LINCOLN — Those who believe Tom Osborne had little to no influence on Nebraska's selection of a new athletic director might want to review the search firm's position paper on what NU looked for in its hire.
Much of the seven-page report from Korn/Ferry International reads like a recitation of guidelines and principles Osborne employed in his five years as A.D. and during his coaching career.
The report's first paragraph heaps praise on Osborne:
“Current Athletic Director Tom Osborne has been an iconic and legendary figure in Nebraska sports from his childhood, beginning as a star high school and college athlete in Hastings, Neb., before a short stint in the NFL. He went on to a 33-year Hall of Fame coaching career for the Huskers.”
In the category “What are the most important aspects to preserve?” the first item is:
“There are big shoes to fill. Long tradition beginning with Bob Devaney through Tom Osborne.”
Another: “People want to know how the program is represented but they will pay money to do the right thing — the student-athletes, values and integrity are important.”
The category “How do you define success?” also pays tribute to Osborne and his values.
“An amicable transition. Work with Tom. Fully embrace what has been accomplished here.”
The next item: “Demonstrate a strong commitment to the academic standards of the university, and a commitment to ensuring its integrity, equity and diversity.”
Another: “Embrace the values of what Nebraska represents. Embrace the culture, and leverage the foundation that has been established here.”
And another: “Understands coaching, relates to coaches, battles for coaches, and understands how to deal with them when things are not going well.”
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Osborne didn't attend Thursday's press conference announcing the hire of Shawn Eichorst from Miami because he was at an off-campus meeting. On Friday, Osborne issued this statement:
“My primary remaining job as athletic director is to facilitate a smooth transition in the athletic department, and I will do everything I can to see to it that this occurs.
“I was never under the impression that the hiring of a new athletic director would be my decision. It is important that Nebraskans give Shawn Eichorst every opportunity to have a successful tenure as the next A.D. at Nebraska.”
NU Chancellor Harvey Perlman heard from Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany.
“He's very, very happy with this selection,” Perlman said. “He said Shawn is an extraordinarily bright athletic director who brings all the things Nebraska needs.”
Eichorst will be introduced formally at a press conference Tuesday at 11 a.m.
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