After yet another embarrassing loss, Scott Frost’s tenure as head coach of the Huskers is over.
Watch as Trev Alberts speaks to the media on Sunday afternoon:
Nebraska Vice Chancellor/Direct of Athletics Trev Alberts
Sept. 11, 2022
“Thank you all for coming. I want to first acknowledge that it’s been a tough day today. It’s been a tough day for a lot of us. Obviously, it’s been a tough day for Coach Frost, our coaching staff and our players. I also want to say that this is a day that I’d hoped would never come. I first want to thank Coach Frost. I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Scott a little bit and really come to appreciate him. Now Scott worked really hard here. Scott loves Nebraska. He’ll always be a Husker, a Nebraskan and he worked really, really hard. He really wanted this thing to work. I can tell you that I really wanted this thing to work. Our donors wanted it to work and everybody wanted it to work. And so in a way, it is unfortunate and sad that we were here today. So I want to thank Scott.
“I also want to thank Mickey Joseph for taking on this role. I felt like there are nine games left to the season, and I think we owed it to the players and owed it our fans to give these players an opportunity these last nine games. We’ve got good players on this football team so having a different voice and having some new energy and enthusiasm I’m hoping can make a difference for this team.
“And then third, and finally, I think at the end of the day there has to be accountability. When you run a professional organization that has high standards, accountability has to matter. Scott and I talked about this very clearly. (A) 16-31 (record) obviously was not at a level that was acceptable to us. So I met with Scott this morning at 11 o’clock. I’ll just kind of walk you through the process of the day.
“I met with Scott at 11 o’clock and informed him (of the decision). I want you to know that Scott was extremely collegial, and he understood. I wasn’t surprised because I know how much Scott loves this place. That’s really important.
“We then both had an opportunity to go down and meet with the team. We sent an email to our team and most of the team was here so we got to meet with the team. Scott was with me, and I thanked the team and I thanked Scott in front of the team for all of his hard work. I think the team really cares about Scott, and I know Scott really cares about the team. I then gave Scott an opportunity to spend time himself with the team, and so we all left. And Scott spent time with the team and those conversations will remain with the team and Scott.
“And then finally I invited Mickey Joseph in. Mickey came in about 11:45 and spoke to the team and walked them through some of the changes that he envisioned. I communicated to Mickey that Mickey is the head coach. I won’t meddle in Mickey’s decision-making process. I encouraged Mickey to be the head coach and make decisions as the head coach. So he’ll ultimately have an opportunity probably with all of you to explain. I think there will be some changes and explain some of the changes with the team. There’ll be some structural changes and things that I think Mickey believes in which will be good going forward. He can explain all that to you.
“I will tell you a little bit about the process going forward and we’ll open it up to questions. Obviously, we’re going to do a national search. We’re going to engage some third-party help, mostly for logistics and other things. I want you to know as well and I would encourage our fans and everyone to recognize there will be a lot of rumors out there. There’s going to be a lot of innuendo. I want you to know that these sorts of decisions and processes are not made in a silo. I have a lot of great mentors and friends that we’ll be working with.
“Ultimately, you know, in a prior life, I have relationships with a lot of coaches in this business, and I intend to reach out to a lot of people. So if you hear that Trev Alberts reached out to XYZ coach, it doesn’t mean that I’ve offered the job to XYZ coach. I think there’s some fabulous coaches out there that have a perspective about our job that I can benefit from so I’m going to reach out to a lot of people.
“If you hear that Trev Alberts reached out to XYZ coach, it might very well be true. Doesn’t mean that I’m trying to hire that coach. I’d like to get that perspective. I’d like to get a perspective of a coach who isn’t here right now about our job, and what the uniqueness is and the needs and those sorts of things. So just want to be clear about that process. Obviously, there’s been some changes in college football with the early signing date and transfer portal. There are considerations as we go forward as well.
“Most importantly, I’m going to do everything I possibly can like I think we did for Scott, to support Mickey Joseph and the staff as best we possibly can. It is a group of young men that they’re hurting. They care deeply about this place and so we’re going to do everything we can to support them and help them. We’ve got nine games left. We’ve got a great opportunity this weekend against Oklahoma, and so we’re going to support them as best we can going forward.”
On the timing of the decision
“That is a fair question. At this point I just felt like we owed it to the players to give them a different voice. Perhaps a slightly different vision. To give them some confidence and opportunity. We have nine games. We have seniors on this team that have invested a lot for a long time. I know how disruptive these changes are. You are not just affecting the players’ lives. You are affecting all of the coaches and their families. And I understand that. But we needed to do something. We needed to inject something into this team to give them the confidence and hopefully help them compete. Nothing would please me more than to see a pretty significant change and help this team get over the hump and win some games.”
