SBD/September 27, 2012/Colleges

Nebraska AD Tom Osborne To Retire Jan. 1; Search Underway For Successor

Osborne was instrumental in Nebraska's transition from Big 12 to Big Ten
Univ. of Nebraska AD Tom Osborne yesterday said that “his stay will end Jan. 1,” according to Rich Kaipust of the OMAHA WORLD-HERALD. Osborne told NU Chancellor Harvey Perlman of his intentions in August, and Perlman said that he “already has interviewed candidates for the athletic director position and may interview more.” Osborne said that "possible concerns about his age were driven home back at the hiring press conference of NU basketball coach Tim Miles when Miles was asked what it would be like to work for a 75-year-old athletic director.” Osborne said, “At some point, whether you're able to function or not, the perception is that getting old can get in the way.” Osborne on Jan. 1 will “become athletic director emeritus.” He said his plan is to stay around for about six months to “help in any way I can with the transition.” He added that health “was not an issue in his decision.” Current NU projects “include the East Stadium expansion in football and the Pinnacle Bank Arena construction for basketball,” and both will be “completed in 2013.” Perlman had “coaxed” Osborne out of retirement when NU fired Steve Pederson in Oct. '07. Perlman and Osborne “together also negotiated Nebraska's move from the Big 12 to the Big Ten” (OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 9/27). In Nebraska, Brian Christopherson writes if “looking for the monumental moment of Osborne’s time as athletic director, you probably need to start with his role in helping direct Nebraska to the Big Ten Conference in the turbulent summer of 2010” (LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR, 9/27).

WHO'S GOT NEXT? In Nebraska, Brian Rosenthal reports Perlman is “using a search consultant, Jed Hughes of Korn/Ferry International” to find a new AD. Perlman said he expects to be able to attract “the very best” candidates. Hughes "helped hire" Michigan AD Dave Brandon and Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. Perlman has invited “12 to 15 individuals to serve as his advisers in the search, and said Osborne will play an important advising role, as well.” Those regarded as “internal candidates” include Associate AD/Development Paul Meyers and Associate AD and Diversity & Leadership Initiatives Dir Jamie Williams (LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR, 9/27). CBSSPORTS.com’s Dennis Dodd wrote “expect these names to come up” as candidates: Meyers, Nebraska Exec Associate AD Marc Boehm, Arizona AD Greg Byrne and Ole Miss AD Ross Bjork (CBSSPORTS.com, 9/26). In Omaha, Lee Barfknecht provides a list of “established or rising ADs from major conferences who might get a look if interested” (OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 9/27).
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