Nebraska Football: Matt Rhule adds legendary Texas coach to staff

Head coach Matt Rhule of the Nebraska football team on the sidelines (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)
Head coach Matt Rhule of the Nebraska football team on the sidelines (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) /

The Nebraska football team might not have its wide receiver coach announced just yet, but it does have its tight ends coach. It turns out that we’ve known who it was going to be for a while, without really understanding who it would be, if you catch my drift.

In other words, the announcement that Bob Wager officially joined the Nebraska football coaching staff as the tight ends coach on Friday clicks another puzzle piece into place. There had been talk about Wager joining Matt Rhule’s staff for weeks. The question was in what capacity he was joining.

According to Matt Stepp of, Wager is joining the Huskers staff as both the tight ends coach and assistant special teams coach. The Texas head coach was first mentioned as a new member of Rhule’s staff back before Christmas on December 20.

Wager is now the 8th full-time assistant coach added to the Nebraska football staff. While there are several different variations the final staff could take shape, it’s believed that there’s still the wide receivers’ and linebackers’ coaches’ positions open.

Nebraska Football raids Texas high school scene for next coach

Some Husker fans might wonder about the wisdom of hiring a former high school head coach for a position on the staff, especially since the staff doesn’t have a ton of well-known and high profile names on it.

However, Rhule is apparently much more interested in the same formula that led to success at Baylor and Temple than he is getting big headlines for his assistants.

For his part, Wager is considered one of the most respected high school coaches in the state of Texas. Over 23 seasons, he has a career record of 176-93 and has made the state playoffs 14 straight years. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Texas High School Coaches Association. Rhule has a strong connection to this organization from his days in Waco.

Think Joey McGuire

Rhule has indeed had success adding an assistant coach to his staff from the Texas high school ranks. He did the same at Baylor when he hired now-Texas Tech head coach Joey McGuire. When he joined the Bears, he was considered one of the best coaches in the state’s high school ranks. He parlayed the promotion to what has been one of the best overall seasons in Red Raiders’ recent history.

In addition to be considered a good coach, it’s a safe bet that Wager’s connections to Texas will help Rhule recruit the Lone Star State. The Nebraska football staff has been hitting the area hard with offers in the last few days.