Feb 7, 2011, 8:00 AM EDT
While unfounded rumors swirled last week about Tony Alford potentially moving on from South Bend, there seems to be some momentum behind the news that Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini is looking at Irish offensive line coach Ed Warinner as a potential hire for a soon-to-be vacant offensive coordinator position.
The Lincoln Journal Star has more on Pelini’s search:
While Nebraska football coach Bo Pelini hasn’t formally announced changes on his offensive staff, it’s become clear he’s pursuing new blood on that side of the ball.
The Husker coach has had serious discussions with at least two coaches — Scott Frost, former NU quarterback and current Oregon wide receivers coach, and Ed Warinner, former Kansas offensive coordinator and current Notre Dame offensive line coach.
Pelini has been mum on possible staff changes. However, at this point, it appears he’s set to replace two coaches on the offensive side.
Offensive coordinator Shawn Watson and wide receivers coach/recruiting coordinator Ted Gilmore were not on the road recruiting during the two weeks before signing day Wednesday. And they did not attend recruiting banquets Wednesday night in Omaha and Thursday night in Lincoln.
A move from position coach to coordinator would probably fit Brian Kelly’s qualifications for changing jobs, but it’d be surprising if Warinner would head to Nebraska after just one season at Notre Dame.
Warinner was the only coach with no ties to Kelly, and actively pursued the position when he saw that Jeff Quinn wasn’t joining Kelly at Notre Dame and instead taking the head coaching position at Buffalo. Under Warinner, the offensive line made huge strides, limiting sacks in an offense that relied on throwing the football from the pocket and improving the running game and blocking as the season progressed, all while incorporating three new full-time starters.
Warinner spent time as the offensive coordinator of Kansas, battling Nebraska in Big 12 play and also grew up not far from Pelini’s hometown in Ohio, so some obvious connections are there. While his name bubbled to the surface at the beginning of the weekend, there seems to be momentum growing in the corner of Frost, a pretty logical choice considering his success as a quarterback in the Huskers offense and his work under Chip Kelly at Oregon.