riley’s stay in Lincoln was one that left a bad taste in his mouth. Nebraska football fans as a group are likely glad he’s gone. At the same time, he is an exceedingly good man and it’s good news that he’s found a job back home.