Scott Frost interviewed “a bunch” of people in a nationwide search for a defensive line coach. He wanted a technician and someone who would blend in with the character of his staff.
It quickly became apparent Tony Tuioti fit that description better than anyone.
Frost said the former Cal assistant stood out for his experience in a 3-4 defense.
“I think that position is unique,” Frost said. “If it was a (defensive backs) coach, for instance, everybody kind of coaches those guys about the same. But a 3-4 and some of the things you ask a D-lineman to do in a 3-4 compared to a 4-3 is kind of like reading Greek and Latin.
“They’re similar, but they’re different. Or maybe Latin and Italian — I don’t know, it’s been a long time since I’ve gone to school.”
Tuioti spent his first day in the office Wednesday and met the rest of the coaches he hadn’t seen during his interview. Speaking later during the radio show, the new NU assistant said his first priority that night and the rest of the week is to call his linemen and get acquainted before spring practice begins Monday. He’ll start looking at tape of his new players now to get a jump on how he can help them improve.
Tuioti said Frost was an attractive part of the job along with the reputation of the program.
“It’s just the University of Nebraska,” Tuioti said. “It’s a football brand. Everybody in the country knows about the University of Nebraska. And to have the opportunity to work here, it was tough to pass up.”
Tuioti, who has seven children, said the family was pulling up YouTube videos of game days at Nebraska to get a sense of what they were getting into. Having spent a year at Michigan as the Wolverines’ director of player personnel, he said he’s well aware that stopping the run and embracing the elements are two key tenets to winning in the Big Ten.
He also didn’t know that the April spring game was already sold out.
“But I’m not surprised because it’s Nebraska football,” Tuioti said.
Frost said he expects Tuioti to hit the ground running and quickly build a rapport with his players and fellow coaches.
“There was a lot of really good candidates, but I think it was pretty clear to all of us who the lead guy was,” Frost said. “And we were lucky enough to get him.”