Former Nebraska quarterback Zac Taylor has joined an exclusive group.
Taylor, who was named the next Cincinnati Bengals head coach on Monday, is the fifth former Husker — and first since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 — to serve as an NFL head coach.
Taylor, who was the Rams' QB coach last season, has been credited as a key cog in an explosive offense that reached the Super Bowl.
Former All-Americans Guy Chamberlin and Ray Richards coached the NFL’s Cardinals. Chamberlain lettered at NU in 1914 and 1915 while Richards lettered from 1927 to 1929.
Chamberlin coached the Chicago Cardinals in 1927, compiling a 3-7-1 record. He also coached the now-defunct Canton and Cleveland Bulldogs and the Frankford Yellow Jackets. Chamberlin compiled a 58-16-7 record in six seasons and owns the best win percentage (.759) of any coach in NFL history with a minimum of 50 wins. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame (1962), the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1965) and the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame (1971).
Richards directed the Chicago Cardinals from 1955-57, going 14-21-1. He was inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 1984.
Former Nebraska All-American Ed Weir coached the Frankford Yellow Jackets from 1927-28, going 15-7-4. Weir lettered at NU from 1923-25. He was Nebraska’s first member of the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951 and was inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 1971.
One other former Husker served as an NFL coach. In 1961, Ray Prochaska was the interim coach of the St. Louis Cardinals — under unique circumstances.
From the Arizona Cardinals’ media guide: “Head Coach Frank 'Pop' Ivy resigns with two games remaining … Cards win both remaining contests as assistants Chuck Drulis, Ray Prochaska, and Ray Willsey assume coaching reins.”
Including Chamberlin and Richards, six NFL coaches were born in Nebraska. Lane Kiffin, who was born in Lincoln in 1975, coached the Oakland Raiders for part of two seasons to a 5-15 record. Rod Dowhower, born in Ord in 1943, led the Indianapolis Colts to a 5-24 record in two years. Milan Creighton, who was born in Gothenburg in 1908, directed the Chicago Cardinals for four seasons and compiled a 16-26-4 record. Paul Schissler, born in Hastings in 1893, coached for four seasons with a 14-29-3 mark. He led the NFL’s Chicago Cardinals and Brooklyn Dodgers.
Nebraska has also had its share of ex-players serve as NFL coordinators. Most notably was Monte Kiffin, who won a Super Bowl as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defensive coordinator. Kiffin, Lane Kiffin’s father, was also Nebraska’s defensive coordinator from 1973 to 1976.
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2004: Zac Taylor drops back to pass with Butler (Kansas) Community College.
March 23, 2005: Nebraska junior quarterback Zac Taylor of Norman, Okla., show his intensity during the first day of spring drills.
April 16, 2005: Zac Taylor is mobbed by fans as the enters the field during the Huskers' spring game.
April 16, 2005: Zac Taylor throws during the annual spring game. He completed 20 of 27 passes for 357 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half.
April 16, 2005: Zac Taylor laughs as he leaves the field at halftime.
Aug. 4, 2005: Nebraska quarterbacks, from front, Zac Taylor, Beau Davis, Joe Ganz and Jordan Adams warm up prior to practice.
Aug. 8, 2005: Nebraska quarterback Zac Taylor drinks water as temperatures reach the mid-90s during practice.
Sept. 10, 2005: Zac Tayor sees old teammates from Wake Forest, including Napoleon Sykes, left, and Robert Simmons. Nebraska won 31-3.
Oct. 1, 2005: Nebraska quarterback Zac Taylor throws under pressure in a double-overtime victory over Iowa State. Taylor completed 36 of 55 passes for 431 yards, setting school records for completions and yards.
Oct. 29, 2005: Zac Taylor waits out the final seconds after failing to convert on fourth down in a 31-24 loss to Oklahoma.
Oct. 29, 2005: Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops shakes hands with Zac Taylor.
Nov. 25, 2005: Nebraska quarterback Zac Taylor gained 16 yards on the ground against Colorado, but most of the time he let his arm do the talking, throwing for 392 yards and two touchdowns. “It’s unbelievable,” Taylor said of the Huskers’ surprisingly easy win over the Buffs. “This is finally the game we’ve been waiting to play.”
Aug. 3, 2006: Nebraska's Zac Taylor, middle, Beau Davis, left, and Joe Ganz at the first day of Husker football practice.
Aug. 3, 2006: Nebraska quarterback Zac Taylor throws during practice.
Oct. 14, 2006: Nebraska quarterback Zac Taylor passes the ball around Kansas State defenders during a 21-3 Nebraska victory.
Oct. 21, 2006: Zac Taylor throws the ball to Terrence Nunn late in a game against Texas, which ultimately was a 22-20 Husker loss.
Oct. 31, 2006: Nebraska quarterback Zac Taylor speaks at a press conference.
Nov. 24, 2006: Offensive coordinator Jay Norvell hugs Zac Taylor after Nebraska won 37-14.
Nov. 24, 2006: Stewart Bradley, left, Zac Taylor and Corey McKeon celebrate defeating Colorado.
Dec. 2, 2006: Zac Taylor is pressured by Oklahoma's DeMarcus Granger in the fourth quarter of the Big 12 championship.
Dec. 2, 2006: Zac Taylor leaves the field after falling to Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship.
Jan. 1, 2007: Nebraska quarterback Zac Taylor exits the field following the Cotton Bowl.
Jan. 20, 2019: Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor is seen before the Rams' NFC championship victory over New Orleans.
Jan. 20, 2019: Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor is picture during Los Angeles' NFC championship victory over New Orleans.
Jan. 20, 2019: Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor walks on the field before the Rams defeated the Saints to claim the NFC championship and a trip to the Super Bowl.