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Mike Sherman was the "wow" hire...

The Big Red Lebowski

A:Always, B: Be, C: Cornhusking
10 Year Member
It's amazing that it took 17 years for this cat to get out of the bag. I was always under the impression that SP had someone all but inked, and they got cold feat at the last minute. Mileage varies as to whether Sherman was a headline-making hire, but what I find more remarkable is that Sherman doesn't appear to have been all that interested.

Pederson seemingly convinced himself that Sherman was interested 'cause Nebraska. I think the moral of the story, and this goes for most of the past 17 years, is that an AD should never fire a coach unless they are certain they have someone better lined up.

The article: https://theathletic.com/2885515/202...1-eye-opening-days/?source=emp_shared_article

“Nebraska is one of the elite programs in the country,” Sherman said. “We were into the season, and I didn’t feel like I would be doing either team justice by getting too far involved in that thing. They had some interest and obviously, because it’s Nebraska, it’s a unique situation. But I stuck with the Packers.”

Sherman already had everything. He was head coach, executive vice president and general manager. He reportedly made close to $3 million. He’d gone 12-4 in 2001 and 2002. The 2003 season was wild, but it didn’t generate hot-seat talk.

Still, Pederson thought Sherman was attainable, enough so that he plotted hiring him before Solich’s firing. Perlman said Pederson pursued Sherman “pretty aggressively” and had enough conversations to become convinced of a “strong likelihood” he’d come to Nebraska.

Sherman thinks highly of Pederson and said their talks went well. When he first got the call, he didn’t give a flat-out no. But he had to finish the season, and he had no desire to leave.

Al Saunders, on the other hand, was interested:

Of all the coaches Nebraska pursued, Al Saunders could’ve been the best fit. Between Kansas City and St. Louis, his family had been in the Midwest for the past 15 years. His daughter, Kori, played soccer for the Huskers. On Fridays after the Chiefs practiced, he and wife often drove to watch her games. He knew Lincoln well and loved the university. He idolized Osborne and Bob Devaney. He was even a friend of Solich. And he liked Pederson.

“I was extremely interested in the job,” Saunders told The Athletic. “If I was going to take a college job, it would have been the University of Nebraska.”

Pederson sought an NFL coach to modernize Nebraska football and upgrade recruiting. He believed the path back to title contention was a high-scoring, pro-style offense that attracted better players. At the time, Saunders was running the No. 1 scoring offense in the league. His resume included the Rams’ Greatest Show on Turf and Air Coryell in San Diego.

Kansas City offensive coordinator Al Saunders, left, came close to taking the Nebraska job and even thought about his staff. (John Sleezer / The Kansas City Star / AP Photo)
Pederson and Saunders met the day after the Alamo Bowl at his home in Overland Park, Kan. Then they set up the next meeting. Saunders would fly to Lincoln on Friday and meet with Perlman. His agent, Bob LaMonte (who also repped Sherman), would meet him there and if all went well, they’d get a deal done.

Saunders had even made calls and lined up his staff. Kevin Steele was coming back to Nebraska as his defensive coordinator to maintain the Blackshirt tradition. Steele, Osborne’s linebackers coach from 1989-1994, was at Florida State at the time but quickly said yes to Saunders.

“We were ready to go,” Steele told The Athletic. “I thought it was a done deal.”

Saunders talked to Kentucky offensive coordinator Ron Hudson, who’d just spent six years at Kansas State leading Bill Snyder’s offense. He had a staff of strong recruiters ready to go. He told Kori before swearing her to secrecy: “You cannot breathe a word of this to anybody.”

Ultimately, Dick Vermeil and the Chiefs talked Saunders out of it, giving him a raise and intimating he'd succeed Vermeil as head coach, a job that ultimately went to Herm Edwards. I have to say, Saunders and Steele would have been a formidable combo at the time.

Another interesting fact you may or may not know: Mike Zimmer led us to Bill Callahan. He was offered the NU job and like everyone else in this fiasco, stayed put and leveraged the offer to a huge pay raise. Zimmer’s agent was Gary O’Hagan, who also repped the likes of John Wooden, Tom Coughlin, Mike Leach … and the recently fired coach of the Oakland Raiders.
 
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BigRedAvenger

Poster of Substance
5 Year Member
It's amazing that it took 17 years for this cat to get out of the bag. I was always under the impression that SP had someone all but inked, and they got cold feat at the last minute. Mileage varies as to whether Sherman was headline making hire, but what I find more remarkable is that Sherman doesn't appear to have been all that interested.

