Bo Pelini

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Bo Pelini

Pelini delivers the address at the 2008 Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce Dinner in Columbus, Nebraska on April 29, 2008.
Sport(s)Football
Current position
TitleHead coach
TeamNebraska
ConferenceBig Ten
Record43–18
Annual salary$2.775 million[1]
Biographical details
Born(1967-12-13) December 13, 1967 (age 44)
Youngstown, Ohio
Playing career
1987–1990Ohio State
Position(s)Free safety
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1991
1993
1994–1996
1997–1999
2000–2002
2003
2004
2005–2007
2008–present
Iowa (GA)
Cardinal Mooney HS (QB)
San Francisco 49ers (DB)
New England Patriots (LB)
Green Bay Packers (LB)
Nebraska (DC)
Oklahoma (Co-DC)
LSU (DC)
Nebraska
Head coaching record
Overall43–18
Bowls3–2
Statistics
College Football Data Warehouse
 
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Bo Pelini

Pelini delivers the address at the 2008 Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce Dinner in Columbus, Nebraska on April 29, 2008.
Sport(s)Football
Current position
TitleHead coach
TeamNebraska
ConferenceBig Ten
Record43–18
Annual salary$2.775 million[1]
Biographical details
Born(1967-12-13) December 13, 1967 (age 44)
Youngstown, Ohio
Playing career
1987–1990Ohio State
Position(s)Free safety
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1991
1993
1994–1996
1997–1999
2000–2002
2003
2004
2005–2007
2008–present
Iowa (GA)
Cardinal Mooney HS (QB)
San Francisco 49ers (DB)
New England Patriots (LB)
Green Bay Packers (LB)
Nebraska (DC)
Oklahoma (Co-DC)
LSU (DC)
Nebraska
Head coaching record
Overall43–18
Bowls3–2
Statistics
College Football Data Warehouse

Mark "Bo" Pelini (born December 13, 1967) is the head football coach at the University of Nebraska. He had previously been defensive coordinator for the LSU Tigers, Oklahoma Sooners, and the Nebraska Cornhuskers. On December 2, 2007, one day after coaching in the 2007 SEC Championship Game, Pelini was named as head coach at Nebraska by athletic director Tom Osborne.

Contents

Biography

Playing career

Pelini was raised in Youngstown, Ohio, a former center of steel production with a strong athletic tradition. He was nicknamed "Bo" after former Cleveland Browns running back Bo Scott.[2] After graduating from Youngstown Cardinal Mooney High School (the same high school as Oklahoma Sooners Head Coach Bob Stoops), he went on to play free safety for Ohio State University Buckeyes under Earle Bruce and later John Cooper from 1987 to 1990, as a starter in his last two years. Pelini served as a team co-captain in his senior year, along with Vinnie Clark, Jeff Graham and Greg Frey. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business marketing from Ohio State University in 1990 while playing for the Buckeyes.

Coaching career

Following his playing career, Pelini began his coaching career at the University of Iowa as a graduate assistant for the Iowa Hawkeyes under Hayden Fry in 1991. During this period, he also completed his master’s degree in sports administration from Ohio University in 1992. In 1993, he served for one year as quarterbacks coach at Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown. Following the season, Pelini was briefly employed as linebackers coach with the Arena Football League's Detroit Drive.

In 1994, Pelini got his first position in the National Football League when he was hired by San Francisco 49ers head coach George Seifert as a scouting assistant. He was quickly promoted to assistant secondary coach, and by the spring of 1994 he had been promoted again to defensive backs coach. In 1995, in his new position, he coached in his first Super Bowl as the 49ers defeated the San Diego Chargers 49–26 in Super Bowl XXIX.

In 1997, Pelini was hired by New England Patriots head coach Pete Carroll, again as defensive backs coach, helping the Patriots reach the playoffs twice during his three years there.

In 2000, Pelini became the linebackers coach for the Green Bay Packers under head coach Mike Sherman. Green Bay posted a 33–15 record and reached the playoffs twice in Pelini's three years there as linebackers coach.

