Interim period brings limbo for Husker players, staffers

March 28, 2019 GMT

Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos on Tuesday afternoon laid out an ideal time frame of a week or two before the next men’s basketball coach is announced.

Moos finished a chat with reporters by saying, “I’ve got to do my work,” meaning, of course, to go find a new coach.

The world here in Lincoln doesn’t stop turning, though, so what will happen on campus in the interim?

Well, for starters, Moos will name one of Tim Miles’ assistants as an interim head coach. That had not happened as of 5 p.m. Tuesday, but Moos indicated it would happen shortly.

“There’s got to be accountability,” Moos told reporters. He made a similar move after firing football coach Mike Riley in November 2017, naming linebackers coach Trent Bray interim head coach for a week before Scott Frost was hired.

“The most important thing is to keep going to class,” Moos said of the players. “And it’s for them first and foremost. That degree, when all the rainbows end, that degree is what you’re going to take away from your college experience. So we want to keep our guys in class and on top of (things) academically.

[ Watch: AD Moos talks about firing Miles ]

“We try to move the process so once the coach is hired, the coach has a chance to talk with them and visit with them and hopefully encourage them to stay. I will, in some cases, talk with players individually to reassure them that we care about them individually.”

All of Miles’ assistants — Jim Molinari, Michael Lewis and Armon Gates — were technically dismissed when Miles was, but each can sign transition paperwork allowing them to stay on until the next coach is named. That was the main thrust of the meetings each assistant had with executive associate athletic director Marc Boehm and other NU personnel on Tuesday afternoon.

A source with knowledge of those meetings said the assistants were told the next head coach would likely at least want to meet any of the three who stayed for the transition period.

Has the next coach already been identified, then?

“They’re pretty damn sure who the next coach is,” the source said.

Depending on who it is — the Journal Star has reported previously that all signs point to former Iowa State and Chicago Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg, though, Moos said he does not have a candidate finalized — the next head man will seemingly have wide latitude to pick his own staff and structure his own program. That could leave a veteran administrator such as Boehm in limbo, too, along with the assistants.

“Marc is not a candidate for the coaching position, we’ve already had that discussion,” Moos joked. “But we’ve got to wait until the new coach is hired and see who he may bring if he’s an established coach. We certainly have qualified people within our program that I would think across the board would be appealing to a new coach. But it typically depends on if they’re going to bring their entire staff or part of it or whether they want to retain a coach or an operations person or your video folks or what have you.”

[ GALLERY: A look at player, fan reaction to Nebraska parting ways with Tim Miles ]

[ PHOTOS: A look back through the ups and downs of the Tim Miles era ]