Tom Osborne’s “heartfelt” chat with Matt Rhule includes a conversation about Mickey Joseph

Take a look at Matt Rhule’s playing and coaching careers.

LINCOLN — Matt Rhule said he crossed an item off his bucket list on Saturday morning.

“I spoke to Coach Osborne,” Nebraska’s new soccer coach said on ESPN of a conversation with the legendary Husker coach and athletic director.

Osborne said Saturday the call was “cordial” and relatively brief. Osborne said he was awaiting the call from Rhule after NU sporting director Trev Alberts called on Saturday to tell Osborne Rhule he wanted to chat.

“I’ve told Matt I’ll help out in any way I can,” Osborne said, “but I won’t be a disruptive influence.”

Osborne was instrumental in encouraging Rhule’s predecessor, Scott Frost, to become NU’s head coach in 2017. Osborne also backed Frost’s interim replacement, Mickey Joseph, another former Husker quarterback.

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“I talked to (Rhule) a little bit about Mickey and the work that Mickey has been doing in the meantime,” Osborne said.

Joseph would be a good addition to any staff member, Osborne said when asked if Rhule should try to keep Joseph.

“I think that would obviously be important,” Osborne said. “I can’t get any further than that. “He’s a good recruiter, he’s good with people, and he’s a straight shooter. He doesn’t give you nonsense. He pretty much tells you how it is. I like those qualities about him. It would do anyone good to have him.”

Osborne commended Alberts for a “thoughtful” search process. Osborne hasn’t spoken much about the Alberts coach search in recent months, but he’s received occasional updates, including an idea of ​​who the final six or seven candidates were.

“I was just listening because I’ve never met most of these people,” Osborne said. “I’m old enough now to no longer have contact with the current generation of coaches.”

Due to some “deadlines” that are “pretty important,” Osborne said it’s unlikely he’ll be attending Monday’s 1:30 p.m. press conference at Hawks Championship Center to introduce Rhule. If Osborne isn’t there, he said, it’s not a reflection of what he thinks of the hiring.

“I don’t want to be an outside or disruptive presence,” Osborne said. “It’s between Matt Rhule, the university, Trev Alberts and the rest of the coaching staff. I do not belong to it. I don’t intend to be there.”

Rhule has done a fine job of turning two college programs, Temple and Baylor, from struggling teams into double-digit winners.

“He certainly took on Baylor under difficult circumstances,” Osborne said of Rhule, who became Baylor’s head coach after the program’s sexual assault scandal.

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