Creighton Athletic Director Bruce Rasmussen plans to retire next month, with his last day set for Aug. 16.
Rasmussen, 70, has spent the last 41 years in various roles at Creighton. He's been the athletic director since 1994.
During his time as A.D., Creighton has collectively won 43 regular-season conference titles and 43 conference tournament titles. He oversaw CU's transition from the Missouri Valley Conference to the Big East Conference. And he also spent five years serving on the NCAA Division I men's basketball selection committee.
Since joining the Big East, Creighton has won league titles in baseball, men’s basketball, men’s soccer, women’s basketball and volleyball.
Creighton has undergone a wave of new athletic facility construction under Rasmussen's leadership. Morrison Stadium (soccer) and the CHI Health Center (men's basketball) opened in 2003-04. Sokol Arena (women's basketball and volleyball) opened in 2009, and TD Ameritrade Park became home to Creighton baseball in 2011. In 2014, the Championship Center was built as a practice facility for men's basketball and a headquarters for all sports.
Rasmussen steered Creighton through the pandemic. He established the Bluejays Persevere initiative, in which 50% of men's basketball season ticket holders donated all or a portion of the costs of their tickets to the athletic department.
Before entering a career of athletics administration, Rasmussen was Creighton's women's basketball coach for 12 years. The Bluejays won 57.1% of their games with Rasmussen as coach, and his run culminated in the historic 1991-92 season, in which CU won a conference championship and NCAA tournament game.
Creighton was found to have committed only one major NCAA violation during Rasmussen's tenure, though that one violation was handed down last month. In relation to the infraction committed by former basketball assistant coach Preston Murphy, Rasmussen was given a Level II infraction for failing to immediately report Murphy's potential wrongdoing in 2018.
How would you grade Bruce Rasmussen's tenure at Creighton?
Rasmussen released the following statement with Monday's announcement:
"After months of thought and prayerful consideration, I have decided that this is the right time for me to step down as Athletics Director at Creighton University. My last day of employment will be August 16. My focus will shift to my family and other passions that have been on my heart for years. Being the Athletic Director at Creighton University has been the privilege of my lifetime. I will dearly miss the daily relationships with my awesome coaches, staff and students. I have also been blessed to have interacted with the many faculty and staff on Creighton's campus for the past 41 years, and with so many, many supporters who have had such a dynamic and multi-generational impact on the young men and women who have come through our athletics programs. It has been an extraordinary honor to have served Creighton University--a special place with special people-- and being a part of something bigger than myself has been one of the joys of my life.
"There are many things I've been thankful for during my career at Creighton University. I thank Bluejay nation for the privilege of serving you and for the rewarding life that this has allowed me to lead. I thank my wife, Jill, and my children, who each were so very supportive of my love affair with Creighton University. My thanks also go out to my senior staff, coaches and department staff, our unbelievable student-athletes, my many colleagues over the years at Creighton University, and the donors and fans of our program for their support. Many of my very dear friends are as a result of my career at Creighton—they have mentored me and provided guidance throughout my career. I thank Father Hendrickson and the Presidents at Creighton who preceded him. You cannot have any measure of success in athletics without a caring and supportive President and Board of Trustees. None of what we have achieved could have been accomplished without the collective efforts of everyone who loves the University and our athletics program and the many giants upon whose shoulders we have stood. To all of you I extend my heartfelt thanks and deep appreciation for your encouragement, wisdom and support.
"I have said it often throughout my career, but it needs to be repeated—the success of Creighton Athletics would not be possible without so many people going beyond their jobs and their families to make a commitment to us. Our supporters need to know that by doing so, they have touched the hearts and changed the lives of thousands of students who also happened to be athletes over the years. When I see our product—the young men and women who have come through our programs—and how they are leading in their families and businesses and communities, and to see their character and servant hearts, I am so proud of them and Creighton University. This could not have been accomplished without your support.
"I just completed my 50th year in education, including teaching, coaching and administration, and it is the right time to step aside and provide an opportunity for both new and different voices and a more contemporary vision. I take great comfort in knowing that the program is in good hands with the amazing staff we currently have in our athletics department. I have always tried to do what is right for Creighton University. This is without doubt the most difficult professional decision that I have ever made. I have spent a great amount of time thinking about this. This is the right time for me. It is short notice because I am uncomfortable with farewell tours and long "good-byes."
Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman released the following statement:
"The BIG EAST Conference congratulates Bruce Rasmussen on his retirement and extends our deepest thanks to him for a lifetime of service to Bluejay student-athletes, coaches and supporters and to college sports at large. Bruce’s contributions to the BIG EAST over the past eight years have run far and wide: they include committee service, championship host duties, leadership within our AD ranks, and of course the successful assimilation of Creighton and its proud athletics, academics and service traditions into our storied league. The “new” BIG EAST is a better league with Creighton in it, and for that we owe Bruce an enormous debt of gratitude.
"Over more than a quarter century at Creighton, Bruce’s stewardship has resulted in many successes, including regular season and conference titles at the Missouri Valley Conference and the BIG EAST and notable achievements in men’s soccer, volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball. His experience and wisdom have guided a range of discussions on important national issues, and his leadership and stature within our conference have allowed us to thoughtfully and capably navigate a host of opportunities and challenges, including our operation this past year through the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Bruce has served on too many committees to count, including the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee and the Executive Committee for the College World Series, and his unyielding focus on student-athlete welfare has driven exceptional performance by Bluejay student-athletes in the classroom.
"We’re very proud to call Bruce a colleague and a friend, and we wish him, Jill and their family nothing but the best as their next chapter begins."
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