Pederson seemingly convinced himself that Sherman was interested 'cause Nebraska. I think the moral of the story, and this goes for most of the past 17 years, is that an AD should never fire a coach unless they are certain they have someone better lined up.

The article: https://theathletic.com/2885515/202...1-eye-opening-days/?source=emp_shared_article



Al Saunders, on the other hand, was interested:



Ultimately, Dick Vermeil and the Chiefs talked Saunders out of it, giving him a raise and intimating he'd succeed Vermeil as head coach, a job that ultimately went to Herm Edwards. I have to say, Saunders and Steele would have been a formidable combo at the time.

Another interesting fact you may or may not know: Mike Zimmer led us to Bill Callahan. He was offered the NU job and like everyone else in this fiasco, stayed put and leveraged the offer to a huge pay raise. Zimmer’s agent was Gary O’Hagan, who also repped the likes of John Wooden, Tom Coughlin, Mike Leach … and the recently fired coach of the Oakland Raiders.
Dick Vermeil just made my list :Banghead:
 

The Big Red Lebowski

A:Always, B: Be, C: Cornhusking
10 Year Member
I thought it was reported as Wannstadt in the past?

That was the rumor at one point. IIRC, both Perlman and Wannstedt denied it at different times over the years. The article says there were 7 official interviews - Bo and Turner internally and Sherman, Zimmer, Nutt, Saunders and Callahan externally.

The rumored candidates cited in the article are Brad Childress, Bill Cowher, Butch Davis, Gary Kubiak, Steve Mariucci, Steve Spurrier, Dave Wannstedt, David Cutcliffe, Joe Glenn, Jim Grobe, Harris, Steve Kragthorpe, Urban Meyer, Rich Rodriguez and Jeff Tedford. Sounds like those were all fan and/or media speculation.
 
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Mr.Bennett

Recruit
I thought it was reported as Wannstadt in the past?
I was in college at the time and worked with some people heavily involved in the athletic department. Even when Callahan was doing ok ('05 and '06) they said that Wannstedt was suppose to be the guy, but the Dolphins surprised his agent and Pederson by not firing him. Because of this he wasn't formally interviewed or offered, but apparently he had a "star" by his name. I tend to trust these folks; I am not sure if this was before or after Sherman turned them down.
 
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The Big Red Lebowski

A:Always, B: Be, C: Cornhusking
10 Year Member
As long as we have one toe in rumorville, I was under the impression (mostly from 1620 interviews with Sip) that things were personal between SP and Frank, dating back to slights that SP felt from the coaching staff back in the '80s when Steve was Osborne's recruiting coordinator. I've even heard that Steve leaked a couple of salacious and unfounded rumors about Frank's personal life.
 
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Megatron

Recruit
5 Year Member
It's amazing that it took 17 years for this cat to get out of the bag. I was always under the impression that SP had someone all but inked, and they got cold feat at the last minute. Mileage varies as to whether Sherman was headline making hire, but what I find more remarkable is that Sherman doesn't appear to have been all that interested.

Pederson seemingly convinced himself that Sherman was interested 'cause Nebraska. I think the moral of the story, and this goes for most of the past 17 years, is that an AD should never fire a coach unless they are certain they have someone better lined up.

The article: https://theathletic.com/2885515/202...1-eye-opening-days/?source=emp_shared_article



Al Saunders, on the other hand, was interested:



Ultimately, Dick Vermeil and the Chiefs talked Saunders out of it, giving him a raise and intimating he'd succeed Vermeil as head coach, a job that ultimately went to Herm Edwards. I have to say, Saunders and Steele would have been a formidable combo at the time.

Another interesting fact you may or may not know: Mike Zimmer led us to Bill Callahan. He was offered the NU job and like everyone else in this fiasco, stayed put and leveraged the offer to a huge pay raise. Zimmer’s agent was Gary O’Hagan, who also repped the likes of John Wooden, Tom Coughlin, Mike Leach … and the recently fired coach of the Oakland Raiders.


Really interesting stuff! I have always wondered who it was and what happened. Sounds like losing Saunders was a hit that could have changed our trajectory. Somehow I always thought is was Cowher. Sherman was an underwhelming choice in my opinion.

Thanks again!
 
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