On Coach Frost’s settlement
“There is no negotiated settlement. The University of Nebraska has a long history of living up to what they agreed to, so the contract is what the contract is, and of course, the University will comply as we always do.”
On when the decision was made
“I think last night. Not a lot of sleep. Didn’t sleep a lot. A lot of us didn’t. But there was real concern throughout the first couple of games and wanted this thing to work and wanted to give a little extra time. And then last night and through the night and into this morning I really felt like we needed to make a change.”
On if a win last night would that have changed the decision
“I don’t know. I mean, I don’t want to get into the what ifs if they stopped here on third down or got this. I don’t think that’s really healthy. We are where we are. We’re 16-31, and I want to give this group of players an opportunity to have a different voice to try to win some games this year.”
On coaches he is considering at this point
“First of all, we have not engaged in any third-party folks. I have not talked to any agents of any football coaches. We were all in to help Scott be successful. Everybody wanted Scott to be successful. And I believe Scott wanted Scott to be successful as well. Anybody in my position has a group of folks that they admire. At the end of the day for us we need to get some clear definitions about what those coaching qualities look like. What does our unique culture need in terms of coaching and what is our culture is going to be as a team? So there is a group of people that I am well aware of and interested in and would like to talk to and we will go through that as we move forward but right now we have an opportunity to support the team as we move forward.”
On Mickey Joseph
“I met with Mickey and I told him we are going to do a national search. We will continue to do a national search and we will see how the season unfolds, but I think we have an opportunity to hire and outstanding coach lead our program. I would love to see Mickey grow into that and we will just see where it goes but again we will do a national search and if at that point if Mickey is an obvious candidate he will be part of that conversation as well.”
On the expectations for the rest of the season
“We have said all along I would just love to see this team continue to grow and compete and make progress. Have a team that represents the values of Nebraskans. Be tough. Win the line of scrimmage. Do the fundamental things that teams need to do to win games. And I think we can get there. We will stop talking about championships. We will stop talking about things we used to do. We will just get really process oriented and detail oriented. Ultimately when you start doing those fundamental championship type things those types of wins follow. We need to stop focusing on that and start focusing on those small fundamental things that ultimately lead to those types of things. So those are the things we will do.”
On qualities of a good head coach
“I have always believed great coaches are people of character. I think they are people managers. They are culture builders. I think they are grinders. A lot of the great ones don’t have a whole lot of hobbies. It is all they know. So those types of things. I think young people as we move forward have changed a little bit, so I think being able to identify and relate to the modern student-athlete and all that they are going to be going through and all of the new things like NIL and those types of things are very important. But the basic fundamentals of authentic leadership. Is this somebody that the players are willing to follow? Just basic types of leadership things that are really important to me. And I like people who hate to lose. I like people who hate to lose more than they enjoy winning. I have to be really careful when I say those things because I certainly do not mean to imply that our previous coach did not have those things and I want to be very clear about that. That is not fair to Scott. What I am saying is that is what I have found no matter if it is a football coach basketball coach or volleyball coach there are some very core and key fundamentals and characteristics that help to define them and those are the types of things that I believe in as well.”
On the salaries of the coaching market
“I am very aware of how the market has shifted in terms of compensation and at a place like Nebraska we are blessed to be in a position to meet market demand. Certainly resources will not be an impediment to hiring the type of coach that we want to lead the Husker program.”
On his approach to working with Coach Frost
“I thought it would work. Listen we all have short memories. Scott Frost was among the absolute leaders in that cycle of coaching. Scott is a good football coach. Scott is going to go on and be a successful coach. I told him that this morning and he agreed. And the right situation for him will emerge, and I think he will be very successful. I was determined to work with him and try to balance the delicate balance between not meddling because it is the last thing I think administration should do is start dictating how the coaches operate their deal but be supportive. It is what it is. It didn’t work. That is why we are here today.”
On the qualities Mickey Joseph has that made him right for this role
“Mickey is an energetic guy. Some of you have interacted with him already. He is pretty black and white. I was in there when he talked to the team, and I think he sees this as a real opportunity for him as well professionally and all of you will get a chance to talk with Mickey. I think he has an infectious personality. I think that is important. He has been some places so I think that benefits him. I think he has some different feelings about structure and approach and how he will handle practice and some different things. So there will be some immediate pretty significant changes into his approach. He had a very poignant conversation with the team today that I thought they took really well. At the same time I think like Scott, Mickey will love them and seek to serve them.”