Pelini returned to the college ranks in 2003 when he was hired as Defensive Coordinator for the Nebraska Cornhuskers by Head Coach Frank Solich. In 2002, the season prior to his hiring, Nebraska's defense was ranked 55th nationally. In his first year it improved to 11th and led the country in turnover margin. At the conclusion of the regular season, despite posting a 9–3 record, Solich was fired by new Nebraska athletic director Steve Pederson. Pelini was named the interim head coach and led the Cornhuskers to a 17-3 win over the Michigan State Spartans in the 2003 Alamo Bowl.[3] Pelini interviewed for the Nebraska head coach position, but Pederson instead decided after a 41-day search to hire Bill Callahan, who had just been fired by the Oakland Raiders after a disappointing 4–12 season. The following year, Nebraska's defense fell to 56th nationally.

For 2004, Pelini joined the Oklahoma Sooners as co-defensive coordinator under head coach Bob Stoops, helping the Sooners to a 6th place national rushing defense and 11th place national scoring defense on their way towards winning the 2004 Big 12 Championship Game and a spot in the 2005 BCS National Championship Game, where they were defeated 55-19 by the University of Southern California.

In 2005, Pelini was hired by Louisiana State University Tigers Head Coach Les Miles, again as defensive coordinator. His success continued, as LSU was ranked 3rd nationally in overall defense for each of his three years with the Tigers. At the conclusion of the 2007 regular season, LSU defeated Tennessee 21-14 in the 2007 SEC Championship Game and went on to win 38-24 against Ohio State, Pelini's alma mater, in the 2008 BCS National Championship Game.[4] [5]

During the 2007 football season, Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman fired athletic director Steve Pederson, and appointed former Cornhuskers head coach Tom Osborne as Interim Athletic Director. One day after the Cornhuskers' final game of the season, a 65–51 loss to Colorado and finishing the season with 5 wins and 7 losses, Osborne fired Bill Callahan and announced an immediate search for a new football coach. Pelini was selected after a nine-day search as the next head coach. Two names revealed among five interviewed candidates included Buffalo head coach Turner Gill and Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe.

2008 season

Nebraska opened up with 3 straight wins against Western Michigan, San Jose State, and New Mexico State. Bo Pelini's arrival saw a renewed interest and optimism in Nebraska football, as evidenced by their record Pay-Per View buys.

Nebraska then proceeded to lose a close game to Virginia Tech, while suffering the worst home loss in school history Missouri 52-17 the next week. The first road game of the season produced a loss to Texas Tech in overtime despite giving up 8.77 yards per play. Then the Huskers traveled to Ames, Iowa and beat a 2-10 Iowa State University. They came back home and won against the Baylor Bears. Pelini's Huskers then lost on the road the following week to the Oklahoma Sooners by a tune of 62-28, where Oklahoma scored 35 straight before Nebraska answered. By halftime, the score was 49-14. This game marked the first time Pelini went up against Bob Stoops who he formerly worked under as defensive coordinator at the University of Oklahoma in 2004. This game also marks the most points ever scored against Nebraska in a single quarter.

On November 8, Bo Pelini's Nebraska Cornhuskers won against Kansas, making them bowl eligible. The 9–4 season was capped by a 26–21 victory over the Clemson Tigers at the 2009 Gator Bowl, played only days after Pelini returned from his father's funeral service in Ohio.

Pelini's 2008 regular season record of 9-4 was the highest among all 28 Division 1A teams with new head coaches and staffs that year.[6] This performance was rewarded in March 2009 when his salary was increased from $1.1 to $1.8 million. Pelini is under contract until February 2014.[7]

2009 season

Expectations were high heading into the 2009 season for the Cornhuskers. Despite having to replace record setting quarterback Joe Ganz, and the entire receiving corps, Nebraska was expected to contend in the wide open Big 12 North. The Cornhuskers were ranked in the preseason at #24 by the AP, the first pre-season ranking since the 2007 season. Nebraska was expecting big seasons from running back Roy Helu and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Before the season even started, Pelini had to kick his second leading rusher, Quentin Castille off the team. Castille's absence led to the emergence to true freshman running back Rex Burkhead during fall camp.

