Linehan and Nussmeier have known each other since they were player and quarterbacks coach at Idaho under John L. Smith and Nussmeier even stood up for Linehan at his wedding. Linehan tried to get Nussmeier to join him in Miami as part of Nick Saban's coaching staff, but Nussmeier turned it down to stay with John L. Smith in East Lansing.
Smith, who is extremely close to Nussmeier hinted at the departure at his press conference on National Signing Day last week. When asked if their were changes coming to his coaching staff, Smith said "could be, you'll know when I know," and said he would take a wait and see approach.
"This is an opportunity - both personally and professionally - that I couldn't pass up," said Nussmeier in a statement released by the University. "Scott Linehan and I have been together before, and Scott had a great influence on my playing career at Idaho. I really look forward to learning more about the game, coaching at the professional level."
Smith made it clear he both understood and approved of the move. "Doug Nussmeier played for me and coached for me, so he's like a son to me," Smith said in the statement. "You hate to see anyone leave the program, particularly a coach, but this is a career move that Doug had to make. NFL teams have been pursuing him for the last three years, so it's time for him to teach and learn at the next level."
MSU has already begun the search for a new quarterbacks coach and could use the opportunity to also try to land a coach who is a more agressive recruiter.