After 31 losses in five seasons, Nebraska fires Scott Frost

Sept. 11, 2022, 1 p.m. ·

Huskers head coach Scott Frost
Husker football head coach Scott Frost at press conference. (Photo via Huskers livestream)

After Scott Frost’s football team opened the 2022 season with a 31-28 loss to Northwestern in Dublin, Ireland, an Irish reporter asked a pointed question to the head coach at the post game press conference.

“It’s a hard one: but if things don’t start going in the right direction, is there any point in time where you would consider stepping down?” the reporter asked.

“No, absolutely not,” Frost answered. “I love Nebraska. I’m going to fight with the guys as long as I can fight.”

Just 15 days later, Frost won’t fight any longer – but not by his own accord.

Athletic director Trev Alberts fired the fifth-year coach on Sunday after a Saturday night loss to Georgia Southern. Frost, the former Husker quarterback and national championship winner, finished his career at Nebraska with a 16-31 record.

“This is a day that I'd hoped would never come,” Alberts said at the beginning of his Sunday afternoon press conference.

Nebraska hired Frost in late 2017 — the year his University of Central Florida team set records, finishing a perfect 13-0 and winning the Peach Bowl. Frost won the AP Coach of the Year award. Before UCF, Frost coordinated the offense for Oregon, where the Ducks set scoring records and lost a national championship game in 2014.

In Frost's introductory press conference, then athletic director Bill Moos called Frost Nebraska's "favorite son."

"He is, in my opinion, not only the premier young coach in America, I believe he was everybody's first choice," Moos said. "And I got the pick of the litter."

But at Nebraska, Frost’s alma mater, he struggled. Frost’s teams at Nebraska finished 5-22 in one score games.

“I think at the end of the day, there has to be accountability,” Alberts said. “When you run a professional organization that has high standards, accountability has to matter. And Scott and I talked about this very clearly: 16-31, obviously, it was not at a level that was acceptable to us.”

Trev Alberts speaks at a press conference
“This is a day that I'd hoped would never come,” Trev Alberts said. (Photo via Huskers livestream)

After a 3-9 season in 2021, Alberts restructured Frost’s contract. The Wood River native’s salary dropped from $5 million to $4 million, and his buyout was cut in half from $15 million to $7.5 million after Oct. 1, 2022. Alberts chose the more expensive buyout option.

Both of Alberts’ bosses backed the decision.

“Today’s decision by AD Trev Alberts to change the leadership of the Husker football program was a very difficult one, but is the right decision for Nebraska Athletics, our student athletes and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln,” said UNL chancellor Ronnie Green.

Ted Carter, the University of Nebraska system president, said: “Unfortunately, the results on the field just aren’t there. Nebraskans expect us to compete for championships, as do I.”

Alberts also announced Sunday that associate head coach Mickey Joseph was promoted to interim head coach for the remainder of the 2022 season.

Mickey Joseph. headshot
Mickey Joseph (Courtesy Husker Athletics)

Joseph will be the first ever Black head coach of any sport at the university.

The 54-year-old Joseph may be considered for the full-time replacement. Alberts said there will be a national search.

“I'd love to see Mickey grow into that,” Alberts said.

The athletic director did not fire any other members of the coaching staff. If Joseph chooses to do so, Alberts said he would support the decision.

Also a former Husker quarterback, Joseph most recently coached at Louisiana State University, where he served as the associate head coach and wide receivers coach before being hired last year.

In terms of what kind of production the new athletic director expects, Alberts said it’s time for more reasonable expectations.

“We will stop talking about championships or stop talking about things we used to do,” he said. “We'll just get really process oriented, detail oriented and ultimately, when you start doing those fundamental championship habit-type things, as I think about them, those types of wins and things follow.”

Editor's note: This is a developing story. Check later for updates.