Bears lose assistant offensive line coach Donovan Raiola to Nebraska

Bears lose assistant coach Donovan Raiola to Nebraska originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The inevitable changes to the Chicago Bears’ coaching staff have already begun. 

The University of Nebraska officially announced the hiring of Bears assistant offensive line coach Donovan Raiola Wednesday. Raiola will be the Cornhuskers’ offensive line coach and is expected to make the move immediately.

“I am humbled to lead the offensive line at the University of Nebraska,” Raiola said in a statement. “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 joined Bears head coach Matt Nagy’s staff in 2018 along with former offensive line coach Harry Heistand. Both offensive line coaches worked together at Notre Dame. When Heistand was fired following the 2019 season, Raiola was retained and paired with current offensive line coach Juan Castillo. 

With Raiola departing the Bears with five games to go, it’s unclear if his position will be filled on an interim basis, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Nagy shift some responsibilities around to help with the offensive line. 

Raiola reportedly interviewed with Nebraska last Friday and Cornhuskers head coach Scott Frost moved quickly to make the hire with the recruiting season in full swing. Raiola is well-respected and his family has ties to the program, as his brother, Dominic, was an All-American center at Nebraska. Raiola started 39 games for the Wisconsin Badgers from 2003-05. 

The move is an obvious promotion for Raiola, even as he moves down to the college ranks. And the timing was right with the future of Nagy’s entire coaching staff in doubt.

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