SBD/October 5, 2012/Colleges

Shawn Eichorst Officially Resigns As Miami AD; Will Succeed Osborne At Nebraska

Eichorst spent 18 months as the Univ. of Miami AD before his move to Nebraska
Univ. of Miami AD Shawn Eichorst resigned Thursday and “will be formally introduced Tuesday” at the Univ. of Nebraska when he begins “working as a special assistant” to Chancellor Harvey Perlman, according to Brian Rosenthal of the Lincoln JOURNAL STAR. Eichorst will “officially become Nebraska’s athletic director Jan. 1,” when current AD Tom Osborne assumes the title of AD Emeritus. Eichorst will have “an annual salary of $973,000, although there’s a steep penalty if he leaves Nebraska within five years.” He would owe $2M if he "leaves within one year, with that penalty decreasing by $500,000 each year until he’s been at Nebraska five years.” Eichorst will receive $750,000 if he "stays at Nebraska for five years.” Perlman said that there are “no bonuses structured into his contract” other than that condition. USA Today data on AD salaries compiled last October showed that the $973,000 salary “ranks third among Big Ten Conference athletic directors, behind Ohio State and Wisconsin, and is eighth nationally.” Perlman said the salary is “competitive” with what Eichorst was making at Miami. Perlman added that he “interviewed only one other person, also an external candidate, after a review of ‘a number’ of candidates was narrowed to ‘a few.’” Search firm Korn/Ferry International “facilitated the process.” Perlman said that he “considered internal candidates, but that Eichorst’s credentials were what Nebraska needed now in an athletic director” (Lincoln JOURNAL STAR, 10/5).

CORAL GABLES PARADE: In West Palm Beach, Jorge Milian notes Eichorst leaves Miami as the athletic department "continues to live under the cloud of an NCAA investigation into improper benefits and services allegedly provided to dozens of athletes by former booster Nevin Shapiro.” Miami football coach Al Golden said that Eichorst was “not at UM when the alleged wrongdoing occurred and was not told of the situation by UM officials when he interviewed for the AD job in April 2011.” UM President Donna Shalala named Senior Associate AD/Development & Ticket Operations Blake James “to serve as acting athletic director” (PALM BEACH POST, 10/5). In Miami, Susan Miller Degnan reports UM will “begin a search" to replace Eichorst, with James "considered the top internal candidate.” The school likely will “search to find a candidate who has strong fundraising skills and appears interested in staying at the school long-term.” UM officials were “unhappy about losing their past two athletic directors -- Kirby Hocutt and Eichorst -- after short tenures” (MIAMI HERALD, 10/5). In Ft. Lauderdale, Michael Casagrande writes Eichorst's short term was “not one spent in the spotlight.” Instead, Eichorst “worked behind the scenes.” His “biggest move was hiring men's basketball coach Jim Larranaga soon after taking the job in April of 2011.” Eichorst's replacement “will be the fourth AD to run the program since 2008” (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 10/5).

CROSSING THE ATLANTIC: ESPN.com’s Andrea Adelson noted the ACC “now has its third program without an athletic director as Miami, Clemson and Boston College have hires to make.” Former Clemson AD Terry Don Phillips and former Boston College AD Gene DeFilippo “made their marks at their respective schools,” but Eichorst was “only around Miami for 18 months, and leaves no real stamp on a program that is in desperate need of some sort of stability.” Having an opportunity to return to the Big Ten "must have been appealing, with an NCAA investigation hanging over the program he inherited” (ESPN.com, 10/4). In Boston, John Connolly reports the Boston College search committee to find a successor to DeFilippo “has uncovered four candidates.” Sources said that the candidates include Xavier Associate VP & AD Mike Bobinski, Miami (OH) AD Brad Bates, VCU AD Ed McLaughlin and Wisconsin Deputy AD Sean Frazier. Boston College Associate AD/Media Relations Chris Cameron “declined to comment on specific candidates and said he was not aware of any timetable for the committee to complete its work” (BOSTON HERALD, 10/5).
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