Once again, change has come to Mike Riley‘s Nebraska coaching staff.
In a press release Wednesday, Riley announced the departures of a pair of his assistants. One of those was a forced departure as Riley confirmed that the contract of defensive coordinator Mark Banker is not being renewed.
Banker recently completed his second season coordinating the Cornhuskers’ defense. All told, Banker has spent the past 17 of the past 18 seasons coordinating Riley’s defenses, including stops at both the collegiate (2003-14) and NFL (1999-2001) levels.
“I want to thank Mark for his hard work and contributions to our football program the past two years and for all of his service and dedication as a member of my other coaching staffs,” Riley said in a statement. “We will conduct a national search to find a great coach, teacher and recruiter as we continue our pursuit of championships.”
In addition to Banker, Riley announced that safeties coach Brian Stewart had left to pursue other opportunities. That other opportunity is expected to be as the defensive coordinator at Rice.
Stewart was the defensive backs coach in 2015, then moved to cornerbacks in 2016. He further moved to safeties in December last year following the addition of Donté Williams, who was hired to replace Bruce Read. Riley fired Read as special teams coordinator shortly after the Cornhuskers’ regular-season finale.
“Brian Stewart has informed me of his plans to take a defensive coordinator position at another university,” Riley said. “Brian feels this is a great opportunity for him and his family and I respect his decision. We appreciate Brian’s contributions to our program the past two years and wish him the best of luck. We will work diligently to replace him with an outstanding coach, teacher and recruiter.”