Which Nebraska ADs Won the Most?
Photo Credit: Scott Bruhn

Which Nebraska ADs Won the Most?

September 22, 2017

Competitiveness.

That was the word University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green and University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds stressed during Thursday’s press conference on the firing of NU athletic director Shawn Eichorst.

Based on Green’s comments, Eichorst, who was hired in 2012, wasn’t getting the job done on a consistent basis when it came to on-field performance.

How did Eichorst’s tenure compare to that of previous NU athletic directors when it came to major sports? Here’s the winning percentage by sport dating back to the start of Bob Devaney’s tenure in 1967-68:

AD FB VB MBB WBB BSB
Shawn Eichorst .618 .815 .466 .613 .598
Tom Osborne .706 .846 .528 .648 .570
Steve Pederson .597 .927 .516 .552 .682
Bill Byrne .852 .906 .548 .576 .620
Bob Devaney .806 .796 .579 .554 .605

And here are two graphs with the conference titles and national titles-plus-NCAA Tournament appearances by athletic director:

 

Takeaways:

>> During Eichorst’s tenure, only one of the Huskers’ major sports teams, baseball, improved based on a cumulative winning percentage. Football, volleyball and men’s basketball percentages dropped. Women’s basketball remained the same.

>> Eichorst made two coaching changes in major sports. In 2014, he fired former football coach Bo Pelini and hired current coach Mike Riley, who has a 16-13 record three games into his third season.

In 2016, women’s basketball coach Connie Yori resigned. Eichorst named Amy Williams, a former Husker, as Yori’s replacement. Williams coached Nebraska to a 7-22 record in her first season.

>> When it comes to winning percentages by sport during his tenure, the numbers were not strong. With a .618 winning percentage under Eichorst, football had it’s lowest among athletic directors since 1967.

Even though volleyball won a championship during Eichorst’s tenure in 2016, the program had its lowest winning percentage among athletic directors since Devaney’s tenure.

Women’s basketball had its second highest winning percentage among athletic directors since 1967, but the men’s program had its lowest, and only below .500.

Baseball had its second lowest, slightly above that of Tom Osborne’s tenure.

>> When considering all varsity programs, Eichorst was in charge for three national team championships (one volleyball, two bowling). Devaney accumulated the most during his tenure, with 12 (two football, three women’s track and field and seven men’s gymnastics). Bill Byrne is second with eight (three football, two volleyball, two bowling and one men’s gymnastics). Steve Pederson accumulated three (one volleyball, two bowling). Osborne was the athletic director for just one national title, bowling.

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