Norvell arrived at Nebraska along with Bill Callahan, who insisted in bringing him in from the Oakland Raiders. Norvell has served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach during his tenure at Nebraska. Callahan was originally hired by athletic director Steve Pederson because of his NFL experience, as Pederson wanted to bring in a pro-style offense in order to help in recruiting better athletes.
In his first two years the Nebraska offense struggled, but in 2006 Nebraska exploded with one of the best offenses in the nation, finishing the season 17th in scoring, 24th in rushing, 23rd in passing, and 14th overall. Given that in 2005, we were at the bottom in rushing and struggling to win games, 2006 was an incredible improvement.
You have to wonder if Norvell wants to get out of Nebraska. He's interviewed for a number of head coaching positions (Iowa State, Boston College to name a couple), and now he's interviewing for the same level position at a program without the traditional powerhouse label carried by Nebraska.
There could be several good reasons for Norvell wanting to leave Nebraska:
- He wants to be a head coach, which didn't work out this year.
- He doesn't get to do much of the play-calling and he wants to be completely in charge of the offense. We don't hear much publicly about Norvell calling the plays. In fact, I can't think of an instance in which Norvell has stated much about play calling.
- While he's a native of Madison, Wisconsin and spent most of his coaching career in the midwest, perhaps something about California is calling him back.
- He doesn't like living in Nebraska, neither does his family. (Hey, let's face it, not everyone likes the place.)
- He's having an affair with a cheerleader and needs to leave town. There is absolutely no truth to this, but people seem to want to make this kind of crap up about coaches because it's juicy and they can spread it around like melted butter.