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It was back on Nov. 8 when Nebraska head football coach Scott Frost fired four offensive assistants: offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Matt Lubick, offensive line coach and running game coordinator Greg Austin, quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco and running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Ryan Held.

Frost filled three of those openings after a month, having Mickey Joseph, Mark Whipple and Donovan Raiola officially on board by Dec. 8. Two weeks later, it was announced that defensive line coach Tony Tuioti was leaving for Oregon. Before Tuioti's attrition from the staff, there was plenty of speculation over how the remaining spot would be addressed. Tuioti's departure allowed Frost to get a running backs coach and still assign a full-time special teams coordinator. It took over two months, but we finally know what Frost's staff will look like heading into a crucial fifth season.

The  series examining Scott Frost's new assistants:

Mickey JosephDonovan RaiolaMark WhippleBill Busch • Bryan Applewhite

All things considered, Frost did a good job upgrading his staff. Does he have one of the four or five best staffs in the Big Ten now? No, but considering the circumstances he was faced with, he did well. Let's be honest, Frost wasn't going to lure an established coach from a stable environment, not with his seat smoldering heading into next season. Thus, the pool he had to work with was a bit limited.

In the end, he added two guys from schools that made head coaching changes and were looking for a new landing spot. He promoted an analyst already here. He gave a guy his first real gig, and he doubled the salary of someone who was leaning toward retirement.

Now it's time for this new offensive staff to come together and see where they can take this offense. I'm anxious to see how it all comes together. These next five weeks before the start of spring practices will be crucial. These guys need to figure a lot of things out.

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Frost has commented that there are some core philosophies in his offense that he will keep moving forward. There are certainly elements of it that are creative and unique that will be added to what Mark Whipple has done, particularly in the passing game, throughout his career. It will be interesting to see how Frost and Whipple work together to merge concepts and philosophical beliefs. Mickey Joseph was on staff at LSU in 2019, when Joe Brady architected one of the best offenses in college football history. He'll bring plenty of fresh ideas also. As will Bryan Applewhite, who spent the last two years with Doug Meacham at TCU. The Horned Frogs had one of the country's top offenses for a few seasons under Meacham, with consecutive top-10 finishes in 2014 (No. 3 in the country) and 2015 (No. 7 in the country). Ironically, in 2014, Meacham was one of five finalists for the Broyles Award - along with Scott Frost.

Over the next few days, I'll highlight each new coach and give my take on their addition to the staff. One interesting thing is that even though there are four new coaches, most of them have a six degrees of Kevin Bacon connection to someone on staff.

While Frost hadn't met Raiola until recently, there's a connection between Raiola and Mark Helfrich, who was the offensive coordinator with the Chicago Bears from 2018-19. Helfrich (offensive coordinator) and Frost (wide receivers coach) were on Chip Kelly's Oregon staff from 2009-12. When Kelly left for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013 and Helfrich replaced him as head coach, he promoted Frost to offensive coordinator, where Frost stayed until 2016, when he left to take the head coaching job at UCF. If Frost was dotting his i's and crossing his t's, he likely spoke with Helfrich about Raiola prior to offering him the job.

New offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Whipple and Frost have had a casual relationship dating back to 2010. Whipple has been friends with Chip Kelly through their connection at New Hampshire since the mid-’80s. Frost and Whipple met when Oregon was preparing to play Auburn in the BCS National Championship Game and Whipple spent time around the Ducks coaching staff.

Whipple also has some ties to new offensive line coach Donovan Raiola. Whipple was an offensive assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2008. The offensive line coach on that team was Juan Castillo, who spent the past two seasons with the Chicago Bears with Raiola as his assistant. Whipple is also a longtime friend of Jim Hueber, who was Raiola's O-line coach at Wisconsin. Whipple told reporters that after he learned he was being joined at Nebraska by Raiola, he and Hueber spoke on the phone about Raiola, with Hueber raving about his former pupil.

Tomorrow I'll start my breakdown of the five new full-time assistant coach hires.