Just hours after parting ways with its former offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach, Troy Walters, Nebraska announced the hiring of his replacement — a football lifer who knows Frost well.
Matt Lubick, who coached with Frost for three seasons at Oregon, was announced as Walters’ successor Friday evening, capping a wild day in NU’s coaching world.
“Matt Lubick is a great addition to our coaching staff,” Frost said Friday evening in a statement. “I have always wanted to work with Matt again since our days at Oregon together. He is the only person I considered for this position.
“Matt has an innovative offensive mind, provides a veteran presence on our staff and brings a proven track record of success at the Power Five level. Matt and I developed a great relationship working together previously, and I look forward to adding his expertise to our offensive staff.”
Said Lubick: “I am humbled to have the opportunity to be part of Nebraska Football,” Lubick said. “Growing up I was in awe of Tom Osborne and Bob Devaney’s unmatched run of success. It is a special situation for me to be reunited with an elite staff and Coach Frost who is the best in the business. The University of Nebraska is a world-class institution with the best fan base in college football.”
Matt Lubick spent the last year out of football after taking a high-level job at a Fort Collins, Colorado, credit union near Colorado State University, where Lubick once worked and where Lubick’s dad, Sonny, was the Rams’ head coach for 15 seasons.
Lubick and Frost are close friends and talk often. Lubick even did some consulting work for NU last season, according to a source, which is a common practice among high-level football programs.
He has a long resume of having coached receivers at various schools — including San Jose State, Colorado State and Duke – before taking a passing game coordinator and wide receivers job at Oregon when Frost took the offensive coordinator job in 2013.
He spent three years in that role before becoming UO’s offensive coordinator in 2016. He went to Washington in 2017 and coached there for two seasons before taking the credit union job.
The news of Walters’ departure came after it was reported earlier in the day that former Husker quarterback Mickey Joseph turned down an offer from Nebraska to coach receivers and be the passing game coordinator.
Former Husker Mickey Joseph reportedly turned down offer to join Nebraska coaching staff
Walters, who won the Biletnikoff Award as a player at Stanford, joined Frost at UCF in 2016. He was offensive coordinator there and at NU, although it was Frost, not Walters, who called plays. Walters assisted in putting together the game plan and coaching the receivers. He made $700,000 per year.
“Troy has been a valued member of our coaching staff for the past four years,” Frost said in a statement. “Troy is a good mentor for his players, provides great energy on and off the field, and carries himself with a presence off the field that will be missed. I want to thank him for his work on our coaching staff, and wish him and his family all the best going forward.”
Under his watch, Stanley Morgan posted the school’s first 1,000-yard receiving season and broke several career records. Walters was also instrumental in recruiting Wan’Dale Robinson to Nebraska.
But the receivers appeared to regress in 2019 after Morgan’s departure. Robinson moved part-time to running back while junior college transfers Mike Williams and Jaron Woodyard — who both signed in the 2018 class — never completely caught on in Nebraska’s system. Kanawai Noa, a graduate transfer from Cal, drew praise from both Walters and Frost but had just 17 catches for 245 yards.
Walters said in multiple interviews his receivers had to improve in route running, getting separation from the line of scrimmage and being where quarterbacks expected them to be. Frost echoed that analysis.
There was also the concern that NU’s offense scored fewer points in 2019 than it did in 2018, gained fewer yards and scored touchdowns on a lower percentage of its trips into the red zone. Nebraska threw just three red-zone touchdowns, which ranked second-to-last in the Big Ten and tied with option teams like Army.