Nebraska head coach Bill Callahan announced Monday that he has hired Phil Elmassian to coach defensive backs for the Huskers. Elmassian will be reunited with defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove, who was Elmassian's coordinator when he served as defensive backs coach at Wisconsin from 1997-'99. Last year, Elmassian served as the defensive backs coach at Purdue.
"Phil is one of the finest secondary coaches in the country," Callahan said in a prepared statement. "He brings a wealth of experience, energy and enthusiasm to our program. He will make an impact from a technical aspect and also from a recruiting standpoint out east. He coached in the Big Ten, Pac 10, ACC, SEC, Big East and the MAC, winning numerous conference championships along the way. I'm excited to have him join the Nebraska tradition."
Elmassian has extensive coaching experience that also includes stints as the defensive coordinator at four Division I schools - West Virginia in 2001, LSU in 2000, Boston College in 1996 and Virginia Tech from 1993-'94. He has coached college football for 30 years, dating back to a job coaching quarterbacks and running backs at William & Mary from 1974-'75.
While at Wisconsin, Elmassian worked with the teams two best defenses during head coach Barry Alvarez' tenure - the 1998 and '99 Rose Bowl Championship units. The Badgers led the nation in scoring defense in '98, allowing just 11.9 points per game and were fifth the following year (12.8). In each of those seasons, opponents completed only eight touchdown passes.
"I am grateful for this great opportunity to not only coach at Nebraska, but also to coach with Bill Callahan," Elmassian said. "I feel like I have been preparing for this moment for 30 years. I am excited for the chance to help lead Nebraska to a national championship, and I am looking forward to working with the defensive backs here at Nebraska."