LINCOLN — While Nebraska coach Will Bolt and his two assistants are set, a number of other positions are still up in the air.
Bolt said Nebraska is “still in the process” of determining who will serve as the volunteer assistant, grad assistants and various other support roles. Former Husker Curtis Ledbetter was the volunteer last season after 10 years as director of operations. Tanner Lubach, whom Bolt recruited to Nebraska as a catcher in 2013, is finishing his first year as director of ops.
Hitting coach Lance Harvell will be the third base coach next spring, marking a change for Bolt.
“I’ll be in the dugout; I’m ready to do that,” Bolt said. “I’ve been coaching third base, doing that thing for 11 or 12 years. So I’m ready to be in the dugout and have different responsibility.”
Ted Silva, who had been Nebraska’s pitching coach the last eight seasons, has joined USC in in the same role, according to reports. NU’s other assistant since Bolt left following the 2014 campaign was hitting coach Mike Kirby.
Current Huskers ready to roll
Recruiting and moving their families have been top priorities for Nebraska’s new coaches. But so has getting to know the group they are inheriting.
The staff has met with 8-10 players individually and then as a team Wednesday with who was available. Many Huskers are competing in summer ball or back home. But a handful were on hand for the press conference, including freshman pitchers Kyle Perry, Colby Gomes and Caleb Feekin and sophomore hitter Jaxon Hallmark.
Perry, out of Millard South, missed the team meeting because of work obligations and said he’s yet to formally meet Bolt or his new pitching coach, Jeff Christy. But he attended the press conference. And from what he’s observed, the transition to a new staff won’t be bumpy.
“I think we’re all ready to go to work for these guys,” Perry said. “It’s going to be sweet. I just feel like these are my type of coaches.”
Assistants hit ground running
Harvell got the facilities tour from his new fellow assistant, Christy, on Thursday. This isn’t the Southland Conference, the former Sam Houston State assistant joked.
But both incoming full-timers believe the familiarity is already there among the staff. Bolt worked with Christy at Nebraska (2012-14) and Texas A&M (2018-19). Bolt and Harvell met at A&M while Harvell was a walk-on catcher and Bolt was a volunteer in 2006. Harvell later worked as Bolt’s hitting coach and recruiting coordinator at Texarkana College (2010-11).
“We’re all very good friends,” Bolt said. “But I didn’t choose these guys because we’re friends. I chose them because they’re great coaches.”
Christy, who has long worked with catchers, didn’t begin on the pitching-coach track until assuming the role at Central Oklahoma in 2016-17. Bolt persuaded him to come to A&M, where Christy learned under one of the nation’s most regarded pitching coaches in Rob Childress. He called pitches on two occasions this spring when Childress was away.
Bolt said Harvell will handle the primary recruiting of hitters and said the two are in sync about what they want out of an offense. Harvell said the goal is to be “dynamic,” with players learning what their skill sets are and mastering those instead of being average at many things.
“We are going to play inside of and recruit to a very definitive system,” Harvell said. “It’s a system where guys that can do a lot of different things can allow us to beat teams in a lot of different ways.”