Husker fans catch Frost Fever, awaiting coach, favorite son

Scott Frost, center right, runs off the field after UCF defeated South Florida 49-42 last month. Frost, the new head coach at Nebraska, received a national coaching award on Wednesday.

John Raoux, AP Photo

Nebraska fans are feeling a lot of positive vibes about their football program this week.

Here’s another reason to feel that way.

New Husker head coach Scott Frost was announced Wednesday as winner of the 2017 Home Depot Coach of the Year award.

The Wood River native and the quarterback of the Huskers’ 1997 national championship team will be presented with the award Thursday at the Home Depot College Football Awards show in Atlanta, which will air live on ESPN at 6 p.m. (Central).

The 42-year-old Frost led Central Florida to a 12-0 record and an American Athletic Conference championship as the only undefeated FBS team this season. On Saturday, Frost guided the Knights to a 62-55 victory over Memphis in the AAC championship game. He also accepted the Nebraska coaching job Saturday, but will coach the 10th-ranked Knights in the Peach Bowl on Jan. 1 against No. 7 Auburn.

Frost is the fourth-youngest coach to win the Home Depot Coach of the Year award. He is also one of five coaches to earn the honor in either their first or second year as a collegiate head coach, a group that includes Nebraska’s Frank Solich, the 1999 winner.

Frost compiled an 18-7 record in two seasons at UCF after inheriting an 0-12 team.

According to ESPN, UCF is the only team in FBS history to go from a winless regular season to an undefeated one in a span of just two seasons.

In 2017, UCF matched its highest win total in program history while posting the first perfect regular season in the history of the American Athletic Conference. The Knights also achieved the highest in-season ranking in program history (No. 10) and established a school record with a 12-game winning streak. UCF won its 12 games by an average of more than 24 points per game and picked up three victories over teams currently ranked in the AP poll.

With Frost calling the plays, UCF boasted one of the nation’s top offenses, as the Knights led the country in scoring (49.4 points per game) and ranked fifth in total offense (540.4 yards per game). Sophomore quarterback McKenzie Milton was honored as the 2017 American Athletic Conference Player of the Year, while a league-record 16 Knights earned All-AAC accolades.

The Home Depot Coach of the Year award is the latest in a slew of coaching honors for Frost, the unanimous winner of the 2017 American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. He is also a 2017 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Finalist and was the Region 1 American Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year. Frost is also a semifinalist for the George Munger Award for the second straight season.

He joins Alabama’s Nick Saban and Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst as the only two coaches to be a semifinalist for the Munger Award in both 2016 and 2017.

Frost is the fifth coach to take over the Nebraska program since Tom Osborne retired following the 1997 season. Solich, Bill Callahan, Bo Pelini and Mike Riley had their respective tenures terminated.

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Managing/Sports Editor

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