|Press Conference Coverage|
*- Dan Young's Statement (audio)
In a press conference held in Lincoln on Sunday, Nebraska long-time assistants Milt Tenopir and Dan Young announced their retirements from coaching. Tenopir was the dean of the Husker staff, serving as NU's offensive line coach for the past 29 years, while Young has been with the Huskers for the past 20 years and has spent the last 17 as NU's kickers coach and offensive line assistant coach. Tenopir cited health reasons for his decision to retire from coaching, while Young said he was ready to enjoy life away from football.
Nebraska has had great success under the two assistants, winning 13 NCAA rushing titles, three national championships, six Outland Trophies and two Lombardi Awards since Tenopir came on campus in 1974. Nebraska has ranked among the top four nationally in rushing in 24 of the last 25 years, dating back to 1978.
Nebraska Head Coach Frank Solich said both Tenopir and Young will be missed.
"We have had a lot of wonderful years with Dan and Milt on board," Solich said. "I know I speak for the players, staff and Nebraska fans when I say they will be missed. I wish both of them well and I believe that their hard work will always be reflected in this program. With our record of conference and national championships, bowl trips, NCAA rushing titles and Outland Trophy winners with Dan and Milt on staff, no other school has accomplished more than Nebraska has."
Offensive Line Coach Milt Tenopir to Retire from Coaching
After a stellar career that spanned most of the last three decades, offensive line coach Milt Tenopir announced his retirement from coaching on Sunday. Tenopir has served as an assistant coach, first under Tom Osborne, then under Solich for the last 29 years. While Tenopir has been on the Husker staff, Nebraska teams have compiled a 295-63-2 record.
No other college football program can boast the honors that Nebraska's offensive linemen have piled up during Tenopir's stay in Lincoln. In all, 21 offensive linemen have earned 25 All-America honors while leading the Big Red to 13 NCAA rushing titles. Twenty-seven of his charges have gone on to sign professional contracts, with 14 selected in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft.
In 2002, the Huskers ranked fourth nationally in rushing (268.7 ypg) and led the conference in rushing for the 15th straight year.
Tenopir said he has struggled with this decision, and that even after 41 years in the coaching ranks, he would not be making this announcement if it wasn't for his health.
"I am stepping down as offensive line coach because of health reasons," Tenopir said. "I have had on-going ankle problems and recently have encountered some new health problems. But I want to thank the University, Coach Tom Osborne and Coach Frank Solich for the past 29 years. I will miss the relationships with the kids the most."
Tenopir has helped Nebraska to bowl games every season and back-to-back rushing titles four times. Since 1974, the Huskers have won more than twice as many NCAA rushing titles as the next closest team (Oklahoma, six).
Tenopir's "Pipeline" played a major role in Nebraska's three national championships in four seasons in the mid 1990s. The 1994 unit, led by All-Americans Brenden Stai and Zach Wiegert, keyed the Husker offense to 340.0 rushing yards per game. Despite the loss of four starters heading into 1995, the Husker O-line did not miss a beat. Tenopir's young offensive front led the way for one of the most potent offenses in collegiate football history. Nebraska averaged 399.8 yards per game on the ground, 556.3 yards of total offense and led the nation at 52.4 points per contest. During Nebraska's 1997 national championship season, NU also led the nation in rushing and total offense, averaging 392.6 and 513.7 yards per game, respectively.
The 1983 Husker offense is also recognized as one of the best in college football history. Nebraska averaged a school-record 401.7 rushing yards per game in that season, leaving NU as one of just three schools in NCAA history to rush for more than 400 yards per game in a season.
Under Tenopir's guidance, Nebraska has produced six Outland Trophy winners and back-to-back Lombardi Award honorees. Aaron Taylor won the Outland in 1997 and also earned first-team All-America honors that year, becoming the only Husker to earn first-team All-America honors at two different positions. The previous season, Taylor earned first-team honors at center.
From 1981 to 1983, the Huskers produced an unprecedented three straight Outland Trophy winners in Dave Rimington (1981-82) and Dean Steinkuhler (1983). Rimington also claimed the 1982 Lombardi Award, while Steinkuhler followed a year later to help NU become the only school to win back-to-back Lombardi Awards.
In addition to 21 All-Americans, Tenopir has coached 11 academic All-Americans, six NCAA Today's Top Eight Award winners and 49 all-conference selections.
On the recruiting path, Tenopir was the leading figure in NU breaking the University of Oklahoma's stranglehold on the talent in the Sooner state. The state has provided Nebraska with Outland Trophy winner Will Shields and all-conference performers Mike Minter, Josh Heskew and Josh Brown, among others. Tenopir was also in charge of Nebraska's spring coaching clinic, which this past April brought more than 1,100 high school coaches to campus.
Before joining the NU staff in 1974, Tenopir posted a 76-34-1 record as a high school coach in Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska.
