Pelini was in his seventh season as the Cornhuskers coach. Nebraska went 9-3 in the 2014 regular season, starting the year 8-1 before dropping two of its final three games, to Wisconsin and Minnesota.
"Coach Pelini served our University admirably for seven years and led our football program’s transition to the Big Ten Conference," athletic director Shawn Eichorst said. "We wish Coach Pelini and his wonderful family all the best and thank him for his dedicated service to the University."
In March, Nebraska extended Pelini's contract through the 2018 season. The school will owe him about $7.65 million as a buyout, subject to his duty to find work that will offset, according to USA Today's Steve Berkowitz.
Pelini compiled a 66-27 career record in his seven seasons as head coach, including a 39-17 conference record, and the Huskers recorded at least nine wins in each season. Nebraska left the Big 12 and joined the Big Ten Conference in 2011.
Last year, the Cornhuskers went 9-4 and won the Gator Bowl 24-19 over Georgia.
On Friday, Nebraska won Pelini's final game as coach, a 37-34 overtime victory over Iowa.
- Molly Geary