Former Nebraska All-America center Dave Rimington didn’t spend much time as Nebraska’s interim athletic director — he said he was a “figurehead more than anything” — but he thinks he helped usher the Huskers into a new era.
One of his goals was to influence those who would take over the position after A.D. Shawn Eichorst was fired last fall.
He said Thursday on “The Bottom Line” that Bill Moos was a “home run hire” who will get Nebraska back to the pinnacle of college football.
“We were in a pretty bad situation,” Rimington said. “I just wanted to make sure that we got back on track, and I feel so great about what’s going on with Scott (Frost) and Bill and the administration there. Everybody’s on the same page and everybody’s gonna push. I feel pretty confident, in short order, we’ll be where we’re supposed to be.”
Rimington covered a lot of topics during his “TBL” appearance. He reflected on his time as interim A.D., returning to his work with the Boomer Esiason Foundation, his upcoming youth football camp, the Husker walk-on program and more.
Watch the full video at the top of the page or read a transcript of select excerpts below.
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On what he learned while serving as interim A.D.:
“We have some really good people, really dedicated, really hard-working and really competent. I was taking their lead, because they knew what they were doing, and I was there as pretty much a figurehead more than anything else. I just let them do their work and try to get out of their way. If there was any major problems, come to me and we’ll fix it.”
“He’s definitely a home run hire. That was one of my goals. One of the reasons I took the job originally was I wanted to have a little bit of say in what was going to happen next. Because we were in a pretty bad situation. I just wanted to make sure that we got back on track, and I feel so great about what’s going on with Scott and Bill and the administration there. Everybody’s on the same page and everybody’s gonna push, and I feel pretty confident, in short order, we’ll be where we’re supposed to be.”
On his excitement for this football season:
“This is a new beginning. From everything I see, because I’m far away in New York, it seems like they’re just trying as hard as they can to get the right people in to embrace the community, looking for local players, bringing back the walk-on program.”
“I wouldn’t bring it up unless I know it’s going to help this program. I’m not trying to just talk here. We need to get that walk-on program. They’ve got to figure out Title IX to get that to work. But they eventually will, because it needs to be done. That’s one of our advantages here, and we have to take advantage of everything we have.”
On the importance of the offensive line:
“The offensive line is where the action is. That’s the heart and soul of a football team. That’s where you win games. You’ve got to have the speed guys, people who are playmakers, but your offensive line, that’s your rock. You’ve got to have those guys up front in order to really facilitate the greatness behind you and on the sides. ... When you get in the huddle, you look at your offensive line. They’re your leaders. When the chips are down, they’re the guys that are gonna stay focused and confident. It’s not the guys on the outside. You’ve got to have some beef up front that’s going to take over the situation when it’s tough.”
“It’s quite an honor to have something like that named after you. I’m tickled to death that it’s gotten the traction it has with the media. It’s just quite an honor. We come down to Lincoln every January and give out the award. That has raised probably $4-5 million to fighting cystic fibrosis, that trophy alone. It’s been pretty substantial over the years.”
“It was an extraordinary team. We hit a bump at Penn State. We probably should’ve won that game. ... That was a really great team to play for. So much talent. Roger Craig was a backup I-back behind Mike (Rozier) and played a little fullback too. To have that kind of talent all around you — Irving Fryar, Turner Gill, Dean Steinkuhler, myself. We had a great, great team. Jamie Williams, Mitch Krenk, that offense was just loaded with playmakers. Everybody took turns doing really good things on that team. That was a lot of fun.”
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Chris Kelsay, DE, 1999-02
"He knows how special this place is. Previous coaches were not aware of how special and important Nebraska football is to the state. Having grown up here and played here and seeing what he's done down in Florida in just a couple years, it's pretty exciting the opportunity that awaits him here. Anybody that grew up in Nebraska and played in Nebraska, it means a little bit more to those guys."
Dan Alexander, IB, 1997-2000
"I think it's awesome. He's probably the smartest quarterback I've ever worked with. He definitely knows how to run a team. From a leadership standpoint, from somebody who got in a huddle and made a team around him better, I think he's the best quarterback I worked with. I just know what kind of guy he is, what he can do with a team, what he could bring in as a coach."
Danny Noonan, MG, 1984-86
"I don't see how you couldn't hire Scott to come back. After all the things that have happened the last 20 years ... I don't see how you can't hire Scott. And Nebraska is going to give Scott more rope than anybody else, OK? Obviously we're going to pay him, what he wants for however long he wants. He's a hot commodity now, a huge commodity now, and I think he'll be an outstanding hire."
"Hiring Scott Frost is actually what this program needs. We have lost our identity, toughness, and more importantly our culture. Scott will understand what this place is all about and how hard you have to work to be successful on Saturdays. We were all so fortunate to play for Coach Osborne and his staff. Scott will be a reflection of that and bring his leadership and direction to the program. This is much-needed. Good luck Scott Frost and welcome home!!"
Erik Wiegert, OT, 1989-91
"Scott is six years younger than me so I don't know him personally, but he obviously has a great understanding of the Cornhusker traditions and culture that were so successful for so many years. He seems to have a rare natural ability to motivate and teach young men. I think he'll be very successful. The ex-players I know were all thrilled that he might be coming to Nebraska."
