LINCOLN — Another member of Scott Frost’s first Husker coaching staff is leaving Nebraska.
Offensive coordinator Troy Walters, who coached under Frost for four seasons at Central Florida and Nebraska, will no longer be with the program. A statement from the Nebraska athletic department said Walters and the Huskers "mutually agreed to part ways."
“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.”
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.
There are a couple options not currently on the staff Nebraska may consider to replace Walters.
One is former Oregon coach Mark Helfrich, who was once Frost's boss and is now a coaching free agent after parting ways with the Chicago Bears. The other is Matt Lubick, who worked under Frost at Oregon, then became the offensive coordinator for one season in 2016 under Helfrich, who was fired after that year. Lubick then moved to Washington for two seasons before 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.
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.
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.