LINCOLN — In one of his final interviews as Nebraska’s defensive coordinator in 2017, Bob Diaco was asked about something even more painful than the one year he spent coaching one of the worst defenses in program history.
That’d be the trophy he devised in 2015, when he was coach at Connecticut, for the annual game with Central Florida. He called it the Civil ConFLiCT trophy.
His team won the trophy that season. In 2016, UCF won it. And the Knights’ coach at the time, Scott Frost, left the trophy in Connecticut.
One year later, experiencing a miserable season at Nebraska, Diaco was asked about it.
“I’ve eliminated it from my mind,” Diaco said. “I put the experience in a chest, locked it, dumped it into the ocean and I threw away the key. That’s the important thing.threw away the key. That’s the important thing.threw away the key. That’s the important thing.threw away the key. That’s the important thing.
“I’ve thrown the key away. I don’t even know ‘it’ or what you’re talking about. Because I’ve eliminated that whole painful part from my mind.”
There’s not going to be a trophy at stake this week when Nebraska travels to Purdue, where Diaco is now defensive coordinator. But there will be a subplot.
Since his departure from North Stadium in sunglasses and an argyle sweater, Diaco, along with former NU coach Mike Riley, has been used as an example of what was wrong with Nebraska’s program before Frost’s arrival.