On the qualities he looks for in someone to run the program
“I don’t know if there is anything specific to how magnified the role is. I certainly think it has to be someone who has a servant leadership mentality that is here to serve young people. Perhaps sees a picture that is bigger than themselves. But I don’t think anything specific. Every single job in college football has challenges. This job has advantages to other jobs and it has some disadvantages. It is the same thing with every job in college football. We have 1.8 million people in this state. That is not going to change. But we have some built in advantages here so if we play to our strengths and build on those. The right type of coach sees this as an opportunity to rebuild and build something special here.”
On why he thinks it didn’t work with Scott Frost
“I don’t want to spend a lot of time going backwards and looking at and evaluating Scott, only because I think at this point it’s a little unfair to Scott. We’ve moved on. Certainly there’s things that you observe and you’d see, and you’d say ‘well, maybe I’d do something different.’ We would have conversations. But at the end of the day, Scott Frost was the head coach and I promise you, Scott made decisions that he thought were in the best interest of the University of Nebraska. They were genuine. He believed that in his heart, OK? That’s really important. I don’t want to spend a lot of time evaluating Scott’s performance over the last five years. At the end of the day. Scott’s no longer the head coach here, and we’ll move on and look forward, too. I think you’ll see some of those changes, and you’ll get to talk to Coach Joseph about that. Mostly, I just want to salute Scott. He’ll always be a Husker. He’s from the great state of Nebraska and he’ll always be welcome here, and we want to support him in that role.”
On the timeline for a new coach
“I do think there’s some benefits in terms of making the decision when we made it. I think this gives us an opportunity to really do the necessary work. We need to dive into a real process, and a detail-oriented process that talks to a lot of people. That’s why I mentioned earlier, you’re gonna hear about a lot of names. That’s good. That means we’re going to talk to a lot of people, because we’re going to clearly define what our values are. And we’re not going to hire coaches who don’t believe in what we believe in. We need to take as long as it takes to find the right leader. So is there an ideal timeline? Sure. You could naturally look at some of these timelines – early signing date – and say it would be really nice to be able to get the person in place by then, because it would allow us to do that. We won’t make decisions or rush things just to get a coach hired. We’re also not going to try to win the press conference. At the end of the day, we need to hire the right leader and the right fit, and that’s a really important thing here, as well.”
On visiting with the recruits
“I’ll do whatever Mickey (Joseph) asks me to do. I really enjoy talking to the recruits and prospective recruits. You’ve probably seen me out on the field, and I really enjoy talking to those young men. I will do anything I possibly can to be supportive of the football coaching staff, but I will not get in the way. Ultimately, what I would do with Scott is, every time we talked, I’d ask ‘how can I help you?’ ‘Am I doing anything that’s counterproductive?’ and I’ll do the same thing with Mickey. What can I do to help? I want him to be successful, because ultimately, that means our young men are being successful. I’ll do whatever Mickey and the staff ask me to do.”
On if he thinks this next hire will define his tenure as the athletic director
“I think you guys will probably define my tenure. That’s how it works. I don’t think about those kinds of things. I’m no different than Scott. I love the University of Nebraska and like I said earlier, I had really hoped that the day I got introduced here as the athletic director, that I’d never have to be doing this. I really thought that I could work with Scott, and that’s what everybody wanted. We’ll do the right things, and we’ll do the best that we can. Every decision we make here, whether it’s right or wrong – we’ll learn later – but they are always done with what we think is in the best long-term interest of the University of Nebraska and the athletic department. This place will always be bigger than any one person, and that is the way it has to be. We’ll do the very best that we can, and we’ll dive into the details, and we’ll surround ourselves with good people, and we’ll identify the next leader of Husker football.”
On why he chose Mickey Joseph
“I went through a lot of folks, too. You can naturally make certain arguments at certain places. Mickey’s not calling the plays and Coach (Mark) Whipple is. There’s a lot of responsibilities for the head coach that lie outside of football. You can only imagine with Fox coming this weekend, we need to have Coach Whipple focused on game planning and play calling all week. Obviously, defensively, we’ve got some fairly significant adjustments to make. So (Coach Erik Chinander) has got to be really focused there. I think that Mickey – his personality is energy and enthusiasm. We need a different voice, right? We need to provide hope for these young men. You’ve got a lot of young men in that locker room. At the end of the day, football is a tough sport. You have to force yourself to do things you don’t want to do, physically. Having somebody that can pull that out of you and motivate you to do that – in my observations of Coach Joseph, I think he has some of those attributes and I’d like to see him function in that role.”
On if anyone else was relieved of their duties today
“Just Coach Frost. Again, Mickey Joseph is the head coach, and if he chooses to make some of those additional changes, we will support those changes as well. But I’m not aware of any of those that he anticipates at this time.”