Mike Riley is headed home.
For the third time in his coaching career, the former Nebraska head football coach will be at Oregon State, this time as an assistant coach under his former quarterback, Jonathan Smith. The Beavers made it official Thursday.
Riley’s role has yet to be determined, according to the Oregon State news release. Riley is the school’s all-time winningest coach with 93 victories. He coached in Corvallis from 1997-98 and 2003-14 before he was hired by Shawn Eichorst at Nebraska.
Riley went 19-19 at Nebraska and was fired Nov. 25.
“Current and former players thriving in the NFL and in life are proof of Coach Riley’s tremendous ability to recruit outstanding young men,” Smith said in a statement. “He understands what it takes to win in this conference, and how to evaluate and develop student-athletes. There is no one better to have represent OSU in the homes of recruits as we build this program.”
Smith played for Riley at Oregon State, and served as a graduate assistant at OSU from 2002-03.
“I told Jonathan to hire the best people he can and plug me in wherever he wants to,” Riley told the Portland Tribune. “I could do the secondary — that’s where I spent half my career. I could coach quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, tight ends. … I’ll do whatever Jonathan wants me to do.”
Riley isn’t the only former Husker staff member heading back to Corvallis.
Smith also announced the hiring of Dan Van De Riet as director of football operations. He served in the same role at Nebraska.
According to The Oregonian newspaper, Trent Bray is expected to join Oregon State’s staff, though his duties are unclear. Bray was Nebraska’s linebackers coach and he served as the interim head coach for a week before the Huskers hired Scott Frost.
Riley’s hire at Oregon State means his buyout from Nebraska will be mitigated, but not likely by much. Riley was due $6.63 million from Dec. 1 through the remaining 39 months of his contract at Nebraska, a monthly cut of $170,000.