We’ve been hearing the rumors all morning, but now it’s official. Bryan Applewhite will coach the running backs for Nebraska football.
Applewhite most recently held the same position at TCU but has around 20 years experience coaching RBs in college. He has also been a recruiting coordinator at two of his stops. He will inherit a room that has a lot of potential, but has some question marks on whether anyone can separate themselves to become a feature back. Suboptimal offensive line play made it hard to fully evaluate the backs, but Rahmir Johnson seemed to have earned the confidence of the coaching staff by the end of the season,
True freshman (2021) Gabe Ervin, Jr. started the first two games, but then gave way to Markese Stepp (177 yards; 3.9 ypc) and then the speedy Rahmir Johnson (495 yards; 4.4 ypc). Ervin was injured in the Oklahoma game, which ended his season (124 yards; 3.4 ypc). Husker fans also got to see Jaquez Yant and his fearsome stiff arm, as well as Sevion Morrison and Marvin Scott III (both are no longer with the team). Nebraska recently signed Deondre Jackson from the transfer portal. The rotating cast of RBs ensured that quarterback Adrian Martinez again led the team in rushing yards (525 yards; 3.9 ypc).
Welcome to Nebraska Coach Applewhite!
Husker Nation, help us welcome Coach @BryanApplewhite to The Good Life #GBR /// #thegoodlife pic.twitter.com/cVWUt1py41— Nebraska Football (@HuskerFBNation) January 13, 2022
From the athletic department:
Nebraska Football Head Coach Scott Frost announced Thursday the addition of Bryan Applewhite as the Huskers’ running backs coach. Applewhite’s hiring is pending the completion of a University background check, and will complete Frost’s full-time coaching staff for the 2022 season.
Applewhite brings more than two decades of collegiate experience to the Nebraska staff and has spent the past two seasons coaching the running backs at TCU. He also has experience at Colorado State, Louisiana-Monroe, Montana State, Wyoming and Northern Colorado.
“Bryan Applewhite has proven himself as an outstanding running backs coach during his two decades in college football,” Frost said. “I know that our running back room will benefit from his knowledge and experience. Bryan is a great addition to our staff, and I am excited for him to join our other new offensive coaches. I couldn’t be more pleased with the additions to our coaching staff and look forward to working closely with all of them.”
In two seasons with the Horned Frogs, Applewhite helped TCU rank in the top 30 nationally in rushing both seasons. TCU averaged 214.7 rushing yards per game in 2020 to rank 20th nationally and finished 30th in the country in 2021 at 196.3 yards per game.
In 2020, TCU had three running backs top 100 yards in a single game, with true freshmen Zach Evans (7.7 ypc) and Kendre Miller (7.2 ypc), posting the second- and fifth-best yards per carry averages in Horned Frogs history.
“It is an honor to join the coaching staff at Nebraska, one of the most storied and tradition-rich football programs in the country,” Applewhite said. “I am appreciative of the opportunity Coach Frost has given to me and my family, and I look forward to working alongside him and the rest of the coaching staff. I can’t wait to get to Lincoln to meet the young men in our program and get to work.”
Before coaching at TCU, Applewhite spent five seasons as running backs coach at Colorado State from 2015 to 2019. He also took on the added responsibility as the Rams’ recruiting coordinator in 2018 and 2019. In his time at CSU, the Rams had two of their top five season marks in total offense and points per game. Colorado State reached three bowl games in five seasons while Applewhite was on staff.
Applewhite’s Colorado State running backs posted 24 individual 100-yard rushing games. Ram running backs Izzy Matthews and Dalyn Dawkins each finished in the top 10 on the CSU career rushing list under Applewhite’s guidance.
Applewhite coached for five years at Louisiana-Monroe from 2010 to 2014, working with the running backs and coordinating the Warhawks’ recruiting efforts. He coached two all-conference running backs while at ULM. In 2012, his running backs combined for 19 total touchdowns as the Warhawks finished with eight wins and played in the Independence Bowl, the school’s first bowl games since joining the FBS in 1994.
Applewhite spent one season at Montana State (2009) and six at Wyoming (2003-08) as running backs coach. In his one season at Montana State, Applewhite coached a running back tandem that tallied over 1,110 rushing yards and scored 10 touchdowns.
While at Wyoming, Applewhite tutored two of Wyoming’s three all-time leading rushers in Devin Moore and Wynel Seldon. Applewhite spent four seasons from 1999 to 2002 coaching at his alma mater, Northern Colorado. He first served as a graduate assistant in 1999, and was elevated to a full-time assistant coach in 2000. The Bears played in the Division II playoffs in both 1999 and 2002 while Applewhite was on the coaching staff.
Applewhite was a standout fullback at Northern Colorado from 1994 to 1998. He played on teams that won two NCAA Division II National Championships (1996 and 1997), competed in the Division II Playoffs four straight seasons (1995-98) and won North Central Conference crowns during his junior and senior seasons.
Applewhite has served as a member of the American Football Coaches’ Association (AFCA) Minority Issues Committee since 2006 and was recently reappointed to the Committee. In 2007, he was named to the AFCA Assistant Coaches’ Committee and participated in the 2004 AFCA Coaches’ Academy.
Bryan Applewhite Information
Daughters: Morgan, Skylar
Alma Mater: Northern Colorado (1998); Master’s, Northern Colorado (1991)
1999—Northern Colorado (graduate assistant)
2000-2002—Northern Colorado (assistant coach)
2003-08—Wyoming (Running Backs)
2009—Montana State (Running Backs)
2010-14—Louisiana-Monroe (Running Backs, Recruiting Coordinator)
2015-19—Colorado State (Running Backs/Recruiting Coordinator in 2018-19)
2020-21—TCU (Running Backs)
2022—Nebraska (Running Backs)