Josh Harvey / Scout.com

Nebraska HC Mike Riley makes major staff changes

Nebraska head coach Mike Riley has not renewed the contract of defensive coordinator Mark Banker.

Nebraska head coach Mike Riley announced Wednesday three changes to the football staff. 

Defensive coordinator Mark Banker will not have his contract renewed, after coaching the last two years in Lincoln. 

"I want to thank Mark for his hard work and contributions to our football program the past two years and for all of his service and dedication as a member of my other coaching staffs," Riley said.  "We will conduct a national search to find a great coach, teacher and recruiter as we continue our pursuit of championships."

Banker's defense held opponents to 23.9 points per game this season, but gave up 62 to Ohio State, 40 to Iowa and 38 to Tennessee. While Nebraska's work in the secondary improved numbers wise in 2016, their rushing defense numbers dropped. 

In addition, defensive backs coach Brian Stewart has accepted a position as a defensive coordinator at Rice. After coaching all defensive backs in 2015, his role was just corners in 2016. New assistant Donte Williams took a job with Nebraska as the corner's coach, meaning Stewart would have moved to safeties. Now, Williams will coach the entire secondary. 

"Brian feels this is a great opportunity for him and his family and I respect his decision," said Riley. "We appreciate Brian’s contributions to our program the past two years and wish him the best of luck. We will work diligently to replace him with an outstanding coach, teacher and recruiter."

Nebraska is also losing a one of their top support staff members. Ryan Gunderson, who has been vital in Nebraska's recruiting efforts, will be moving on to become a coach at an unknown school. 

“Ryan Gunderson will also be leaving our recruiting staff to pursue an on-field coaching opportunity at another institution," said Riley. "Gundy has been a valuable part of our operation both at Nebraska and Oregon State. I’m excited that he’s getting a chance to get back on the field in a coaching role and wish him the best of luck.”

More on this developing story in the later hours. 

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