Shawn Eichorst named Nebraska’s next AD

Nickalas Tabbert

Shawn Eichorst will become Nebraska's next athletics director, the school announced Thursday.

Eichorst will leave Miami (Fla.), where he was AD for the past 18 months. He has a five-year contract to oversee the Cornhuskers, The Associated Press reported. Former Maine AD Blake James will become the acting AD at Miami.

"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 [Tom] Osborne and so many others," Eichorst said in a statement.

Eichorst's starting salary at Nebraska will be $973,000 annually, believed to be a significant raise over his Miami deal. As a private school, the Hurricanes typically do not release contract information.

Osborne, Nebraska's current AD, will retire Jan. 1 after five years on the job. He will become athletics director emeritus and stay involved in departmental operations through July 30.

Eichorst will start at Nebraska on Oct. 9, first as a special assistant to Chancellor Harvey Perlman, then as AD on Jan. 1.

Miami likely faces NCAA sanctions in the coming months for compliance violations. Eichorst was believed to be working closely with the NCAA during the joint inquiry into the athletics department, so his departure comes at a difficult time for both the department and the university, which is already dealing with a number of issues unrelated to the investigation, such as dwindling football attendance and major financial problems involving its highly touted medical school.

Eichorst addressed the scandal in a roundtable interview with Miami reporters on Nov. 1, 2011.

"I'm not making any excuses. I'm not asking anybody to feel sorry for me or anybody else," Eichorst said. "I've got a job to do and I'm only looking forward. I'm not looking backwards."

Eichorst has not spoken with Miami reporters in months, citing the ongoing NCAA investigation as the reason requests were declined.

Eichorst was hired by the Hurricanes after serving as Wisconsin's Chief Operating Officer for athletics, overseeing a $90 million budget and being closely involved with a $100 million construction project for ice hockey, swimming and football. Eichorst was highly recommended for the Miami job by his one-time boss at Wisconsin, athletics director Barry Alvarez — a close friend of Shalala.

Alvarez is also a graduate of Nebraska.