The school’s top administrators said the Cornhuskers’ embarrassing loss to Northern Illinois last weekend wasn’t the sole reason for firing of Shawn Eichorst on Thursday. His current contract was set to run through June, 2019.
Though this decision comes after a 1-2 start from the Nebraska football team, President Bounds said Eichorst’s dismissal is not exclusively about football coach Mike Riley and the team’s performance, but extends throughout all of the sports in which Nebraska is competitive. “I am proud of how our student-athletes, coaches and staff represented this great university and state, and I am confident that the future is bright for Nebraska athletics”.
“Mike Riley is our football coach, we expect him to compete”, Green said. Riley, hired by Eichorst, is in his third season with Nebraska and finished with records of 6-7 and 9-4 in his previous two seasons.
For the second time in 10 years, Nebraska has ousted an athletic director during a football season that was failing to meet expectations.
Following the announcement of Eichorst’s termination, Green and NU President Hank Bounds discussed the decision along with the plans of Nebraska Athletics’ future. The university is expected to appoint an interim athletic director to oversee day-to-day operations until a permanent replacement is found.
Green will hold a media availability at 2:30 p.m. September 21 at the Van Brunt Visitors Center, 313 N. 13th St., on the university campus. The search will focus on finding a director who helps put Husker teams into the best place of opportunity to compete and to uphold the athletic program’s outstanding academic achievement, Green said. “We can and should win in that kind of environment”.
In 2007, athletic director Steve Pederson was sacked days after a humiliating loss to Oklahoma State. “I mean I nearly want to say gosh there’s more to it than that but on the other hand I think that most Nebraskans understand that and most regents hear from their constituents”, Whitehouse pointed out.
Eichorst previously was athletic director at Miami after serving in a variety of athletic department roles at Wisconsin.
“I was taken back, surprised”, Riley said.
Miles said he tried to reach out to Eichorst, who was hired a few months after Miles, to offer support. He’s a very fine person.
Daub called this “an appropriate leadership decision that embraces responding to the brand, the Husker brand, and to a much more aggressive football program going forward”.