After a long wait, a bunch of speculation and some hand-wringing as other teams secured their new coaches, Nebraska has finally made the hire of (now former) USAFA DC Charlton Warren as the new defensive backs coach, filling the spot left vacant by Terry Joseph.
Full press release follows:
Warren Joins Nebraska Coaching Staff
Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini has filled the opening on his coaching staff with the hiring of Charlton Warren as the Huskers' secondary coach.
Warren joins the Nebraska staff after nine years on the defensive staff at the Air Force Academy, including the past two seasons as associate head coach and defensive coordinator. Warren was also a standout defensive back for the Falcons in the late 1990s.
"Charlton Warren will be an excellent addition to our coaching staff," Pelini said. "He is well respected in the coaching profession and he has been a part of several successful defenses at Air Force. Charlton has great energy and will be an outstanding teacher and mentor for our defensive backs. We look forward to him hitting the ground running, both in working with the young men in our program and on the recruiting trail."
Warren said he is eager to get to work at a program with a rich tradition like Nebraska.
"Joining the Nebraska program is a tremendous opportunity for my family and me, and we are extremely excited to be here," Warren said. "I want to thank all the great folks at Air Force who have helped me over the past nine seasons especially Coach Troy Calhoun.
"Nebraska football has a rich tradition and history and I can't wait to have a chance to lead and work with the current group of players on this team. I am also big-time excited to hit the recruiting trail and start closing in and meeting the future players who want to join this program and do tremendous things in Lincoln. I appreciate the opportunity, and the faith Coach Pelini and his staff have shown by adding me to the staff and now it's time to get to work."
Warren will inherit a Nebraska secondary that returns a pair of starters in 2014 seniors Corey Cooper at safety and Josh Mitchell at cornerback. Nebraska has a history of ranking among the nation's top pass defenses and led the Big Ten in passing yards allowed and opponent pass completion percentage during conference games in 2013.
Warren, who turns 37 on Friday, has spent the past nine seasons coaching at Air Force, working directly with the defensive backs all nine years with the Falcons. Warren has also earned a reputation as the Falcons' top recruiter and coordinated Air Force's recruiting efforts for six seasons from 2006 to 2011.
Air Force's secondary was a strong point for the Falcon defense during Warren's time in Colorado Springs. The Air Force pass defense often ranked among the best in the country, helping the Falcons to six bowl games in Warren's nine seasons as an assistant coach.
In 2011, the Air Force pass defense ranked third in passing yards allowed per game at 166.8 yards per game and sixth in the country in pass efficiency defense. In 2010, the Falcon secondary was even better, ranking second nationally by allowing just 147.8 passing yards per game. The play of the defensive backfield helped Air Force to a 9-4 record, capped by a victory over Georgia Tech in the Independence Bowl.
The 2009 defense also excelled against the pass under Warren's direction, helping the team to a trip to the Armed Forces Bowl. Air Force ranked seventh nationally with 20 interceptions, helping the team lead the nation in turnover margin. The 2009 Falcons also ranked in the top 20 nationally in passing yards allowed (fifth), total defense (11th) and pass efficiency defense (17th).
Warren was also a member of the Air Force staff for 2007 and 2008 trips to the Armed Forces Bowl, when the Falcons posted 9-4 and 8-5 records, respectively.
Individually, several Falcon defenders excelled under Warren's direction. Air Force produced a first-team All-Mountain West defensive back for three straight years from 2009 to 2011. In 2010, Reggie Rembert capped an outstanding career, earning first-team All-America honors from the American Football Coaches Association and third-team All-America honors from the Associated Press. Rembert was also a two-time first-team all-conference pick and was selected as the NFLPA Service Academy Player of the Year in 2010.
Anthony Wright was a second-team all-conference pick in 2011 and finished his career with 12 interceptions to rank fourth in Air Force history. Chris Thomas also excelled under Warren's coaching, earning all-conference honors three times and ranking among the school's all-time leaders in tackles and interceptions. Warren also coached Carson Bird to first-team all-conference and All-America honors in 2007.
In addition to his nine seasons of experience at Air Force, Warren was selected by the Houston Texans to participate in the NFL's minority internship program in 2007. Warren spent time in training camp with the Texans, and took part in defensive and special teams sessions.
Warren graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in human factors engineering. He was a standout defensive back for the Falcons earning three letters. Warren won the team's Mr. Intensity Award as a senior, and helped the program to consecutive 10-win seasons in 1997 and 1998, including a 12-1 record and outright conference title in 1998.
Following his college career, Warren performed his active service as a systems acquisitions program manager at both Warner Robbins AFB in Georgia and Elgin Air Force Base in Florida. Warren earned his MBA from Georgia College and State University in 2003.
An Atlanta native, Warren and his wife Jocelyn, have two daughters, Jayree and Teya, and a son, Chase.
Warren Coaching Career
2014-Nebraska, Assistant Coach, Secondary
2012-13-Air Force, Associate Head Coach, Defensive Coordinator, Secondary
2008-11-Air Force, Co-Defensive Coordinator, Secondary, Recruiting Coordinator
2005-07-Air Force, Assistant Coach, Secondary, Recruiting Coordinator
Oh yes, and...
No immediate comment from Warren yet beyond the statement. #Husker fans will like the reason why: He's out recruiting.— Brian Christopherson (@HuskerExtraBC) January 17, 2014