University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Harvey Perlman met with the media Thursday afternoon to formally announce the appointment of Shawn Eichorst to the post of Athletic Director. Eichorst held the same position at the University of Miami for the past 17 months and had previous stints in the athletic departments at Wisconsin and South Carolina. He will serve as a special assistant to the chancellor beginning Oct. 9 and will take over athletic director duties when current athletic director Tom Osborne’s retirement goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2013.
Perlman confirmed an earlier Hail Varsity report that no internal candidates were interviewed for the position and that Osborne was not a part of the final decision.
According to Perlman, Eichorst visited Nebraska’s campus on Sept. 9, a day after accompanying the Miami football team to Manhattan, Kan. for the Hurricanes’ game against Kansas State. The other candidate, also an external candidate, was interviewed at some point after that date in Omaha but Perlman clarified that it was not University of Nebraska at Omaha Athletic Director and former Husker Trev Alberts.
As for Osborne’s involvement, Perlman said that Osborne met with Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez to discuss Eichorst’s qualifications last weekend but that “Tom is probably one who wishes he was more involved.”
“My belief is that incumbents shouldn’t be too intimately involved,” Perlman went on to say.
Following the press conference, Osborne issued the following statement: “I will do whatever I can to assist Shawn Eichorst in the transition process to ensure that the handoff to him leading the Athletic Department is as smooth as possible.”
Eichorst’s salary is set at $973,000 and his contract is for five years. That makes him the sixth highest paid athletic director in the country and the third highest paid in the Big Ten.