LAKE FOREST – Changes to the coaching staff have begun already at Halas Hall.
Bears assistant offensive line coach Donovan Raiola is leaving the Bears for the offensive line coach position with Nebraska. The Cornhuskers made the move official in a tweet Wednesday. Raiola joins Nebraska coach Scott Frost’s staff.
Raiola is in his fourth season with the Bears. The team hired him as an assistant offensive line coach when Nagy hired his staff in 2018. During the past two years, he worked under offensive line coach Juan Castillo. Previously, he worked under former Bears offensive line coach Harry Hiestand with both the Bears and as a graduate assistant at Notre Dame in 2015-16.
“I am humbled to lead the offensive line at the University of Nebraska,” Raiola said in a statement released by Nebraska. “I understand the responsibility of coaching the pipeline and the history of offensive line excellence at Nebraska. We will work tirelessly to add to that tradition.”
Raiola was a three-time All-Big Ten honorable mention as a lineman at Wisconsin from 2003-05. Raiola’s older brother, Dominic Raiola, was an All-America center and Rimington Trophy winner for the Huskers.
It’s unclear if the Bears will fill the assistant offensive line coach position in the interim for the final five weeks of the regular season.
Bears coach Matt Nagy was happy for Raiola to earn the opportunity. Raiola remains with the Bears currently and was spotted at practice Wednesday. Nagy said they’re working through the timing of his exit right now.
“We’re excited about the opportunity that he’s going to get at Nebraska with Coach Frost,” Nagy said. “When you have a guy that works as hard as these coaches do, and guys that put in a lot of hours and time of doing some of the dirty work, and then you get rewarded with a great opportunity like this, it was pretty neat being able to go through that process with Donny.”