"I want to be a coordinator or a head coach, either one, depending on what's the best fit for me," Stoops said Tuesday.
The Pelini and Stoops families are close friends from their days growing up in Youngstown, Ohio.
He declined to comment on whether Bo Pelini had discussed a job with him but added, "I talk to Bo a lot."
The 49-year-old Stoops said 21st-ranked Nebraska, which would have three straight 10-win seasons if it beats South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl, would be the type of place he's looking to work.
"They're awfully good, and Bo has a great defensive mind," he said. "Those are important elements to me, as well as having an opportunity to win at a high level."
Stoops said he watched Nebraska three or four times on television this season and was impressed.
"Bo has a certain style he likes to play, and it's very effective," Stoops said. "We saw them in a bowl game and they got after us pretty good."
Stoops was referring to the 33-0 loss to the Huskers in the 2009 Holiday Bowl. Arizona got off to a 7-1 start in 2010 and then things unraveled. The Wildcats lost 10 straight games against FBS opponents over two seasons before Stoops was fired.
Stoops was defensive coordinator at Oklahoma under his brother, Bob, before he took the Arizona job in 2004. Mike Stoops said he wouldn't have a problem with being an assistant coach again after having spent eight seasons as a head coach.
"No," he said. "I love coaching defense. That's really my passion."