Shatel: Administration works to create the Dream Job, which lured Frost back

Hank Bounds, Ronnie Green and Bill Moos deserve all the credit for hiring Scott Frost. They are an unlikely trio, natives of Mississippi, Virginia and Washington who were somehow brought together to revive Nebraska football.

Before there could be a Dream Job, there had to be a Dream Team.

It was widely reported that Nebraska was Scott Frost’s “Dream Job.” The former Husker said as much to The World-Herald’s Henry Cordes in an interview five years ago.

But dream jobs are funny things. Dream jobs can change as you change, as your life changes.

I know this as a fact. Growing up in Kansas City, I wanted to be Joe McGuff, the long-time sports columnist and editor of the K.C. Star who I grew up reading. As a young teen, I learned how to type by re-typing McGuff’s columns on an old typewriter.

To have the sports column in Kansas City, that was my dream job.

Then one day I stumbled into a city called Omaha. I eventually fell in love with a great lady from Valley, and also the city of Omaha, and the people of Nebraska.

By the time this was going on, I found that I preferred writing about college football more than pro sports. That’s what I wanted to be around.

One day I woke up and discovered that I was doing what I always wanted to do, writing for readers who had a passion for the subject, and in a place where I wanted to live. I had found happiness.

Happy is the definition of “Dream Job.”

I thought all along that Frost would come back to NU if asked. But as the saga played out last month, in the back of my mind I wondered, “What if Frost decides that Central Florida is his Dream Job?”

It’s been known to happen. When a coach builds something of his own, it’s hard to leave it. The ownership and emotional ties are too strong. Roy Williams turned down North Carolina once because he couldn’t leave Kansas.

The vision in Frost’s mind that made Nebraska a Dream Job was a Nebraska football with everyone in the state pulling for it and the administration doing everything possible to make it successful. Everyone pulling on the rope. If that wasn’t happening, that wasn’t Nebraska.

And Frost wasn’t coming.

That’s where the Dream Team comes in.

Hank Bounds, Ronnie Green and Bill Moos deserve all the credit for this hire. They are an unlikely trio, natives of Mississippi, Virginia and Washington who were somehow brought together to revive Nebraska football.

The timing was incredibly fragile, due to Frost’s popularity. It began with Bounds and Green firing Shawn Eichorst in September. Though circumstances then called for it, I’ll always wonder if that was done then to clear a path for Frost’s return.

There was no way Frost was working for Eichorst. No way, no how.

When Green announced the hiring of Moos, the long-time Oregon and Washington State veteran, a lot of folks scratched their heads. Didn’t know him. What could he do to help Nebraska football?

It’s an unbelievable hire.

No one could know how Moos would look to Frost, but he’s such a natural people person, with a stout football background, that he would be attractive to most any coaching candidate.

Then Moos met immediately with Tom Osborne, then Matt Davison, and started utilizing every asset he had. You can say bringing Frost back was a no-brainer. Not true. Frost had to have everything perfect to be here, and that meant he had to trust the people above him.

Moos pushed every correct button. When it was over, NU had the smoothest and best coaching search in the country, landing their man with patience and integrity while dumpster fires raged elsewhere.

As notorious as Harvey Perlman, Steve Pederson and Eichorst are in history, the names Bounds, Green and Moos have a chance to be heroes if this works out the way a lot of folks think.

Football drags NU presidents and chancellors into the spotlight. There was a lot of pressure to get this right. Their biggest job was putting on a unified front for Frost, and letting him know the environment would be right for success.

And his Dream Job.

»   Moos and Frost just missed each other at Oregon. Moos left in 2007 and Frost was hired by Chip Kelly a couple of years later.

But Moos said the “nice endorsements” he received from Oregon football people when he took over at NU made an impression on Frost, who knew a lot of those Oregon folks.

“I think a lot of that helped, because Scott was a little apprehensive about how I fit into this place,” Moos said. “The thing I had to get through to Scott was, this is a new crew here. We’ll have your back.”

I know some Husker fans were concerned last week that dominoes at Texas A&M and Florida State might open the football job at Oregon — and Frost might jump to Oregon. But Moos wasn’t concerned.

“He knows what Oregon is, what they have to offer,” Moos said. “They don’t have five national championships. As good as that program is, as soon as it fell flat, their fans left them.

“This (Nebraska) is so unique, so special, that Oregon aspired to be Nebraska and to be a Michigan and Ohio State.”

»   Absolutely, you let Frost coach the Peach Bowl. That’s a three-hour national ad for Nebraska football.

»   For those pointing out that Frost is bringing a fairly young staff to NU — all his guys, just as Bo Pelini did — here’s one key difference. Frost has been a coach for two years. He and his staff have had two years to work out a recruiting philosophy — and go 12-0 by the way. Big difference.

»   It was less than a year ago that Tennessee and Nebraska left the Music City Bowl headed in apparent different directions. Now look. Amazing.

»   I’m old school. A conference championship should mean something. But I can’t argue with Ohio State being left out of the playoff.

That team has been up and down and hasn’t looked great — playoff worthy — all season. The Buckeyes have benefited from the playoff committee twice already and while that has nothing to do with this team, I can’t argue with it.

»   I still like six teams. Five conference champs and one at-large. Does being a conference champ make you one of the top six teams? Not necessarily. But I like rewarding the long haul and consistency of winning a league title. That keeps the regular season relevant.

»   Herm Edwards to Arizona State? Thank heavens for Moos.

»   After Eric Crouch and Frost embraced Sunday and Crouch wished Frost well, Frost said, “Thanks, Seven.” Both Frost and Crouch wore No. 7 at Nebraska. And Frost calls him “Seven.” Cool.

»   I’ve heard from some fans of Joe Moglia wondering why he didn’t coach Coastal Carolina this season. I asked Joe and he explained that he had an infection in his lungs that began last summer. Moglia said the infection caused inflammation and stretched his lungs from a circumference of seven to 10.

Coastal Carolina’s president offered Moglia a medical sabbatical in July. Moglia took it and had a procedure to “fix” his infection. He reports that he is cleared and hopes to return to the sideline next fall.

»   UNO hockey (6-7-1) is 1-5 and in last place in the NCHC and was just swept by No. 2 St. Cloud state last weekend at home. And … the Mavs are 14th in the NCAA Pairwise Rankings, which means they would make the NCAA tournament if it started today. Interesting first year for Mike Gabinet. Long way to go.

»   Creighton hoops (5-2) isn’t getting a lot of juice yet from its nonconference schedule. The Jays’ RPI is 59 (Realtime) and 61 (Warren Nolan). Meanwhile, Gonzaga is 46 and 58, UCLA is 111 and 109 and Northwestern is 146 and 143. Long way to go.

»   One more and I’m outta here: Did Nebraska fans end up getting a bowl game this year? Look out, Peach Bowl. Here they come.

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