KEARNEY, Neb. UPDATE: 8:00 p.m., Dec. 21:
UNK Athletic Director Paul Plinske said the following on Josh Lamberson and the Lopers pursuit of of new head coach during his press conference Wednesday afternoon:
"We are very sad to see Coach Lamberson go. He became a trusted and valued colleague and friend. Not only to myself, but to our coaches in the athletic department, to a lot of people that have worked intimately and closely with him, and to our student athletes."
"This program is ready to take off. We need a proven, successful coach that can come in here and be ready to take the bull by the horns and move this thing forward - somebody who knows how to get the best out of their student athletes. And in addition to that, and most importantly to me, is sustain the culture that we have."
"There is a handful of high quality, outstanding football coaches out there right now that are actively looking. And quite frankly, a lof of them want to be in the MIAA at University Nebraska Kearney and I'm really excited about the potential we have."
UPDATE: 11:30 a.m., Dec. 21.:
UNK confirms that head football coach Josh Lamberson is resigning to take a position at Abilene Christian University in Texas.
UNK issued this news release Wednesday:
University of Nebraska at Kearney head football coach Josh Lamberson has resigned to accept a position on the staff at Abilene Christian University.
Lamberson joins new Abilene Christian head coach Adam Dorrel. Lamberson served on the same coaching staff with Dorrel at their alma mater, Northwest Missouri State, working as a graduate assistant in 2006-07 when Dorrel was the offensive line and offensive coordinator coach.
“We are very sad to see Josh go, but we understand that opportunities like this don't come along often,” said UNK Director of Athletics Paul Plinske. “Josh worked tirelessly for two years to elevate Loper football. He regularly emphasized the importance of being a great person, and he successfully created a strong family culture.”
Lamberson was named UNK’s head coach in 2014, and the Lopers went 1-21 in his first two seasons. He made $105,000 in 2016 and was entering the final year of a three-year contract. UNK recently offered Lamberson an extended contract until 2019.
“Even in the midst of difficulties, he maintained professionalism, dedication to the student-athlete experience and a vision for the success of our program,” said Plinske.
Abilene Christian is a NCAA Division I school in Texas transitioning to the Football Championship Subdivision. It will play in a new stadium in 2017.
Plinske said UNK will begin the process of hiring a new head coach immediately. National signing day is Feb. 1, and UNK has many scheduled player visits in January.
“I could not be more excited about what we are building and the next steps we will take to carry on with the vision of Loper football,” Plinske said. “We know that success is right around the corner for this program because the right foundation has been laid. We have 90 young, talented and ambitious returners ready to embrace a new leader who possesses the skills we need to sustain our family culture and field a competitive team.”
Prior to coming to UNK, Lamberson spent five seasons at Central Missouri (2010-14), including four as offensive coordinator. Lamberson also worked two seasons at Southeastern Oklahoma State (2008-10) as quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator.
A native of Wilber, Lamberson had a career record of 80-30 in nine years as an assistant coach at Central Missouri (39-19), Southeastern Oklahoma State (13-9) and Northwest Missouri State (28-2).
In addition to his coaching stops, Lamberson was an All-American quarterback at Northwest Missouri State, where he played in two Division II national championships.
The University of Nebraska at Kearney's athletic director Tuesday confirmed that Loper's head football coach Josh Lamberson is considering a job elsewhere.
Director of Athletics Paul Plinske issued this statement:
"Obviously, we are aware Josh Lamberson is considering a position at Abilene Christian. This is a tough decision for him. He and I are in regular communication through this time. Once he has made a decision, we will let you know if there is news to share.”
Lamberson's Loper football team has struggled. It went 1-10 this year and 0-11 last year.