LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska hired Oregon State’s Mike Riley as its new football coach on Thursday, replacing the fired Bo Pelini.
Riley has spent 14 seasons over two tenures at Oregon State, leading the Beavers to 93 wins and a 6-2 record in bowl games. Athletic director Shawn Eichorst announced the move and said Riley would be formally introduced on Friday.
“It is truly an honor to join the University of Nebraska family,” Riley said in a statement. “Though we love Corvallis and Oregon State, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to coach at one of the nation’s most storied football programs and I can’t wait to get started.”
The 61-year-old Riley has strong recruiting ties in talent-rich California and has a reputation for doing more with less at Oregon State. He has used a pro-style offense with the Beavers and has coached NFL quarterbacks Matt Moore and Derek Anderson.
Riley also is known for having a Mr. Nice Guy persona.
“There was one coach who fit all the characteristics that I was seeking to lead our tradition-rich football program,” Eichorst said. “Mike Riley has a proven record of success, a sound approach to football and teaching, an understanding of the educational mission of our university and the integrity and values that we cherish at Nebraska. I have no doubt that Mike will assemble a tremendous staff and lead our student-athletes to win Big Ten titles and compete for national championships in the years ahead.”
Riley is a native of Idaho and a graduate of Alabama, where he played for Paul “Bear” Bryant. Riley will take over immediately but will not coach the Cornhuskers in their bowl game. Nebraska assistant Barney Cotton is interim head coach.
Oregon State finished this season 5-7 overall, 2-7 in the Pac-12.
Pelini was fired last weekend after seven years and a 66-27 overall record that included at least nine wins — and four losses — every season.