Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos retires

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Nebraska is looking for a new athletic director.

The school announced Friday that Bill Moos would retire at the end of June. Moos, 70, was hired from Washington State in the fall of 2017. 

"To understand just how special Nebraska is, you need to spend time here, meet our people, visit our cities and towns and sit in Memorial Stadium in a sea of red on a Saturday afternoon in the fall," Moos said. "I step away completely content, knowing that our athletic program is reborn and rebuilt and that it has a solid, stable foundation."

The school said that Garrett Klassy would be the interim athletic director after Moos' retirement and that it would launch a "national search" for Moos' replacement.

The use of the words "reborn" and "rebuilt" in Moos' retirement statement are, uh, intriguing given the lack of success by the school's two most prominent teams in his tenure. Moos was hired in October of 2017 while the football team was in the midst of a 4-8 season under Mike Riley. Moos and Nebraska parted ways with Riley after the season. 

With former Nebraska QB Scott Frost in charge at undefeated UCF, the choice for the school's next coach was obvious. Moos hired Frost to turn around the football program after it went 9-4 in 2017.

That turnaround hasn't happened. Frost's teams have a record of 12-20 in his three seasons with the school and Nebraska's best season in his tenure was a 5-7 campaign in 2019. 

Nebraska has finished with a losing record in football five times over the past six seasons. To put that into perspective, Nebraska had two losing seasons from the start of Bob Devaney’s tenure in 1962 to when Bo Pelini was fired after a 9-3 campaign in 2014.

The men's basketball team hasn't been doing very well recently either. Nebraska has gone 14-45 in the two years of Fred Hoiberg’s tenure. Hoiberg was hired after Tim Miles’ team went 19-17 in 2018-19 after a 22-11 season the year before. Nebraska has just seven NCAA tournament appearances in school history and has never won a game in the men’s tournament. And while the women’s volleyball program remains incredibly strong, the women’s basketball team has made the NCAA tournament just once in the past five seasons.

It's hard not to wonder how Moos' retirement ratchets up the pressure on Frost and the football program to succeed right away. With Moos in charge of the athletic department, it felt like Frost was going to get the benefit of patience to get Nebraska above .500. A new athletic director may not be as patient. Especially if Nebraska goes a fifth consecutive season without a winning record. 

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