University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Harvey Perlman announced Thursday that the school's new athletic director will be Shawn Eichorst.
Eichorst, who has served as director of athletics at the University of Miami since April 2011, will join the University of Nebraska Oct. 9 as a special assistant to the chancellor, and will take over for Tom Osborne when he retires on Jan. 1.
"After consideration of a large number of candidates, I was impressed with Shawn's credentials and experience but more importantly his respect for and appreciation of the tradition of the Nebraska athletics program," Perlman said. "He expressed from the onset his hope to draw on the experience and knowledge of Tom Osborne and the rest of the current staff in working to continue the department's success both on and off the field."
"It is truly an honor and privilege to be a part of one of the great universities in America and one of the strongest athletic departments in all of college sports who has the welfare of its student-athletes at the heart of everything they do," said Eichorst. "I am humbled by both the responsibility and opportunities that lie ahead and I hope to carry on the rich tradition of Husker excellence set by Coach Osborne and so many others."
Osborne will be working with Eichorst until his retirement to make a smooth leadership transition in the department, Perlman said.
Eichorst, a 1990 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, previously served as deputy athletics director at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under director of athletics Barry Alvarez. There Eichorst served as the department's chief operating officer, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the highly successful athletics program.
In his first year at Miami, Eichorst helped raise the university's academic reputation, building on the school's NCAA Top 10 Percent recognition in Academic Progress Rates for five programs, including football, baseball, men's diving, women's cross country and women's golf. He also was successful in enlarging the Hurricane Club of donors and fans, increasing memberships by 500 in one year.
Eichorst joined the University of Wisconsin's staff in 2006 as senior associate athletic director and was promoted to executive associate athletic director in 2007. He oversaw a department of 23 intercollegiate athletic programs, 850 student-athletes, 320 full-time employees and operated a multi-million-dollar budget. He was involved in the design and planning of a new ice hockey and swim facility, as well as a student-athlete performance center.
From 2004-2006 he served as senior associate athletic director for administration at the University of South Carolina, where he also served as interim athletic director in June 2005.
Eichorst's salary has been set at $973,000. His contract is for five years. It provides for a substantial financial penalty if he leaves UNL within the five-year period and a $750,000 payment by the university if he stays for five years.
Eichorst and his wife Kristin have three sons, Jack, Joseph and Bennett.