LINCOLN | Scott Frost’s first coaching staff is complete.
The names have been known for some time, but Nebraska officially announced Friday the hiring of Troy Walters as NU’s offensive coordinator and Sean Beckton as the tight ends coach.
In addition, Lincoln Southeast graduate and Husker Power alum Zach Duval has been named head strength and conditioning coach.
The additions round out Frost’s coaching staff, which is comprised wholly of former Central Florida coaches.
Per NU, Walters' salary is $700,000, Beckton will make $400,000 and Duval will make $375,000.
That leaves the $5 million pool at $4,650,000 with only Barrett Ruud's salary left to be announced. If there is any money left over in the pool, Frost is allowed to distribute it to other staffers with the permission of athletic director Bill Moos.
Ruud's salary has not been announced because he will not officially be an assistant coach until the NCAA rule adding a 10th assistant goes into effect Jan. 8.
The nine known salaries average an 86-percent raise over what the same nine made this year in Orlando.
Walters and Frost led a dramatic turnaround for UCF’s offense and its receiving corps in particular.
In the Knights’ final year under George O’Leary, an 0-12 season in 2015, they averaged 13.9 points per game, 4.1 yards per play and 10.6 yards per reception.
In Year 1 under the direction Walters and Frost those numbers improved to 28.8, 4.7 and 11.2.
This fall: A nation-best 49.3, third-best 7.7 and fifth-best 15.2.
UCF got production from several receivers, but particularly Tre’Quan Smith. He has 1,082 yards and 13 touchdowns, good for a whopping 20 yards per catch, with the Peach Bowl still remaining.
In Smith’s first year under Walters’ tutelage, he logged 853 yards and five scores.
Walters also had a 1,000-yard receiver in all three of his seasons at Colorado. In 2013, Paul Richardson racked up 1,343 and 10 touchdowns before declaring for the NFL Draft. The next two years, the Buffs hardly missed a beat with Nelson Spruce totaling 1,198 (on 106 catches) in 2014 and 1,053 (on 89) in 2015.
In 2012 at North Carolina State, Walters had two receivers — Tobias Palmer and Quintin Peyton — finish with 50-plus catches and 780-plus yards. In two years prior to that at Texas A&M, Jeff Fuller and Ryan Swope each logged 1,000-plus yard receiving seasons.
While Walters is the coordinator, Frost called plays in Orlando and is set to do the same here. There’s a trust between the two — Frost said he considered handing off play-calling duties to Walters against Southern Methodist this fall when it was unclear whether he’d have to fly back to Orlando for the birth of he and wife Ashley’s first son — but Walters will coach the NU receivers day-to-day.
He is taking over an unquestionably talented group. Assuming everybody returns, Stanley Morgan and JD Spielman should enter 2018 as one of the Big Ten’s most dangerous duos — they already put together the most productive season by a pair in Nebraska history in 2017 — and young talents like Tyjon Lindsey and Javeon McQuitty figure to fit well in Frost’s system. Then, factor in the potential of verbal commitments Joshua Moore and Cameron Brown, and Walters will have an arsenal to work with.
One interesting consideration: Spielman’s high school coach, Mike Grant, told the Journal Star in November that he thinks Spielman will play multiple positions over the course of his Husker career. Spielman lined up out of the backfield once or twice this fall, but did it extensively in high school. He’s the type of versatile athlete Frost and Walters are likely already plotting a multitude of ways to get the ball to.
While it was expected that Frost would bring many assistants from UCF, Beckton is perhaps the closest to being a true surprise. He is a UCF graduate, had been on staff there since 2009 and his three coaching stints at the school totaled 17 seasons.
“Coach Beckton helped build this program from when he was a player here,” new UCF coach Josh Heupel said Thursday. “I told him he's always going to be a Knight. That's where it lies.”