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If there was an area of the team that caused Nebraska football fans more consternation than the offensive line, it was the special teams units. All of them. Coach Scott Frost spent the past four seasons lamenting publicly over their failure. He's openly admitted they've cost the Huskers several games since he's been in Lincoln.

You could argue that for the first time he's truly addressing the problem. He will no longer leave them in the hands of an analyst. What a disaster that was. He'll also no longer have an assistant coach split his responsibilities between coaching his position group and overseeing the third phase of the game.

Fifth in a series examining Scott Frost's new assistants.

Intro • Mickey JosephDonovan Raiola  • Mark Whipple

For the first time since 2016, Nebraska will have a full-time special teams coordinator on staff. The promotion of Bill Busch to that role was made official on Jan. 10, although it had been expected for more than a month. Frost reportedly also considered at least two others for the position. Among them was Ricky Brumfield, who was at Virginia until Bronco Mendenhall resigned Dec. 2.

Busch moves into the role after spending the 2021 season as a defensive analyst in the program. He also helped Mike Dawson with special teams, and although he wasn't allowed to be an on-field coach, he helped implement schemes and was in meetings. He signed a two-year deal that will pay him $400,000 per season. Busch was making $36,000 from Nebraska last year as an analyst, but was still being paid by LSU ($450,000 in 2021) for his time with the Tigers.

Bill Busch has one of the most interesting back stories on how he got into the coaching profession. He grew up in Pender (population 1,204) in Thurston County, and played football at Pender High School, where his dad was coach at the time. He went on to play wide receiver at Nebraska Wesleyan University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 1988. That summer, he worked as manager and lifeguard at the swimming pool before pursuing a master’s degree at Nebraska-Kearney, where he was also a graduate assistant on the football team.

Inspired by his father, Ron, who coached for nearly 45 years at the high school level, Bill was determined to be a coach, and he dreamed of doing it at the collegiate level. After earning his master's in 1990, he decided to swing for the fences and inquire about an opportunity - any opportunity - on Tom Osborne's staff at Nebraska. He literally called the university to try and talk to the legendary coach. He left his information with Osborne's secretary and to his surprise, received a call back from Osborne about an hour later.

Busch told Osborne that he was just getting started and wanted a chance to coach Division I football. He was still working as a grad assistant at Nebraska-Kearney and asked if there were any openings at Nebraska in the same capacity. There weren't, but Busch wasn't deterred. He asked if he could volunteer and work for free to get his foot in the door. Osborne agreed.

That's just what he did. Busch moved to Lincoln and started a job working at the Lincoln Racquet Club. He'd work there in the morning and then volunteer all day at Nebraska for free. Busch bought himself the same coaching uniform worn by the Husker staff so he could fit in. He would drive himself to away games and walk into the stadium with the full-time staff. Secondary coach George Darlington would sneak him his sideline pass so he could get into the games. Husker coaches were quickly impressed by his hard work and resolve. He spent most of his time shadowing Darlington, defensive coordinator Charlie McBride and linebackers coach Kevin Steele.

After six months, a graduate assistant position opened up and he got it. Busch would stay at Nebraska through the 1993 season. He knew in order to get his career off the ground, he would need to branch out and look for other opportunities. In 1994, he joined Barry Alvarez's staff at Wisconsin as a grad assistant. The following season, he got his first full-time coaching gig as secondary coach at Northern Arizona. Busch was off and running. He spent the next nine years earning his stripes coaching defensive backs at Northern Arizona (1995-96), New Mexico State (1997-2000) and Utah (2001-03) before returning to Lincoln for the second time.

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As many fans remember, Busch spent 2004-07 at Nebraska on Bill Callahan's staff, coaching outside linebackers (2004) and safeties (2005-07) while also serving as the special teams coordinator. In those four seasons, the Huskers blocked 16 kicks, including seven in 2005. The Huskers ranked in the top 25 nationally in net punting (24th in 2006) and punt returns (17th in 2005) under Busch, and their kickoff coverage unit was ranked in the top 25 in both 2005 and 2006.

Busch continued to make a name for himself after the Callahan era came to a close. He was hired by Gary Andersen at Utah State and spent the next four years as his defensive coordinator (2009-10) and coached special teams and safeties (2011-12) before following Andersen to Wisconsin. From 2013-14, he coached special teams and defensive backs for the Badgers. When Andersen left for Oregon State in 2015, Busch decided to join Urban Meyer's staff at Ohio State as quality control assistant for the defense, after also being on Meyer's staff as secondary coach at Utah in 2003.

When former Ohio State defensive coordinator Chris Ash was hired at Rutgers, he brought Busch along to be his co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach (2016-17). Busch was then given a huge opportunity at LSU. At the time, Dave Aranda was the defensive coordinator in Baton Rouge. The pair had worked together at Utah State (2012) and Wisconsin (2013-14), and Aranda wanted Busch to join his defensive staff with the Tigers. Busch would spend the next three seasons (2018-20) coaching the safeties at LSU, even working under Bo Pelini for a season.

Unfortunately, Busch was among the LSU assistants let go when defensive coordinator Bo Pelini was fired in December 2020. Busch then joined Frost's staff as an analyst in February of 2021.

Now in his third stint with the Cornhuskers, Busch will be tasked with bringing the special teams units out of the doldrums. He went to work on that in December even before officially getting the job. He helped Nebraska secure two of the better kicking specialists in the FCS from the transfer portal.

Furman kicker Timmy Bleekrode entered the transfer portal on Nov. 23. Nebraska contacted him within a few hours and had him in for an official visit three days later for the Iowa game. Busch took the lead and visited him in Greenville, South Carolina, every week until he committed on Dec. 12.

Montana punter Brian Buschini announced he was entering the transfer portal on Dec. 13 after he was named the FCS punter of the year earlier that day. Busch and Nebraska had already been communicating with him for nearly a month. Once officially in the portal, Nebraska extended a scholarship offer the same day and Buschini accepted, making the news public during a social media announcement the following day.

Most Husker fans have known about Busch's recruiting prowess since he was a standout on a staff of top recruiters under Bill Callahan. He's only enhanced his reputation in the years since. He's been a prominent recruiter on every staff he's worked on across several conferences. Busch has a strong background recruiting in the Big Ten footprint, the Southeast, as well as states like Louisiana, Texas, California, Arizona and Utah. He's also done well in New Jersey and New York. Since being promoted, he's already been on the road focusing on important border states like Missouri and Kansas. Nebraska has been desperately trying to gain a foothold in hotspots like St. Louis and Kansas City. Heck, the last three head coaches have been trying to do that. Busch will attempt to open those doors. He's already made over a dozen offers across those two states.

Similar to Mickey Joseph, Busch will recruit multiple positions to Nebraska for Scott Frost. During his career, he has been the primary recruiter for defensive backs, wide receivers, defensive linemen, offensive linemen, running backs, linebackers, quarterbacks and even specialists like kickers. He's covered the entire spectrum. As the special teams coordinator, that will work to his advantage on the recruiting trail. Busch will be working directly with several different position groups.

I really like the Bill Busch hire. As someone who breaks down film and evaluates players, I always appreciate when a head coach upgrades his recruiting. Busch is a diligent, aggressive recruiter and he's supremely qualified to handle the special teams. Not only that, but the Nebraska program is genuinely important to him. He loves this place. It's home. His parents live in Creighton (population 1,225) in Knox County. His wife, Laura, has been a realtor in the Lincoln area for years even as he's worked elsewhere. Busch turned down an offer to be a co-defensive coordinator at Boise State to take this job on Frost's staff. He wants to be here and he wants to help get Nebraska back on track.