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If you ever wonder what occupies the time and energy of an athletic leader, tune into Shawn Eichorst’s monthly Talk to the Director of Athletics Show on the Huskers Sports Network. In less than an hour last Tuesday night, Eichorst described what it’s like to follow and support more than two dozen sports programs at the same time that he’s building relationships with Nebraska coaches and student-athletes, attending major events in and out of the state, meeting with staff and interacting with donors and alumni.
In his March Connecting on Campus Column on Huskers.com, Eichorst reinforces something he mentioned on Tuesday night’s show – why he believes his primary responsibility is to ensure that student-athletes receive the resources and the support services that make Nebraska a very special place to live, learn and grow. Eichorst did voluminous homework to enlighten all of us about the value of an education at UNL.
Host Greg Sharpe caught up with Eichorst before Nebraska’s Director of Athletics boarded a plane to Bloomington, where he watched the Nebraska men beat Indiana, 70-60, on Wednesday night. On Thursday, Eichorst drove to Indianapolis where he met Big Ten colleagues before supporting the Husker women in the conference basketball tournament on Friday and Satuday nights. Eichorst’s radio show reflects one busy man, who moves fast enough and strategically enough to discuss a laundry list of topics in two segments of his monthly radio show before turning over the second half of the show to gymnastics.
Sharpe interviewed gymnastics coaches Chuck Chmelka and Dan Kendig and a prominent senior from each program – Eric Schryver and Emily Wong. Nebraska coaches and seniors are featured in the last two audio segments of Eichorst’s monthly radio show. In Tuesday night's first two segments, the topics included, but were not limited to:
1) Eichorst's respect for and appreciation of men’s and women’s gymnastics and his acknowledgement of two critical dates for Nebraska fans to mark on their calendars – Saturday’s 6 p.m. women’s dual against Arkansas at the Devaney Center, where seniors Emily Wong and Jamie Schleppenbach perform for the last time at home; and March 28th and 29th when the Nebraska men’s team hosts the Big Ten Conference Gymnastics Meet at the Devaney Center.
2) Nebraska’s remarkable women’s basketball run and the awards that came with it, plus his personal take on Connie Yori winning a second straight Big Ten Coach of the Year honor and Jordan Hooper winning the Big Ten Player of the Year honor.
3) Meeting Big Red fans in the Arizona desert and speaking to 900 UNL alumni before flying to California and meeting more alums and donors.
4) Watching the Huskers’ men’s basketball season that has given players, coaches and fans hope for postseason play that ranges from the NCAA Tournament to the National Invitation Tournament.
5) His faith in the men’s team and in Tim Miles’ comfort in having everything he needs to build a national power, plus the success of a Legends Weekend that welcomed back 50 Nebraska letterwinners, including two – Dave Hoppen and Eric Piatkowski, who motivated current players and coaches and were honored during halftime ceremonies.
6) The sale of Big Ten Conference Baseball Tournament tickets in Omaha for the postseason event which begins May 22nd at TD AmeriTrade Park, the home of the College World Series.
7) Spencer Long and Emily Wong giving Nebraska another sweep of the Big Ten’s Wayne Duke Postgraduate Scholarship Awards and the Huskers the last four honors in a row, counting Sean Fisher’s and Katelyn White’s winning the same award in 2013.
8) Kudos for Nebraska fans and their continued support, which includes 30,000 tickets sold for the April 12th Red-White Spring Game and a full season of sold-out games for Nebraska men’s basketball inside Pinnacle Bank Arena.
9) His supportive role in providing each Nebraska program the latitude to compete for the nation’s best and brightest recruits.
10) His continued support for Gary Pepin and both Nebraska track and field teams, based on competitive performances at last weekend’s Big Ten Track and Field Meet in Geneva, Ohio. He is equally enthusiastic about coaches and student-athletes that represent Nebraska in rifle, wrestling, bowling, baseball, softball, tennis, and golf.
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