Bill Moos retiring as Nebraska athletic director

Bill Moos will retire as Nebraska's athletic director at the end of the month, the school announced Friday.

"I step away completely content, knowing that our athletic program is reborn and rebuilt and that it has a solid, stable foundation," Moos said in a statement.

Moos, 70, had led Nebraska's athletic department since October 2017 after seven years at Washington State. He made celebrated coaching hires such as Scott Frost in football and Fred Hoiberg in men's basketball, although Frost, a former Huskers quarterback, is 12-20 in his first three seasons at his alma mater. In all, Moos has hired 12 head coaches during his time at Nebraska.

Moos had been under contract through 2022. He had said publicly that he wanted to stay in the job until he was comfortable the Cornhuskers football program had been turned around but told the Lincoln Journal Star on Friday that he began to think about retirement about a year and a half ago.

"Then the pandemic hit and there was no question that this ship needed its captain to navigate through that tough time and that crisis," Moos told the newspaper. "I want to say this, gosh, I've been very blessed with a 40-year career and 28 as AD. The accomplishment of getting through this COVID year and how we did it will go down as one of the top accomplishments, I think."

By retiring, Moos, whose salary was $1.15 million this year, gives up the $1.25 million he would have received under a deferred compensation agreement if he were still athletic director in December 2022. The agreement stipulates that he forfeits that money if he voluntarily resigns or is no longer employed for reasons other than "permanent disability, death or involuntary termination."

"Apparently, this was the best time," Moos told the Journal Star.

Chancellor Ronnie Green said Nebraska would begin a national search for Moos' replacement soon. Senior associate athletic director for external relations Garrett Klassy will serve as interim athletic director.

"I respect Bill Moos' decision to retire and I want to thank him for his service to Husker Athletics and our university," Green said in a statement. "Under his tenure, Nebraska has gained tremendous talent with outstanding new coaches and senior administrators. I particularly appreciate his steady and capable leadership during the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic."

An offensive lineman at Washington State, Moos began his administrative career 40 years ago at his alma mater before first leading an athletic department at Montana in 1990. He served as Oregon's athletic director from 1995 to 2007 before resigning.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.