Tim Miles tried to find some dirt on new Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst.
He failed miserably.
“I told Harvey (Perlman) I couldn’t find anything (bad) at all on this guy,” said Miles, the first-year Nebraska men’s basketball coach. “Everybody that worked with him raved about him wanting the best, him finding a way for you to be successful.”
Miles did his homework on his new boss. He made many phone calls, including to Wisconsin basketball coach Bo Ryan, and to Eric Konkol, an assistant coach at Miami, where Eichorst spent the past 18 months as athletic director.
All reviews were positive.
“He checks out to the highest degree. Everybody loves him,” Miles said. “He’s a lawyer, so you know he’s got great process. You know that he’s very sharp, and I think he wants the best. I like his energy level. When you meet him one-on-one, you can feel a very positive energy level from him.”
It’s important to note that Eichorst was heavily involved with men’s basketball during his time at Wisconsin. It was the sport he oversaw, much in same way executive associate A.D. Marc Boehm does for Nebraska.
“I had a great opportunity and worked with a wonderful person and staff,” Eichorst said. “I think I have a pretty good idea of what Big Ten basketball is about.”
Eichorst said that he’s “really excited” to work with Miles, who was hired in March by retiring A.D. Tom Osborne.
“I think he is a super coach who has done things the right way,” Eichorst said of Miles. “He’s fundamentally sound in what he does. Having been with a program that I think has done a lot with maybe not quite as much as others, maybe we can get our arms together and get that thing moving forward. I’m excited.”
I asked Eichorst in what ways he can help Miles boost the men’s basketball program.
His response? By staying out of the way.
“That’s my approach,” Eichorst said. “I try to give people the resources and the guidance they need and get out of the way and let them do their thing. Everybody does things differently and everybody has a special way about doing things.
“I think what I need to do is be positive. I think you’ll all find that I’m a really positive person. I really struggle with negativism, especially with our young people. These are people that we have brought to our universities to help our lives become better, and we need to build them up in a very, very good way. I think that’s what I can bring.
“I’m not the Xs and Os. I’m not the person that’s going to be sitting at practice all day long, locker rooms, that sort of stuff. I think that’s how I can help the most, is to be fair, firm and consistent and be supportive.”
Miles, along with many other Nebraska coaches and staff members, first met Eichorst at a reception Tuesday night with Perlman.
“You can feel his energy level, and I think he’s a real positive addition,” Miles said of Eichorst. “In this business, like I told him, it’s not what job you get, it’s who you follow, and following Tom Osborne, you know a guy has a great confidence level and great ambition following him.”