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Football Coach

Coach returns to Nebraskan roots

Ross Els is going home.

Ohio's former linebackers and special teams coach has accepted a position as linebackers coach at the University of Nebraska. Els coached with the Bobcats for six seasons.

"It feels good from the Nebraska end of it. We're certainly familiar with the area and the great people of Lincoln," Els said. "The hard part, always, is leaving the good people at OU and in Athens. ... The people have treated us tremendously well, and they'll always be thought of highly."

A native of Lincoln, Neb., Els returns to his hometown to coach the Cornhuskers. He graduated from Nebraska-Omaha in 1988 and started his coaching career there as a graduate assistant.

Els made $81,547 per year with the Bobcats. The financial terms of his contract have not been disclosed because Nebraska has not yet made an official announcement.

Els said he first knew about the opening at Nebraska shortly after Ohio's 48-21 loss to Troy in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Dec. 18. He was interested immediately but said he didn't speak to Nebraska coach Bo Pelini about the job until the end of January.

Pelini and Els have known each other for six years. Pelini's brother Carl was a coach with Els for the Bobcats. Els frequently visited Nebraska after Carl joined his brother in Lincoln.

"In this business, it's all about who you know," Els said. "Bo, I think, had a comfort level (with me) in the short time I spent with him ... it really wasn't a long process at all."

Ohio coach Frank Solich was not available for comment.

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