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Miles to go, but Nebraska is headed in the right direction

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Tim Miles will trade this awful green tie for a hopefully less awful red one in his new gig as head coach at Nebraska. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
Tim Miles will trade this awful green tie for a hopefully less awful red one in his new gig as head coach at Nebraska. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Things are changing in Lincoln and it's not hard to see why.

New coach Tim Miles is the latest piece in a puzzle that includes the new 16,000-seat Pinnacle Bank Arena (ready in 2013), a new training facility and a new conference. Miles, though, just may be the most important part.

The Cornhuskers haven't been to the NCAA tournament this century and finished dead last in the Big Ten last season. But Miles, who had other suitors, wouldn't have taken the job if he didn't think he could turn Nebraska basketball around in a hurry.

The new facilities, Miles told ESPN, will rank among the best in the country. That has drawn the interest of much better potential student-athletes than the Huskers are used to seeing in hoops. Once the arena is finished, there could be more than just interest from four and five-star recruits.

This isn't Miles' first go at turning around a program. At Colorado State, his previous stop, he steered the Rams to their first NCAA bid in nine seasons last year. CSU won 20 games before falling to Murray State. He improved the win total each year he was with the Rams.

Miles isn't afraid of the underdog label, either. At North Dakota State, he upset a No. 8 ranked Marquette team and a No. 14 Wisconsin team while the school was in the middle of a transition from Division II to Division I.

The guy can coach.

He can tweet, too. During games, he would have his sports information director tweet his pep talks and even promoted his twitter feed on CSU commercials. He jokes about referees, his team and his opponents. But Miles also tweets like a teenager, dropping off-the-cuff remarks about the weather and how his day is going or sharing pictures of things he finds interesting or funny (like the Scooby Doo van parked somewhere in Lincoln.)

He's embraced social media and he's ready to move forward. In the video introduction to the main Husker basketball page, Miles lays it out. "This is Nebraska. This is our future," he says. "Our program can be among the elite. Come check us out."