Nebraska fires defensive coordinator Erik Chinander after latest embarrassing loss

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Nebraska is making another change.

Huskers defensive coordinator Erik Chinander was fired, interim head coach Mickey Joseph announced Sunday. The move comes a day after Nebraska was blown out 49-14 by Oklahoma to drop to 1-3 on the year.

The week before, the Huskers lost 45-42 to Georgia Southern, allowing 642 yards of offense in the process. That loss led to the firing of head coach Scott Frost.

With Chinander now out as well, Joseph has named Bill Busch the defensive coordinator for the remainder of the season.

“We appreciate Erik and the work and dedication he has given to our football program,” Joseph said in a statement. “At this time, I feel that it is in the best interest of the Nebraska football program to take the leadership of the defense in another direction and decided Bill Busch will take over as defensive coordinator.”

Nebraska defensive coordinator Erik Chinander walks around during warmups before playing against North Dakota during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, in Lincoln, Neb. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)
Nebraska defensive coordinator Erik Chinander was relieved of his duties after three games this season. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)

Chinander arrived in Lincoln with Frost from UCF in 2017 and was part of a staff tasked with rebuilding the Nebraska program. Under Frost’s watch, the program had four consecutive losing seasons but he was brought back for the 2022 campaign. That lasted only three games as Frost was fired last weekend.

The Frost era was mired by close losses, including a 3-9 record in 2021 that included an 0-8 mark in one-score games. In many of those contests, Chinander’s defense kept the team competitive.

This year has been a different story. Through four games, the Huskers are allowing an average of 514 yards per game, the fourth-worst mark in the country. Nebraska is also giving up 35.5 points per game, which ranks No. 114 out of 131 teams in the FBS.

While the school’s leadership is in the early stages of a coaching search, Joseph is searching for answers on the field with eight more games to play this season. The Huskers have a bye next week before hosting Indiana on Oct. 1.