Shawn Eichorst

Shawn Eichorst, the former athletic director at the University of Miami, will be new athletic director at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Associated Press file photo

It's official. Shawn Eichorst is the new athletic director at Nebraska.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln chancellor Harvey Perlman confirmed the hire in a statement released over the noon hour Thursday.

"After consideration of a large number of candidates, I was impressed with Shawn's credentials and experience but more importantly his respect for and appreciation of the tradition of the Nebraska athletics program," Perlman said. "He expressed from the onset his hope to draw on the experience and knowledge of Tom Osborne and the rest of the current staff in working to continue the department's success both on and off the field."

Eichorst resigned from his post as the athletic director at the University of Miami (Fla.) on Thursday, less than 18 months after he began leading the Hurricanes' troubled department.

Eichorst will join NU on Tuesday as a special assistant to the chancellor, and will succeed Osborne as athletic director when Osborne becomes athletic director emeritus on Jan. 1.

"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 who has the welfare of its student-athletes at the heart of everything they do," Eichorst said in a statement. "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 have a five-year contract at Nebraska, with a starting annual salary of $973,000. The contract includes a $750,000 payment if he stays at NU for five years.

Osborne was to make $277,969 this year.

Eichorst arrived at Miami after serving from 2009-11 as deputy athletic director at the University of Wisconsin, where his responsibilities under athletic director Barry Alvarez included serving as the department's chief operating officer and overseeing day-to-day operations.

Alvarez played linebacker at Nebraska in the 1960s and retains strong ties to his alma mater.

Osborne announced Sept. 26 he will retire at the end of the year.

Perlman began the search for Osborne's replacement soon after Osborne told him in August that he planned to step down at the end of this football season.

Eichorst joined Wisconsin's staff in 2006 as a senior associate athletic director and was promoted to executive associate athletic director in 2007.

Before arriving at Wisconsin, he worked at the University of South Carolina as senior associate athletic director for administration from 2004-06 and as interim director of athletics in June 2005.

A native of Lone Rock, Wis., Eichorst was an all-conference defensive back and 1990 team captain for the UW-Whitewater football team. He graduated magna cum laude in business from UW-Whitewater in 1990 and earned a law degree from Marquette University in 1995. He practiced law until 1999.

Eichorst arrived at Miami in April 2011. In August of that year, Yahoo! Sports reported details of a scandal in which a booster allegedly provided thousands of impermissible benefits to at least 72 athletes from 2002 through 2010. In other words, Eichorst had no involvement in that matter.

Miami President Donna Shalala expressed regret in announcing Eichorst's resignation.

"I am deeply disappointed in Shawn's departure to the University of Nebraska as I thoroughly enjoyed working with him," Shalala said. "We wish Shawn and his wonderful family the very best at their new post."

Eichorst and his wife Kristin have three sons, Jack, Joseph and Bennett.

Reach Steven M. Sipple at 402-473-7440 or ssipple@journalstar.com.

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Steven, a lifelong Nebraskan, newspaper enthusiast and UNL grad, joined the Journal Star in 1990 and has covered NU football since 1995.

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