He is the father of three grown children, Kim and son-in-law Rick Lester; Todd and daughter-in-law Tammy; and Pamela, and has seven grandchildren. Tenopir is married to the former Terri Richardson, and is the stepfather to Dana and son-in-law Mike Lockee; and Daniel.
Dan Young Retires from Coaching after 20 Years on Husker Staff
Nebraska Assistant Coach Dan Young announced his retirement from coaching in a joint press conference with Milt Tenopir on Sunday. Young will enjoy a more laid-back style of living after 20 years with the Husker football staff and 41 years of coaching. During Young's two decades on the Nebraska coaching staff, the Huskers posted a 208-41-1 record.
In 2002, Young completed his 17th year as the Huskers' offensive line and kicking coach. Young's primary responsibility with the offensive line was working with the passing game. He and Tenopir have been working side-by-side for the past 17 years.
"I'm looking forward to leisure time for recreation and family. I will miss the players and the competitive nature of being a coach, but I won't miss the long hours," Young said. "It's been a great ride. I feel we have accomplished a lot of positive things over the years. Our special teams have come a long way, and being part of three national championships was very special."
Young has helped the Huskers rank among the nation's top six nationally in rushing every year that he has assisted with the line. Under Young's guidance, the play of the offensive line and special teams was key to NU's three national titles in four years during the 1990s and have been a large part of the Huskers' overall success the past two decades.
This season NU finished fourth in rushing averaging 268.7 yards per game. While Young has assisted with the offensive line, the Huskers have won 10 NCAA rushing titles and three NU offensive linemen have won the Outland Trophy. He has also coached 11 All-Americans and 10 academic All-Americans during his coaching tenure with the Husker offensive line.
Young's punters led Nebraska to a No. 5 national ranking in net punting this season, and NU has ranked among the nation's top 10 nine times under his direction, winning the national statistical title in net punting in 1992.
NU's kicking game has boasted the top place-kickers and punters in school history under Young's guidance. In 1998, Kris Brown broke NU's all-time scoring record and became the NCAA's all-time leader in PATs made and attempted (tied). In 2000, Dan Hadenfeldt broke the Husker career punting record by averaging 44.39 yards-per-punt after earning the top single-season punting average (44.98) in 1999.
This season, senior place-kicker Josh Brown earned first-team all-conference honors. He was perfect on 46 PATs and successfully connected on 14-of-18 field goals, including seven of 40 yards or more. Brown finished third on the NU career scoring chart with 315 points. Junior punter Kyle Larson earned second-team all-league honors, averaging 43.23 yards per punt to rank 11th nationally, the seventh-best punting average at NU, while the team ranked fifth in net punting. Larson has a 42.92 career punting average to rank second behind Dan Hadenfeldt's 44.54 average from 1997 to 2000. On the NU season punting chart, Young's proteges own seven of the top nine averages all time at Nebraska, including Hadenfeldt (44.98, first, 1999), Bill Lafleur (44.94, second, 1998), Jesse Kosch (44.70, third, 1996), Hadenfeldt (43.79, fourth, 2000), Larson (43.23, seventh, 2002), Darin Erstad (42.60, eighth, 1994) and Larson (42.52, ninth, 2001).
Two of Young's proteges are kicking in the NFL, as Kris Brown is with the Houston Texans and Lafleur is punting for the San Francisco 49ers.
Along with the talented kicking squad, Young again directed the kickoff return unit which averaged 22.31 yards per return. Josh Davis averaged 23.67 yards per return to rank 33rd, setting the school individual game, season and career kickoff return yards records.
The veteran assistant also headed up NU's in-state recruiting efforts, in addition to recruiting several other Midwestern states. In the last five years, Nebraska has signed 34 in-state players to scholarships. Young also directed the Husker summer football camp, which annually attracts more than 1,700 prepsters to Lincoln. Young and Turner Gill headed up the "Hire a Husker" program, matching NU student-athletes with summer employers.
Young became an offensive line coach with Milt Tenopir when Cletus Fischer retired from coaching after the 1985 season. Young spent three years (1983-85) as head freshman/junior varsity coach, posting a 14-1-0 record, before joining the varsity staff.
Young came to NU after six highly successful seasons as the head coach at Omaha's Westside High School, where his Warriors were 55-11-0 from 1977 to 1982, reached the state championship game three times and posted back-to-back 12-0-0 state title seasons in 1981 and 1982. Young began his coaching career as head coach at Barneston (Neb.) High School from 1962 to 1964 (25-3-0). After a year as an assistant coach at St. Paul (Neb.) High School, he served as an assistant at Westside for 11 seasons.
A graduate of Primrose (Neb.) High School, Young received his bachelor's degree from Kearney State in 1962. He has done graduate work at Nebraska, Nebraska-Omaha, Missouri and Reed College, and earned his master's degree in liberal studies from Reed in 1972.
Dan has two grown children, Jeff and Kris, and five grandchildren. Dan is married to the former Ronda Ludvigson, and is the stepfather to Leah and Cami.