Frost’s new plan for special teams involves Mike Dawson moving into coordinating role

Nebraska assistant coach Mike Dawson walks back to the sideline flanked by Nick Henrich (left) and Will Honas in November at Memorial Stadium.

Nebraska head coach Scott Frost says he isn’t big on titles for assistant coaches. 

But he knows the special teams topic is a hot one in these parts because his team generally has underperformed in that area. 

He has a new plan, and part of that plan involves Mike Dawson taking on the role of special teams coordinator in addition to his duties as outside linebackers coach.


“He’s been a special teams coach at a lot of different places at the I-A level, so he’s going to be the lead for us on all the special teams and certainly get a lot of help from the other assistants just like we had last year,” Frost said. 

Dawson previously coordinated special teams for Boston College from 2009-11. In Frost’s new special teams plan, Dawson essentially replaces analyst Jonathan Rutledge, who was fired after one season. Rutledge had replaced Jovan Dewitt, who was Nebraska’s special teams coordinator in 2018 and 2019.

Frost mentioned a few duties that will be handled by specific coaches. Offensive line coach Greg Austin will handle the field-goal kick unit, and defensive line coach Tony Tuioti will run the field-goal block aspect. 

{{tncms-inline content=”<p><a href="" target="_blank">Scott Frost’s full news conference</a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Frost on Oklahoma game</a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Frost on how the staff will handle special teams</a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Damion Daniels gives two names to watch</a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Austin Allen shares something he’s noticed about Thomas Fidone</a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">JoJo Domann tells story of veteran Blackshirts meeting before deciding to return</a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Cameron Jurgens on "old-school" weight testing</a></p>” id=”72987d9e-f6e1-4fc6-8058-ecaa64513288″ style-type=”info” title=”A trip to the video room 🎥” type=”relcontent”}}

“But Mike’s going to take the lead on punt and punt return and kickoff and kickoff return,” Frost said.

Bill Busch, hired in February as a defensive analyst, also can help with special teams, Frost said. 

Busch spent 2004-07 at Nebraska under head coach Bill Callahan coaching outside linebackers (2004) and safeties (2005-07) while also serving as special teams coordinator. He has an extensive background coaching special teams.

“Bill’s obviously an accomplished coach,” Frost said. “It works out great for us and for him. He’s got family in Lincoln. Without that, I don’t think we’d have an opportunity to have him in the role that we have him in.”

The 55-year-old Busch will help primarily with the defense, Frost said, “but I’m sure he’ll give a hand to coach Daws on special teams, too. He brings a lot of expertise to the table that I think our coaches will be able to utilize.”