Thursday, January 8, 2004
Ex-Raider coach arrived in Lincoln on Wednesday
OMAHA, Neb. -- Former Oakland Raiders' coach Bill Callahan accepted the Nebraska football job Thursday after interviewing with the school, ESPN.com's John Clayton reported.
Callahan's agent, Gary O'Hagan, said the coach told him earlier Thursday
that he likes Lincoln and was interested in the job.
Callahan met with Nebraska athletic director Steve Pederson in the afternoon. Callahan told the Lincoln Journal Star that he planned to be in town for the day.
Nebraska associate athletic director Mark Boehm said earlier Thursday the search
for a new Nebraska football coach would be over soon.
Boehm filled in for Pederson at the Nebraska Special Olympics
Breakfast of Champions on Thursday in Omaha. He said Pederson
missed the event because his interview with Callahan was not
completed Wednesday night.
"I tell you this, this will come to a close shortly," Boehm
told The Associated Press.
Pederson has acknowledged interviewing Arkansas coach Houston
Nutt and Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.
Zimmer turned down an offer from Nebraska on Monday to remain in the pros, Dallas coach Bill Parcells said. Last week, Nutt rejected Nebraska's $2 million offer.
Pederson also expressed interest in Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Al Saunders, but Saunders wanted to continue his career in the NFL and withdrew from consideration.
Callahan's flight was late getting to Lincoln on Wednesday,
which required the interview be continued Thursday, Boehm said.
Callahan's meeting with Nebraska officials comes only a week
after he was fired by the Raiders following a 4-12 season.
The Huskers have been looking for a coach since Frank Solich was
fired Nov. 29 -- a day after leading the Huskers to a 9-3 regular
Callahan, who led the Raiders to the Super Bowl two years ago,
was fired by Oakland shortly after quarterback Rich Gannon
criticized Callahan and offensive coordinator Marc Trestman for a
bad offensive system.
Callahan would be a perfect fit for Nebraska, O'Hagan, said Tuesday night.
Interviews reportedly were held Wednesday with interim Nebraska
coach and defensive coordinator Bo Pelini, quarterbacks coach Turner Gill, and other candidates.