Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green introduced former Washington State athletic director Bill Moos as the Huskers new athletic director at a press conference. The process to replace Shawn Eichorst as athletic director utilized both Turnkey Sports and Entertainment, a search firm, and a twenty-member group of current and former athletes, coaches, administrators and boosters. The group was assembled to identify key traits and characteristics of the ideal Nebraska athletic director, and included former Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch, Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs, volleyball coach John Cook and Tom Osborne.
Moos wanted to start by saying where he interviewed with Nebraska, but Green stopped him. Clearly, it wasn’t on campus; it sounds like Sunday might have been Moos’ first time to Nebraska in some time.
In his opening remarks, Moos said that when people are looking at a new position, they are either running away from something or running to something. He’s “running to” Lincoln. However, reports out of Pullman indicate that there was friction between Moos and the school president. The Cougars athletic department was $13 million in debt at the end of the 2015 fiscal year, thanks to difficulties the Pac-12 Network has had in meeting it’s goals.
Why Nebraska? Moos always loved the Nebraska/Oklahoma rivalry, and considers academics a key part of the attraction of Nebraska to him. He teased his wife Kendra that “you weren’t born yet” when Nebraska’s sellout streak began in 1962.
Moos’ gave the media a motto that should resonate with Husker fans everywhere: “Honor the past, live the present, create the future.” Moos went on to say that he wouldn’t take a job in an urban environment; he’s a rural guy. In between his time at Oregon and Washington, he built a ranch in eastern Washington.
Green interjected with a few thoughts about the opening, and how it applied to Moos. “Fit for a position is so important, no matter what the job is. Look for the skills, but fit is important.”
“Knowing Nebraska, fit may be even more important. Meeting Bill Moos, the fit was so apparent.”
Steven M. Sipple of the Lincoln Journal-Star opened the questions by asking Moos why Nebraska was a fit for him: His kids are out of the house; they are mobile. Nebraska is a storied place. Want to be at a place where we can win championships in many sports. In response to a question why he’s doing this at a time when many people retire, Moos said that he tried retiring after leaving Oregon. After a couple of years building the ranch, his wife told him that he needed a job. He really missed the student athletes and the chance to make a positive impact on their lives. That interaction was the “most gratifying” part of the job.
With his time at Oregon and Washington State, Moos is familiar with Mike Riley, saying that he respected the job he did at Oregon State. “He’s my football coach, and I support him,” he said. He’s eager to sit down and discuss the program with him; he didn’t go into details as to what he plans to discuss.
Moos said he hired 11 coaches in five years at WSU. In hires, he looks for “quality proven winners”; wants this to be a destination, not a stepping stone. Things he looks for in a coach: “Are they a good teacher? Good individual? Ethically above board— clean? Do they fit in the community?“ The last point may be most important; “a head coach at USC may not fit at Oregon State,” he said. Keep that in mind as you consider successors to Mike Riley. And don’t expect any changes until after the season:
Moos: "I don't think anything is accomplished - and I never have - in dismissing a coach mid season."— Sam McKewon (@swmckewonOWH) October 15, 2017
Moos keeps a shortlist of coaches in FB, MBB and WBB in his top drawer at all times.— Sam McKewon (@swmckewonOWH) October 15, 2017
Much like Creighton's Bruce Rasmussen.
Moos says he'd be a fool not to tap Tom Osborne's wisdom.— Steven M. Sipple (@HuskerExtraSip) October 15, 2017
While not mentioning his predecessor, Moos did make a clear distinction with his style. He wants to make himself accessible to fans and media. Everyone needs to understand what the plans are, and what his blueprint is. The blueprint will drive the department, and while he’ll lead it, it’ll make it apparent to everyone what the right direction is, if a decision needs to be made and he’s not available.
Moos said he told no one at Washington State he was leaving. Not even Mike Leach. He has a text from Leach that he hasn't answered yet.— Sam McKewon (@swmckewonOWH) October 15, 2017