Bob Elliott-Notre Dame

Bob Elliott, came to Nebraska after serving the last two years as a special assistant to Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly.

LINCOLN — Bob Elliott will be a newcomer to the Nebraska staff next season, but he’s very familiar with Husker football.

Through four decades of coaching, Elliott steadily has run in regional circles with NU, including time in the Big 12/Big Eight with Kansas State and Iowa State. A dozen years were spent at Iowa, where Elliott also played defensive back in the 1970s.

In past matchups with Nebraska, Elliott coached against Heisman Trophy winners Mike Rozier and Eric Crouch, was part of the K-State romp

in 2003 that might have finished off Frank Solich and was on the other side in 2005 when Bill Callahan pulled Harrison Beck’s redshirt for a few plays on Nov. 12.

In the last game where Elliott opposed Nebraska, Iowa State lost 31-30 to NU in 2010 when a failed 2-point conversion in overtime cost the Cyclones a potential upset in Ames.

“Being a Midwest guy, no doubt he understands the tradition and the expectations, and the great fans of Nebraska,” said Greg Peterson, a former staff colleague at Kansas State. “With the culture that already exists in Lincoln, he will make an immediate impact and be a great fit.”

Elliott on Monday was officially added to the Husker coaching staff, brought to Lincoln via his association with Bob Diaco, who was hired as defensive coordinator last month. NU head coach Mike Riley confirmed in a release that Elliott would coach the Husker safeties.

“Bob Elliott has great respect throughout football for his defensive knowledge and ability as a coach, teacher and recruiter,” Riley said. “The experience he brings to our staff will be a great asset as we install a new defensive system and build toward the future success of the Blackshirts.”

The 63-year-old immediately becomes not only an assistant coach but a mentor for a defensive staff that includes Diaco (43), John Parrella (47), Trent Bray (34) and Donte Williams (34).

“His work ethic, his work habits, how he treats people … he’s as good a guy as you’d want to be around, as you’d want on your staff,” Peterson said. “He’s such a likable guy and he does it the right way. When younger guys on your staff see what he’s about and how he conducts his day-to-day business, he can’t help but make everybody better.

“And I know the years we coached together, besides having a big impact on the other coaches on our staff, his relationship with the players was phenomenal. So he’ll bring that as well.”

Other than stops at San Diego State and North Carolina, the Iowa City native has spent the majority of his coaching career around the Midwest, including the last five years at Notre Dame. That included associations with Hayden Fry, Bill Snyder, Dan McCarney and Brian Kelly along the way.

“I have been very fortunate throughout my career to work at outstanding universities and with great coaches,” Elliott said. “The opportunity to work under Coach Riley is an unbelievable honor. His reputation in the coaching profession is second to none. When you couple that with working in a program with the tradition and history of success of Nebraska, I couldn’t be more excited.”

The most success that Elliott had against Nebraska came during his four seasons as defensive coordinator or co-defensive coordinator for Snyder at Kansas State, when the Wildcats beat the Huskers 49-13 in 2002, 38-9 in 2003 and 45-21 in 2004. The 2003 game included K-State holding a 561-293 edge in total yards and outscoring NU 31-2 in the second half, and Solich was fired two weeks later.

After holding the Huskers to 77 yards in the second half at Memorial Stadium, Elliott told the Topeka Capital-Journal: “It was pretty good under the circumstances. It was just wild, with the noise and their crowd. It’s hard under those circumstances for guys to concentrate, but I was proud.”

Elliott now will make his home at the Osborne Complex, teaming up again with Diaco as NU tries to take another step with its defense. Elliott and Diaco previously were together in 2012 and ’13 at Notre Dame when Diaco was the Fighting Irish defensive coordinator, and 1996 and ’97 at Iowa when Elliott was defensive coordinator and Diaco was a graduate assistant.

After working with safeties for two seasons and linebackers for one at Notre Dame, Elliott the last two years served as a special assistant to Kelly.

Elliott will take the spot on the Husker staff vacated by Brian Stewart, who was hired as defensive coordinator at Rice. Diaco last month was picked to replace Mark Banker, whose long connection to Riley included the 2015 and ’16 seasons at NU.

According to NU, Elliott will be paid $325,000 in 2017 and $350,000 in 2018. Stewart made $425,000 last season, and was expected to go from coaching the Husker cornerbacks to the safeties this year before leaving the staff.

Peterson called Elliott “probably as fine a technician and coach as I’ve had the pleasure to work with.”

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