Defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove, who coached Nebraska's MIKE and WILL linebackers in 2004, will continue to work with those two positions, and will add the SAM linebackers to his duties. Cosgrove has had consistent success throughout his career as a linebackers coach, most recently helping 2004 Husker senior Barrett Ruud to first-team All-Big 12 and honorable-mention All-America honors.
Assistant coach Bill Busch previously handled the SAM ‘backers. Busch will now coach the Nebraska strong and free safeties, in addition to his duties as special teams coordinator. Busch coached the secondary at Utah in his previous coaching stint and had six All-Mountain West Conference defensive backs in his final two seasons at the school.
Assistant coach Phil Elmassian, who handled Nebraska's entire secondary in 2004, will now focus on coaching Nebraska's cornerbacks. The Huskers will have a youthful cornerback group in 2005, after losing both of its starting cornerbacks. Lornell McPherson finished his eligibility, while Fabian Washington, who was an honorable-mention All-Big 12 pick for Elmassian, declared for the NFL Draft.
"This coaching adjustment maximizes the abilities of our defensive staff on and off the field," Callahan said. "It also allows us to focus on more quality repetitions for a relatively young defense. We are adapting to the trend of seeing more spread-type offenses in the Big 12 Conference."
Callahan informed the team of the changes on Thursday afternoon.
"I had hoped to announce the change in responsibilities at our signing day press conference, but I had not had the opportunity to discuss the changes with our players until today, and they had to be the first to know."