- Mitch Sherman, ESPN Staff Writer
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New Nebraska coach Mike Riley spent much of his first month on the job working to assemble a coaching staff. Now, the one coach for whom he didn't have to leave Memorial Stadium to find has taken a new job.
Riley confirmed that secondary coach Charlton Warren, the lone holdover from the staff of former coach Bo Pelini, is leaving Lincoln. Warren's departure was first detailed Friday by Sports Illustrated, which reported he would take a similar position at North Carolina.
UNC coach Larry Fedora coached as an offensive assistant at Air Force during Warren's playing career at the service academy.
"Charlton Warren has informed me of his plans to take a similar coaching position at another university," Riley said in a statement released by Nebraska. "This is an opportunity that Charlton feels is right for him and his family, and I respect his decision. We appreciate the valuable role Charlton has played in our transition to the University of Nebraska and wish him and his family nothing but the best. Charlton is an outstanding man and a bright, energetic football coach with a great future ahead of him in this profession.
"We will search for a talented teacher, coach and recruiter to fill the open position on our defensive staff. This is a high priority, but we will take the necessary time to find the individual who is the right fit to help lead the young men in the University of Nebraska football program."
Warren spent one season at Nebraska and earned praise for his work with the defensive backs. Sophomore Nate Gerry, a converted linebacker, led the Big Ten with five interceptions in league play.
Warren was instrumental in the December and January transition of Riley's staff and played a key role in recruiting. His presence helped allow the Huskers to keep early-enrolling newcomers Avery Anderson and Eric Lee, both of whom were recruited out of Colorado by Warren.
In addition to Colorado, Warren has strong ties in recruiting to Georgia. He coached for nine seasons at Air Force before joining the Nebraska staff.