Nebraska football in talks to add offensive whiz to staff

Former Houston and West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen is reportedly close to joining the Nebraska football program in some capacity.

Houston Cougars head coach Dana Holgorsen walks the sideline
Houston Cougars head coach Dana Holgorsen walks the sideline / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
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In what would arguably be the most noteworthy addition to a Nebraska football program that signed its first 5-star quarterback since such a thing existed, a new report claims that former Houston and West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen is getting set to join Matt Rhule’s staff.

While nothing is official just yet, it appears that things are moving fast on the Holgorsen front. He was rumored to be in town for the Nebraska Cornhuskers wrestling match that featured Nash Hutmacher in his first wrestling action since coming to Lincoln.

There was initially some confusion as to why Holgorsen would be in Lincoln for the match. Some assumed it was simply the ole coach hanging out with members of the Nebraska staff like Dr. Susan Elza, who has deep roots in the state of Texas.

However, it wasn’t long after the man known for some rather explosive offenses was spotted at the match that 247Sports Matt Zenitz shed some light on the visit. Zenitz was among the first to report that Holgorsen might be in talks with the Huskers.

For most of the offseason, there has been talk that there might be a shift on the Cornhuskers coaching staff. Most believed a new coach joining the staff was one reason Dylan Raiola changed his mind and committed to the Nebraska football team despite being pledged to the Georgia Bulldogs for seven months.

For now, it’s not known if Holgorsen is coming on board to be the quarterbacks coach, offensive coordinator, or an offensive analyst. It’s safe to say that what job he takes, it will be an immediate boost on that side of the ball.

Nebraska football on the verge of home run hire

Holgorsen’s bonafides as an impressive offensive-minded coach are legit. He was the offensive coordinator under Mike Leach at Texas Tech when Graham Harell was tossing the ball to Michael Crabtree.

He tutored Geno Smith when he was the head coach at West Virginia and worked alongside Brandon Weedon at Oklahoma State and Case Keenum when he was at Houston.

Even if he doesn’t take on the official quarterback coach position, his addition to the staff will almost certainly help the development of Dylan Raiola, Daniel Kaelin and the rest of the quarterbacks on the roster.

Holgorsen’s most recent stint as a head coach was in Houston from 2019 to 2023. It’s entirely possible a lack of patience in the Cougars program can be a Nebraska football gain. After a 4-8 2019 season and a 3-5 2020 campaign, Holgorsen led his team to a 12-2 record in 2021 and an 8-5 record in 2022.

This past year - Houston’s first in the Big 12 - the Cougars went just 4-8, and Holgorsen was fired.