The Univ. of Miami yesterday announced that Univ. of Wisconsin Deputy AD and Athletics Dept. COO Shawn Eichorst “has been hired as the Hurricanes’ athletic director,” according to Barry Jackson of the MIAMI HERALD. Eichorst succeeds Kirby Hocutt, who left in February to become AD at Texas Tech Univ. Eichorst two weeks ago asked UW AD Barry Alvarez to call UM President Donna Shalala “on his behalf,” and Alvarez “gave him a strong endorsement.” His responsibilities at UW included “oversight of the department’s day-to-day operations, men’s basketball, legal affairs, risk management, strategic planning, government relations, trademark and licensing and merchandising.” Before working at UW, Eichorst served as Univ. of South Carolina Senior Associate AD. UM “strongly considered” VCU AD Norwood Teague and ACC Associate Commissioner for Communications & Football Operations Michael Kelly, “each of whom interviewed Sunday.” Cal AD Sandy Barbour said that she “spoke to UM but was not interested in the job.” UM interim AD Tony Hernandez “also was considered.” The AD search was conducted by UM Board of Trustees Athletic Advisory Committee Chair Paul DiMare (MIAMI HERALD, 4/13). In West Palm Beach, Jorge Milian notes Eichorst’s “first order of business will be to find a basketball coach, taking over a search that was being run by” Hernandez and DiMare (PALM BEACH POST, 4/13).
Arizona State unveiled a new look yesterday, a "university-wide re-branding effort that took a year to complete, one that unfolded" under the slogan of "It's Time," according to Doug Haller of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. The rebranding effort includes new uniforms for its athletic teams, "mixing black and copper with the traditional maroon and gold." Both the football and basketball teams "will wear all black uniforms at some point this season, although specific dates haven't been selected." In addition, a pitchfork will replace ASU's mascot, Sparky, "as the primary logo on helmets." Sparky "still will be featured on the helmet, but at the back base." ASU also introduced a font called "Sun Devil Bold" to go on uniforms, hats, shirts and other university-branded merchandise. The new look "won't be launched across all of ASU's teams until the fall." Haller notes ASU worked with Nike in creating the uniform design, which was "showcased in three football color patterns: All white, all black and the traditional maroon jerseys and gold pants." As part of its relationship with the school, Nike "researched, designed and produced the new brand identity at its expense." Collegiate Licensing Co. "paid for Tuesday's launch," and an "unidentified donor funded the uniform costs for all 21 athletic teams." ASU typically earns $1M annually in merchandise revenue, but "with the new look, university officials expect it to double within the next couple years" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 4/13). YAHOO SPORTS' Jeff Eisenberg wrote the new font "definitely" is an improvement, offering a "modern, attractive and clean" look. But Sparky "was iconic," and the "new pitchfork looks strangely similar to the USB port symbol on a laptop" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 4/12).