Nebraska Coaching Buzz: Candidates To Watch

Coaching Buzz

The college baseball coaching carousel took an unexpected turn this week when Nebraska head coach Darin Erstad resigned his position, effectively immediately.

There were plenty of questions earlier this season about Erstad’s status as head coach. That was when the Huskers were struggling and looking like a team that likely would miss the NCAA tournament. However, Nebraska finished the regular season strong with series wins over Arizona State and Michigan, and was an out away from reaching the Oklahoma City Regional championship game, only to have Oklahoma State’s Trevor Boone shatter those dreams with a towering home run.

Nebraska did not reach the regional title game, but it was a strong finish and, certainly, a valiant effort in the final game against the Cowboys. The Huskers finished the season with a 32-24 overall record and a 15-9 Big Ten mark. Erstad, 44, spent eight seasons with the Big Red, leading the program to four regionals in that span, along with a conference championship in 2017.

For Erstad, his reasons for stepping down was clear.

“I have made the extremely difficult decision to step away from coaching,” Erstad said. “I love this team. I love our staff and I love Nebraska. The bottom line is I do not want to miss seeing our kids grow up. I want to thank our administration and academic staff for all of their support over the last eight years. GBR forever.”

Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos had this to say about Erstad’s sudden resignation, making it perfectly clear that Erstad wasn’t forced out. He was going to be with the team in 2020. It was Erstad’s decision to resign for family reasons.

“Darin earned the right to lead this baseball program well into the future, and I was hopeful that would be the case,” Moos said. “Darin loved the opportunity to represent Nebraska every day and did an outstanding job. He’s a Nebraska guy who loves this program and is a proven winner. With all that said, I respect and admire that Darin’s priority now is to spend more time with his family as his children grow up.

The Nebraska job is an interesting one. Though it’s a Big Ten job, it has a much higher profile than other jobs within the conference. Nebraska has a robust athletic budget, great baseball facilities, a rabid baseball fan base and, more than anything else, it cares a lot about winning at the highest level in the sport.

Who are some obvious candidates for the job, why and what are the chances the Huskers could snag them? Let’s dissect the candidates.


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