LINCOLN — Even during present struggles — including a 37-21 loss to Wisconsin on Saturday — Nebraska coach Scott Frost likes the future direction of Husker football. So do his bosses.
Two hours before kickoff Saturday, Nebraska Chancellor Ronnie Green and Athletic Director Bill Moos announced a two-year contract extension for Frost, who had originally signed a deal through the 2024 season upon his arrival at NU in 2017. His reworked contract — still worth $5 million per year — goes through the 2026 season.
“I’m grateful to the leadership here and I’m grateful to the fan base for believing in us,” Frost said in his postgame press conference.
Green visited Frost’s office on Friday to discuss the extension, which came on a weekend where Nebraska hosted seven official visitors for recruiting.
“Two years ago, we had the tremendous opportunity to bring Scott Frost home to Nebraska to lead our football program into the future,” Green and Moos said in a joint statement. “We are even more committed to that decision today. Coach Frost has shown tremendous leadership in beginning to rebuild our football program. We appreciate that a change of this nature will not happen overnight. We are committed to Scott and the direction he is taking this program. Scott is the right coach at the right time for this program.”
Frost is 8-14 in his first 22 games at Nebraska and has not yet secured a bowl berth for the 2019 season. He has overseen a massive roster expansion and even more significant roster turnover since his arrival. More than half of NU’s roster is composed of freshmen, and the current locker room — capacity 125 — is not big enough to hold 150 men. The Huskers are on track to open a $155 million football facility in 2022.
In an on-field interview before the game, Moos said he understands Husker fans are “frustrated” with NU’s record. He is, too.
“But we’re in it for the long haul in building a program,” Moos said as seven recruits on official visits stood at midfield. “And it’s going to take several years. I’ve said that all along. Scott knows it. We’re all working very hard. We’ve got the new building that’s going to be under construction shortly. We got our air fleet all geared up for our recruiting piece. It just made sense to do it now. I was going to do it anyway. This, I think, is a good piece for good morale and some energy within our team and our program.”
Moos said NU is “probably a couple years away” from having consistently winning teams.
“But my feeling has always been throughout my career, you build the program, make sure it’s solid, then the program will produce the winning teams,” said Moos, who discussed the extension with Green on Friday. “We’re working on building the program.”
Frost said “everybody, including me” hoped NU would have a strong season. The team is far away and yet closer, at the same time, than it has been.
“A few more pieces, a few more plays, and this whole thing looks different,” Frost said. “It’s not going to happen until we have a team that’s ready to go make it happen, and we are trying to get them there every single day.”
Quarterback Adrian Martinez said he was glad Frost got the extension.
“I think Coach Frost deserves it and he is going to get this thing right,” Martinez said. “Ultimately, it is going to be up to us as the players to go out there and execute.”
Frost’s contract extension is the latest move among Big Ten West teams. In early November, Minnesota signed P.J. Fleck through 2026. Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald and Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz are also signed through 2026. Earlier this year, Purdue signed Jeff Brohm through 2025 and Wisconsin renewed Paul Chryst’s standard five-year contract through 2024. After qualifying for Illinois’ first bowl since 2015, Lovie Smith is likely to get an extension on his contract that currently runs through 2023.
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Scott Frost competing in the Junior Olympics in 1993.
Scott Frost poses for a portrait in his hometown of Wood River, Nebraska, in 1992.
Nebraska quarterback Scott Frost holds on to the football as he tries to get away from Iowa State defender Chin Achebe during NU's 49-14 win in 1996.
Nebraska's Sean Wieting consoles quarterback Scott Frost after losing to Texas 37-27 in the 1996 Big 12 championship game.
Nebraska quarterback Scott Frost, center, with Matt Turman, during Brook Berringer's funeral in Goodland. Frost said Berringer's death had a lot to do with his recommitment to his faith.
Nebraska quarterback Scott Frost, left, warms up as freshman Matt Davison looks on.
Nebraska coach Tom Osborne talks with Scott Frost before a 59-14 win against Akron to open the 1997 season. On the far left is Frank Solich.
