Retiring Big Ten ref calls Bo Pelini 'the worst coach I've ever worked for, ever'
Bo Pelini is heading back to LSU to take over as the team’s defensive coordinator, a stint he previously held back in 2007.
After that stint with LSU, he became the head coach at Nebraska, where he earned a reputation as a coach who didn’t much care for officials.
As longtime B1G ref Dan Capron enters retirement, he didn’t hold back on coaches he’s worked with over the years. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Capron called Pelini the worst coach he’s ever worked with:
He’s still not the worst coach. The worst coach I’ve ever worked for, ever, not even close, no one within 10 miles, is Bo Pelini. (laughs)
I had Purdue at Nebraska. Darrell Hazel was at Purdue. Total gentleman. Nebraska was heavily favored, but it was a very close game. Nebraska had the ball, and the quarterback muffed the snap from center and there was a big pileup. And so now the umpire is digging in there to see who has the ball. I’m standing back. I don’t get involved in those. All you need is for somebody to stand up with their helmet and clock you in the jaw, and it could kill you.
My umpire looks at me and I swear he says, “White ball.” Meaning Purdue. Nebraska is in red. I step out and I point: Purdue ball. Simultaneous with me, my center judge points the other way. Nebraska’s ball. Now we are convicted of being idiots. No matter what else happens, we are the three stooges.
We get together. I say, “You just said ‘white ball.’ ” He says, “No, I said ‘red ball.’ ” Look, let’s be clear: Who recovered the ball? Nebraska, Nebraska, Nebraska. No (official) has Purdue.
Unbeknownst to me, Coach P is over there on the sideline going crazy. I step out and announce: The ruling on the field is that the loose ball was recovered by Nebraska. It will be second down and 10 at the such-and-such yard line. As I turn to the Nebraska sideline, he is pointing at me, screaming at the top of his lungs, “I’ll have your job!” The moment “job” was out of his mouth, my flag hit its apex. So now there’s 15 yards against Nebraska.
The game goes on uneventfully, and Nebraska ends up winning. We go in the locker room and I say to my guys, “Do you think I should call Bill (Carollo)?” because he always wants to know about anything controversial. He doesn’t want to get blindsided. The consensus was better to be safe than sorry. Give Bill a call.
I take out my cellphone and call the command center. I ask for Bill. I hear: “Hang on, he’s on the phone with Pelini.” The game wasn’t over for four minutes!
We’ll see what SEC refs think of Pelini during this stint in Baton Rouge.