UM | Athletics Department

Miami Hurricanes AD Shawn Eichorst resigns, takes Nebraska position

 

Already bracing for NCAA sanctions, Miami was dealt another blow when Shawn Eichorst resigned and accepted a five-year deal to be the athletic director at Nebraska.

RECENT UM ATHLETIC DIRECTORS

Shawn Eichorst (2011-12)
Kirby Hocutt (2008-11)
Paul Dee (1993-2008)
Dave Maggard (1991-93)
Sam Jankovich (1983-90)

sdegnan@MiamiHerald.com

University of Miami athletic director Shawn Eichorst resigned Thursday, creating yet another stressful situation for the already turmoil-embroiled school.

Eichorst, 45, hired by the Hurricanes in April 2011, accepted a five-year contract to succeed Nebraska athletic director and former football coach Tom Osborne.

“I am deeply disappointed in Shawn’s departure to the University of Nebraska, as I thoroughly enjoyed working with him,” UM president Donna Shalala said in a written statement. “We wish Shawn and his wonderful family the very best at their new post.”

Shalala has appointed Blake James, senior associate athletic director, as the acting UM athletic director. James served as the athletic director at the University of Maine from 2005 to 2010 and returned to the University of Miami in 2010, having previously worked at UM from 1995 to ’97 and from 1998 to 2001.

Eichorst did not comment on his reasons for leaving Miami but said in a statement released by Nebraska: “It is truly an honor and privilege to be a part of one of the great universities in America and one of the strongest athletic departments in all of college sports. … I am humbled by both the responsibility and opportunities that lie ahead, and I hope to carry on the rich tradition of Husker excellence set by Coach Osborne and so many others.”

Eichorst will earn a starting salary of $973,000 annually, believed to be substantially more than what he earned at UM. He will begin at Nebraska on Tuesday, first as a special assistant to chancellor Harvey Perlman before assuming Osborne’s role on Jan.1.

UM will begin a search to replace him, with James considered the top internal candidate. UM likely will search to find a candidate who has strong fundraising skills and appears interested in staying at the school long-term. School officials were unhappy about losing their past two athletic directors — Kirby Hocutt and Eichorst — after short tenures.

Hocutt, who replaced former longtime athletic director Paul Dee, now deceased, left after 2 1/2 years to take the same job at Texas Tech.

Eichorst left Miami on Monday night for the Atlantic Coast Conference meetings just outside Boston, a UM source said, and then was supposed to head to Chicago for the Notre Dame-Miami football game Saturday. He was slated to accompany the Golden Canes, the biggest contributors to Miami athletics, on the trip to Chicago.

“I think his timing is offensive,” a longtime Hurricanes booster, who did not want to be identified, told The Miami Herald. “It’s a Golden Canes trip. It’s a Notre Dame game. If he was that unhappy, he should have just left before this.”

Osborne announced last month that he will retire at the end of this year. The Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald reported that Eichorst interviewed in Lincoln, Neb., on Sept. 9 — a day after the Hurricanes football team was beaten 52-13 at Kansas State.

At UM, which is bracing for NCAA sanctions in the case involving former Hurricanes booster and convicted felon Nevin Shapiro, Eichorst had been one of the most low-profile athletic directors in school history. He was not at UM during Shapiro’s wrongdoings but, except for a couple of times, has declined to speak to the media since coming to Miami — and he has mostly kept his distance from UM fans and donors.

“I wouldn’t know Miami AD if he told me who he was and that’s all u need to know!!” former UM star running back Alonzo Highsmith, the father of current safety A.J. Highsmith, posted on Twitter after learning the news. “Donna listen. Find an AD with vision, passion, guts, decision maker, leader, knows and respects program, knows the culture, man of people!”

Eichorst was responsible for the hiring of men’s basketball coach Jim Larranaga. Just before Eichorst’s hiring, the school agreed to reward women’s basketball coach Katie Meier, the co-National Coach of the Year, with a five-year contract extension. The contract was negotiated by then-acting AD Tony Hernandez.

Eichorst is a native of Lone Rock, Wis., and was an all-conference defensive back and 1990 team captain for the Wisconsin-Whitewater football team.

Miami Herald sportswriter Barry Jackson contributed to this report.

Read more Top Sports Stories stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
Miami Marlins manager Mike Redmond reacts furiously after the safe call at the plate by the umpire in the eight inning during their game against the Cincinnati Reds at Marlins Park in Miami on July 31, 2014.

    Reds 3, Marlins 1

    Miami Marlins left raging after replay review helps Cincinnati Reds to victory

    The Marlins lost to the Reds after a play at the plate, in which Cincinnati’s Zack Cozart was thrown out at the plate, was reversed.

  •  
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice answers question during a news conference after NFL football training camp practice in Owings Mills, Md. on July 31, 2014.

    In My Opinion | David J. Neal

    David J. Neal: NFL fumbled on Ray Rice punishment, then tried to justify it

    Baltimore Ravins running back Ray Rice spoke publicly Thursday for the first time since security camera video and NFL discipline transformed him into the latest domestic violence national talking point. Rice occasionally came off as self-centered. He also indulged in some self-victimization. Generally, however, he seemed seriously ashamed of the actions toward his wife in February that got him charged with felony aggravated assault.

  •  
Joey Grosso was added to the UM football 105-man roster Tuesday and died Wednesday while scuba diving during lobster miniseason.

    UM FOOTBALL

    Man who died scuba diving was added to Miami Hurricanes roster a day earlier

    Joey Grosso, the 22-year-old Lighthouse Point resident and former Penn linebacker who died Wednesday while scuba diving on the first day of lobster mini-season, had been added to the 105-man Miami Hurricanes football roster Tuesday, UM confirmed Thursday.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category