Scott Frost leaps into the end zone to score against Akron in 1997.
Nebraska quarterback Scott Frost runs away from Central Florida defenders Jeff Mauldin and Emory Green during the Huskers' 38-24 win in 1997.
Scott Frost breaks loose from Texas Tech defenders as teammate Joel Makovicka, back left, falls to the turf following a block in the Huskers' 29-0 win in 1997.
Scott Frost holds onto the football as he dives into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown in overtime against Missouri in 1997.
Nebraska's Eric Warfield congratulates quarterback Scott Frost after the overtime win against Missouri in 1997. Frost had 316 total yards, 3 yards short of Jerry Tagge's then-single-game school record.
Scott Frost is congratulated by Aaron Taylor, No. 67, Eric Anderson, No. 70 and Josh Heskew, No. 59, after scoring the first touchdown of 1997 Big 12 championship game against Texas A&M. The Huskers won 54-15.
Scott Frost jokes with some of the players attending the 2002 summer football camp at Nebraska's Memorial Stadium. The camp was a huge draw for high school football players aspiring to become Huskers.
Nebraska's head coach Scott Frost delivers a pass during the Nebraska Cornhuskers football practice at the Hawks Championship Center on April 3, 2019.
Nebraska head coach Scott Frost watches the Huskers' spring game at Memorial Stadium on April 13, 2019.
Nebraska coach Scott Frost watches his team during the spring game at Memorial Stadium on April 13, 2019.
Nebraska head coach Scott Frost looks on during the spring game at Memorial Stadium on April 13, 2019.
Nebraska head coach Scott Frost smiles after Nebraska's spring game at Memorial Stadium on April 13, 2019.
Scott Frost visits with classmates before taking the stage at the “Scott Frost: Welcome Home Tailgate” on April 23, 2019 at Babel’s Barn.
Scott Frost waves to the 500 in attendance at the “Scott Frost: Welcome Home Tailgate” at Babel’s Barn on April 23, 2019.
Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos, left, and football coach Scott Frost talk outside before the Big Red Blitz at the DeVent Center on May 30, 2019.
Nebraska football coach Scott Frost answers questions during the Big Red Blitz at the DeVent Center on May 30, 2019.
Nebraska men's basketball coach Fred Hoiberg, left, hands the microphone to football coach Scott Frost during the Big Red Blitz at the DeVent Center on May 30, 2019.
Nebraska football coach Scott Frost mingles during the Friday Night Lights event at Memorial Stadium on June 14, 2019.
Nebraska football coach Scott Frost addresses the prospects who participated in the Friday Night Lights event on June 14, 2019, at Memorial Stadium.
Nebraska head football coach Scott Frost looks on while prospects participate in the Friday Night Lights event at Memorial Stadium on June 14, 2019.
NebraskaÕs Maurice Washington, right, stands next to Head Coach Scott Frost during spring football practice at the Hawks Championship Center on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. CHRIS MACHIAN/THE WORLD-HERALD
Nebraska Director of Athletics Bill Moos, left, Nebraska football coach Scott Frost, Jane Green, and her husband, University of Nebraska Chancellor Ronnie Green, arrive for a press conference. The University of Nebraska introduced Fred Hoiberg as its new men's basketball coach at Memorial Stadium on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, in Lincoln, Nebraska. RYAN SODERLIN/THE WORLD-HERALD
Head Coach Scott Frost takes the podium at a University of Nebraska-Lincoln spring football press conference held at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska on Tuesday, March 5, 2019. KENT SIEVERS/THE WORLD-HERALD
Nebraska's head coach Scott Frost looks on during the Nebraska Cornhuskers football practice at the Hawks Championship Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, Monday, March 11, 2019. BRENDAN SULLIVAN/THE WORLD-HERALD
Nebraska Head Coach Scott Frost watches quarterback Adrian Martinez take a snap during spring football practice at the Hawks Championship Center on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. CHRIS MACHIAN/THE WORLD-HERALD