Scott Frost will return as Nebraska head coach in 2022

Scott Frost will be back at Nebraska next season.

In a statement issued Monday, Nebraska athletic director Trev Alberts said that Frost has agreed to a restructured contract and will be back in Lincoln next season. The Huskers fell to 3-7 with a loss to Ohio State on Saturday, dropping Frost’s record to 15-27 over his four seasons as the head coach at his alma mater.

Despite a fourth consecutive season without a bowl appearance, Alberts said in a statement that Frost deserves to return in 2022.

"In my four months at Nebraska, I have closely observed our football team, and had several productive discussions with Coach Frost. Scott has laid out a clear plan and vision for the future of Nebraska Football and has agreed to a restructured contract. I am excited to continue to work together with Scott. We share a love of Nebraska and this football program and want nothing more than Nebraska Football to again compete for championships.”

Frost will make $1 million less than he was originally scheduled to get in 2022. His buyout — which was over $20 million if he was fired after this season — has been dropped to $7.5 million after 2022. It was set to be $15 million.

Nebraska AD: Huskers have shown 'incremental progress'

The Huskers have been plagued by close losses during Frost’s tenure. Saturday’s 26-17 defeat to the Buckeyes was no different. Nebraska is 5-18 in one-possession games under Frost, including 0-6 this season.

Alberts said those close games are evidence of “incremental progress” from the program.

"We all recognize our record has not been what anyone wants it to be. I have been clear that I have been looking for incremental progress, and I have seen that in several key areas this season,” Alberts said. “Our team has continued to compete at a high level and the young men in our program have remained unified and shown great resiliency, which is an important reflection of the leadership of Coach Frost and his staff."

Nebraska is currently on a bye week before closing out the regular season against Wisconsin on the road and Iowa at home. Frost said he hopes to “build momentum” into 2022 with those two games.

"I appreciate the confidence Trev Alberts has shown in me to continue to lead this program. I love this state, this football program and am honored and humbled for the opportunity to serve as the head coach at my alma mater,” Frost said. "Our immediate focus is on the two games ahead against Wisconsin and Iowa, and the opportunity in front of us to build momentum heading into the offseason and 2022. I understand we have not won at a high enough level, but I am confident our football program will continue to take steps forward."

Nebraska head coach Scott Frost hugs players, including Nebraska defensive lineman Damion Daniels (93), during warmups before playing against Ohio State in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)
Nebraska head coach Scott Frost hugs players, including defensive lineman Damion Daniels (93), during warmups before playing Ohio State on Saturday. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)

Frost fires 4 assistants

Later Monday, the changes at Nebraska started to trickle out.

Frost announced that four of his offensive assistants — offensive coordinator Matt Lubick, offensive line coach Greg Austin, running backs coach Ryan Held and quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco — are no longer with the program.

"They are all men of outstanding character and good coaches, but as we strive for better consistency and execution, we needed fresh ideas and voices on our offensive staff," Frost said.

Austin, Held and Verduzco all came with Frost to Nebraska from UCF. Lubick was hired prior to the 2020 season.

Frost promised turnaround, but has not delivered

Frost, a Nebraska native who played quarterback for the Huskers, was hired ahead of the 2018 season following an extremely successful two-year run at UCF. He inherited a UCF program that went winless in 2015, guided it to a bowl game in 2016 and then a memorable undefeated record in 2017.

Frost promised a quick turnaround at Nebraska, a storied program that hasn't recaptured the glory of the Tom Osborne era.

Coaches like Frank Solich, Bill Callahan and Bo Pelini were all fired despite winning records. And then Mike Riley was fired after having a losing record in two of his three seasons.

The Huskers have had a losing record in all four of Frost's seasons. They started 0-6 and finished 4-8 in his first year. In his second year, the Huskers started 4-2, but lost five of six down the stretch and finished 5-7. The Huskers then went 3-5 in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and are now guaranteed to miss another bowl game in 2021.