Nebraska assistant coach Evan Cooper resigned from his position, according to multiple reports.

ESPN’s Pete Thamel was first to report the news on Friday. Cooper was entering his second season as the Huskers’ defensive backs coach and pass game coordinator. He has long been a part of Matt Rhule’s programs, dating back to their days together at Temple. A university spokesperson told Husker247 Cooper’s decision was for personal reasons.

According to Thamel, the Huskers have already zeroed in on a replacement, which would imply that Rhule wasn’t caught off guard by the decision on Friday and had been preparing for the change.

Buffalo Bills assistant John Butler is expected to become the program’s new secondary coach, per Thamel. He has spent the last 6 seasons as the Bills’ defensive backs coach and pass game coordinator. Before that, he spent 4 seasons on the Houston Texans’ staff as the secondary coach.

Butler also brings several years worth of experience coaching in the Big Ten. He was with Bill O’Brien at Penn State from 2012-13, and he was a linebackers coach at Minnesota from 2007-10.

The change comes less than a month before the start of fall camp for Nebraska. And it marks the second consecutive season the Huskers have had to make a staff hire in the summer.

Cooper played a significant role in Nebraska’s recruiting efforts, and he helped lead a defensive resurgence in 2023.

The Huskers ranked seventh in the nation last year in defensive efficiency, yielding just 4.6 yards per play. NU was particularly stout against the pass, giving up just 6.1 yards per attempt, a mark that was tied for ninth nationally.

It was the first time Nebraska had ranked among the nation’s top 10 in pass efficiency defense since the Bo Pelini era (2012).

NU begins the 2024 campaign on Aug. 31 at home against UTEP. After posting a 5-7 record in Year 1, Rhule is looking for Nebraska’s first bowl game since the 2016 season. The program has gone 7 consecutive seasons without a bowl appearance — the longest drought Nebraska has endured since the 1950s before Bob Devaney was hired. ESPN Bet has the Huskers’ win total at 7.5 for the regular season.