Nebraska’s football struggles have helped lead to the immediate dismissal of athletic director Shawn Eichorst.
The school said Eichorst had been fired Thursday as Nebraska football heads into Week 4 at 1-2. The statement announcing his dismissal made it clear that athletic success was a reason for his departure.
“Shawn has led Nebraska Athletics in many positive ways, but those efforts have not translated into on-field performance,” Nebraska chancellor Ronnie Green said in the statement. “Our fans and our student-athletes deserve leadership that drives the highest levels of competitiveness, as well as excellence across all facets of Husker Athletics.”
After Saturday’s loss at home to Northern Illinois, Eichorst said he was angry and disappointed and vowed to show leadership. From Nebraska’s Rivals site:
“I think it’s important for everybody to understand when you have tough days like today, you have to stand up and show strong leadership. I’m going to do that and I’m going to continue to do that. I don’t think I’ve hid from any of that stuff. It is what it is. We’ve got to get better and we’ve got to find a way to get better and I’m confident that we will.”
Eichorst came to Nebraska in 2012 after spending two years as Miami’s athletic director. He fired coach Bo Pelini after the 2014 season and hired Mike Riley from Oregon State. Pelini was 67-27 in his tenure with the Huskers and his teams won 9 or 10 games in each of his seasons as the team’s head coach. In two-plus years with Nebraska, Riley is 16-13.
Riley was signed to a contract extension through 2020 earlier in the season. After moving to the Big Ten in 2011, Nebraska hasn’t appeared in a conference title game since 2012.
While football is undoubtedly a large part of the decision to make a change, it’s not the only part. Nebraska has made the NCAA Tournament just once in Tim Miles’ five seasons as men’s basketball coach.
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