"If he can approach his mentor's level of performance, we'll be great (laughs). It's hard for me to speak for the guys in the '90s who knew him, but I hope they're real excited. I was pretty much a Riley guy until probably the Minnesota game, and then I gave up, but I don't think they realize how bad of shape Bo left us in, both psychologically and otherwise. I'm also of the opinion it will take five, six, seven years if you really want to turn it around. But I'm like everyone else, I hope he's the right guy."
"Obviously it's important to get a former player in here that understands the program, understands what the culture needs to be and understands how special a place Lincoln is and Nebraska is. It's huge. I'm excited again about this football program with him coming in here. I think the energy and the boost of swagger or confidence that he brings is what this program needs. The program is kind of dry right now, not a lot of enthusiasm. It's dead right now and it needs a boost of energy, and I think that's what Scott will bring."
Mickey Joseph, QB, 1988-91
"I think that you're getting somebody who understands the culture, and you got to understand the culture there because it's different than around the nation. It's a great fan base that's really going to support you. The football hasn't been what it's needed to be the last few years, but the fans are still there, and Scott's gonna understand that culture. I can't speak for him, but I'm sure he's got a plan to get it done up there."
"I love seeing Scott Frost be our next head coach for the University of Nebraska. We can get back to our winning ways and tradition. It will be a great opportunity for him and his family."
"If Scott understands that Nebraska is arguably the toughest recruiting sell in college football, if he understands that he's not going to get many four- to five-star athletes — it gets cold here and those fancy-schmancy warm-weather kids struggle when they have to play in temperatures below 40 degrees — and if he understands that he needs to develop two- and three-star athletes into four- and five-star players, things will go well for him."
"Scott Frost represents the University of Nebraska's best hope toward returning its football program to its former greatness. For 40 years, Nebraska was the most consistently successful college football program in the country, and it didn't attain that status by accident. It did several things distinctively: It cultivated a deep walk-on program, it embraced a physical style of play, it maintained high ethical standards and it prized a culture of hard work ... everyday. While there may be others who qualify as top-notch college coaches, Scott Frost has shown that he not only qualifies as a coach, he has shown that he actually embodies the unique qualities that are requisite to success at Nebraska."
Willie Harper, DE, 1970-72
"From coaches that I know who have coached with him, they — and I myself — have nothing but great things to say about him. He's one of the smartest coaches that they've been around. I spoke with him some years ago and I was totally sold and confident with him. He knows both sides of the ball inside and out. He relates to the players, and they all love him as a person. He is a great teacher in the classroom and can demonstrate what he is coaching on the field. This is time for Nebraska to start raising up its own, who know, understand and can breathe Husker culture."
"Scott coming home is awesome. Finally someone that has Nebraska DNA, that obviously knows what we as alumni and Nebraskans need to succeed — work ethic and the right mix of young men. We have to have patience, though, because he has to change the culture back to what we all know and love."
Jerry Murtaugh, LB, 1968-70
"What I think it might mean, not that he can do it, but he's proven himself, he has the record, he knows Nebraska, he's been through all this. So when he does come back, you surround him with great people — meaning a coaching staff — you pay him, you give him a minimum of five years without firing him, and let him do his job. And then we'll go from there."
Jamel Williams, LB, 1994-96
"It's going to help bring back the roots of Nebraska. Even though you can be a great coach, people come in here and don't know the magnitude of how different it is — the hype, what it's all about, how crazy it is — until they leave. When you come in you just think you can handle it or think you may know, but you don't until you're out the door and on the outside looking in. I think somebody coming in here, who knows what's going on, is huge for the program and the state."
"Welcome home, Scott. Congratulations on a great season. All us ex-Huskers are extremely excited. Husker tradition needs a Husker to lead us back to the glory days. Walk-ons, Blackshirts and the greatest fan base in America will help you and your staff get us back to national prominence once again."
"Scott's an ex-ballplayer so people know who he is and maybe he can do something recent coaches haven't been able to do. We're Nebraska, we're used to winning, and right now we're not winning."
Johnny Rodgers, WB, 1970-72
"Scott Frost left Nebraska as a star and he has come back to be a legend. He has the backing now of all Husker Nation. With a new AD with an upbeat attitude, Scott with his score-big-or-go-home attitude, teamed up with die-hard Husker fans, we are positioned to take over the Big Ten and the national championship in as soon as three to four years. We can get this done now, but it's gonna take everything and everyone we've got."
Adam Carriker, DE, 2003-06
"Husker Nation, we got our guy. He’s a successful coach, who is also a Nebraska guy that understands what Nebraska is all about. He has what it takes to get the Huskers back on top. It will take time to build this back up the right way and we need to support Scott and his staff along the way. We all have the same goal: To win football games, championships and represent Nebraska as not only a great football program, but as the the great state that it truly is."
Dave Rimington, C, 1979-82
“Very happy about Scott coming home. The future is bright and I’m confident that given time he can take us to places our program hasn’t seen in a long time.”