LINCOLN — Stay ahead of the wave.
That’s the idea behind Nebraska beefing up its football recruiting staff, NU Associate Athletic Director Jamie Williams said Friday.
NU posted a job opening Thursday on its employment website for director of recruiting operations. It also will add recruiting duties to the currently open job for director of player personnel. And that’s not all. Two more recruiting assistant jobs are in the works, Williams said.
“The name of this business — besides winning — is recruiting. You can’t fall asleep on that,” said Williams, a former Husker player whose lengthy job description at NU is as follows: associate athletic director of leadership, student-athlete recruitment and diversity initiatives.
The player personnel director — a spot previously held by Wince Morris, who recently left the NU athletic department — will still report to director of football operations Jeff Jamrog and manage many day-to-day, week-to-week interactions with players. But that person will do more recruiting research and talent identification. The growth of scouting services and social media, Williams said, requires that NU take an “all-hands-on-deck approach” to recruiting.
The director of recruiting operations will focus solely on recruiting and report to current Husker recruiting coordinator and linebackers coach Ross Els. That person will also oversee “regional recruiting assistants” for whom NU has yet to post job openings. On-campus recruiting is now handled by former Husker kicker Jake Wesch, who switched roles with Austen Everson, who has moved to assistant director of football operations under Jamrog.
Williams, the 12-year NFL veteran tasked by Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst to be a liaison to football coach Bo Pelini and oversee the sport, envisions hiring two of those assistants initially and dividing the U.S. into four areas among Els, the director and the two assistants.
The salary for both director of recruiting operations and director of player personnel is listed at $40,000, but NU is willing to pay more depending on experience, Williams said. Neither job is an entry-level position, but more of a midlevel role. The salary will not be “something crazy,” however.
“Everything we do has a strategic purpose,” Williams said. “We’re not in the business of throwing things — money, people — at an issue. There’s a method.”
Pelini, in his sixth year as coach, requested more recruiting aides in the offseason, Williams said, as well as “getting move involved with social media as a tool.”
Williams said that while Nebraska “has done a really solid job recruiting” in recent years — “our guys recruit everywhere and they’re almost omnipresent” — some of the advantages the school enjoyed 20 to 30 years ago, like having college football’s most advanced strength and conditioning program, have been reduced by parity. “The athletic world is flat,” Williams said, so the Huskers have to “stay ahead of the wave” in recruiting.
“It’s hard to win a war with picks and shovels,” Williams said. “Resources are very important — especially at this level. It’s not for the meek and mild.”
Williams expects both jobs to attract many strong candidates with major college experience.
“The University of Nebraska is a brand,” Williams said. “There are a lot of people who would love to be a part of it.”