Pelini led his team to the 2009 Big 12 Championship Game against the #3 Texas Longhorns. Texas, led by quarterback Colt McCoy, was heavily favored over the Huskers, who were ranked number 21. Despite the loss in the game, the Big 12 Championship Game showcased the skill of Ndamukong Suh. The All-American had 4.5 sacks to go along with 12 tackles, 7 of them coming behind the line of scrimmage. With his performance Suh was invited to the 2009 Heisman Trophy ceremony, where he finished 4th. Suh flourished under coach Pelini, finishing the 2009 season with 85 tackles, 12 sacks, 24 tackles for a loss, 10 passes broken up, 3 blocked kicks, one interception, and a forced fumble. Suh won almost every major post season award available to a defense player, including the Lombardi Award, Outland Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy, and The Bill Willis Trophy. Suh is the second Outland and Lombardi winner of Pelini's, following Glenn Dorsey.

Nebraska finished the season with a 33-0 win over the Arizona Wildcats in the 2009 Holiday Bowl where Pelini proclaimed to the Nebraska fans in the Holiday Bowl stands "Nebraska is back and we're here to stay!". The victory was the first bowl shutout of Nebraska's 45 bowl history, as well as the first shutout in Holiday Bowl history.[8][9] Nebraska's final rank in the coaches and AP media poll was 14th, the highest final ranking since 2001. Under Pelini Nebraska finished #1 in NCAA scoring and pass efficiency defense, the first time since 1984 and 2003 that Nebraska has led the country in those categories respectively.

2010 Season

Following a mixed 2009 finish (notably the Big 12 Championship game loss and the Holiday Bowl victory), Bo's Cornhuskers began the season ranked #8 in the pre-season AP poll. Nebraska was expected by several sports analysts to compete for the Big 12 title before departing to the Big Ten Conference in 2011. Following disappointing losses to both the University of Texas and to Texas A&M, the Cornhuskers dropped to #15 in the AP poll going into the final week of the regular season therefore eliminating any realistic hopes of a National Championship in 2010. Nebraska proceeded to beat Colorado in the final regular game of the season, clinching the Big 12 North title and securing a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game. In the Big 12 Title Game, Nebraska committed four turnovers and blew a 17-0 second quarter lead on the way to a 23-20 defeat to Big 12 South Co-Champion Oklahoma. In the final BCS ratings for the season, Nebraska finished 18th and in fifth place amongst Big 12 teams behind Oklahoma, Missouri, Oklahoma State, and Texas A&M. Nebraska lost a 19-7 game in the Holiday Bowl to the Washington Huskies, a team they had beaten by 35 points in Seattle just three months prior.

2011 Season

After a disappointing end to the 2010 season, Nebraska began 2011 with wins in its first four games against Chattanooga, Fresno State, Washington, and Wyoming. Then was the first Big 10 game ever played against Wisconsin. They came out strong tying it up at 14–14 with four minutes to go in the 2nd quarter, but Wisconsin's offense dominated Nebraska in the 2nd half and ending up winning the game with a score of 48–17. Nebraska rebounded by winning three games in a row, including a 21-point second half comeback - the largest in school history - against Ohio State and a 24–3 win versus #9 Michigan State. After that winning streak they were upset by unranked Northwestern where they suffered two fumbles inside the Northwestern 30 yard line. Following the loss came the game against #12 Penn State. The week leading up to the game had much of the national focus revolving the firing of coach Joe Paterno and the sexual assault charges in the Penn State sex abuse scandal. A prayer was held before the game for both teams by Nebraska running backs coach Ron Brown. The Cornhuskers would win the game 17–14. January 2, 2012, Nebraska lost the Capital One Bowl to the University of South Carolina 30-13.

Head coaching record

YearTeamOverallConferenceStandingBowl/playoffsCoaches#AP°
Nebraska Cornhuskers (Big 12 Conference) (2003)
2003Nebraska1–0W Alamo1818
Nebraska Cornhuskers (Big 12 Conference) (2008–2010)
2008Nebraska9–45–3T–1st (North) W Gator
2009Nebraska10–46–21st (North) W Holiday1414
2010Nebraska10–46–2T–1st (North) L Holiday1920
Nebraska Cornhuskers (Big Ten Conference) (2011–present)
2011Nebraska9–45–33rd (Legends) L Capital One2424
2012Nebraska4-21-1T-2nd
Nebraska:43–1823–11
Total:43–18
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates BCS bowl game. #Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.
Coached bowl game as interim head coach

See also

References

External links