Life Skills recognizes student-athletes' commitments to excellence in total person development.
Photo Courtesy Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications
Courtesy: Nebraska Athletics
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Continued recognition as the national leader in Life Skills serving all prospective, current, and former student-athletes.


Mission Statement

To provide proactive education fostering the acclimation to the University of Nebraska, promote total person development best preparing student-athletes for life after sport, and serve as a powerful recruiting resource for each team.
Life Skills Calendar of Events | Overview Brochure


Message from Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst

The University of Nebraska is all about supporting our student-athletes to achieve success in academics, athletics and life. I firmly believe that our Athletics Department, through our Life Skills program, has made a tremendously positive impact on prospective, current and former student-athletes. We are fortunate to have five very talented professionals working in the Life Skills unit who are focused on helping our student-athletes transition well into college, develop a career identity, have a well-rounded college experience and be completely prepared for life after athletics.

The Nebraska Life Skills program is recognized among the very best in all of college athletics. In fact, universities from across the country visit our campus to learn about our innovative and comprehensive Life Skills program. As the Director of Athletics, it is a top priority to ensure that our student-athletes have the very best resources, facilities and programming possible to achieve success in academics, athletics and life. We strongly believe our commitment in this regard is unmatched. Go Big Red!


Life Skills Student-Athlete Support Services

Complementing Academic Support Services is the comprehensive Life Skills program, continually recognized as a model of service to prospective, current and former student-athletes. The Athletics Department provides Life Skills programming for every student-athlete, first to acclimate them to the University of Nebraska, and then to promote their total-person development.

  • Led by a dedicated Associate Athletics Director, four full-time staff members develop and provide programming in individual and team settings to assist with total-person development of all student-athletes. Areas of emphasis include proactive life skills education, community involvement, career planning, effective communications, healthy relationships, leadership development, alcohol and drug prevention, domestic violence awareness and money management. 
  • All incoming student-athletes are required to complete a zero credit, pass/no pass transition seminar offered in collaboration with the College of Education and Human Sciences. The seminar includes an annual presentation from best-selling author and motivational speaker Jon Gordon, who lectures about leadership, teamwork and maximizing talent. Gordon also is available to meet with individual student-athletes, teams and Athletics Department staff.
  • The Athletics Department supports a comprehensive Community Service Program, reflected during the 2014-15 academic year with more than 250 individual student-athlete outreach projects totaling nearly 6,500 hours and impacting 30,000 individuals in our Nebraska communities.
  • Staff members remain committed to total-person development even after a student-athlete’s graduation. All letterwinners receive lifetime membership in the N-Club, which provides ongoing engagement and connection to Nebraska, special events, reunions and ticket offers. 


History of the Program

Nebraska has long been considered a leader and pioneer in Life Skills programming and resources within college athletics. Nebraska Life Skills was initiated in 1987 and has been recognized by the NCAA, National Consortium for Academics and Sport and the Division IA Athletic Directors Association for having one of the most innovative and complete Life Skills program in the country. In 2008, Athletic Director Tom Osborne expanded the program making Life Skills its own department. Five professional staff members execute all daily responsibilities within the Life Skills program.


Important Dates


1989  Nebraska wins inaugural Life Skills Program of Excellence Award 
1999– 2009  Nebraska honored by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports for leaders in community service initiatives.
2006  Keith Zimmer named Champs/Life Skills Administration of the Year
2008  Life Skills now recognized as its own Department
2010  Abbott Life Skills Center grand opening within the Student Life Complex
2011  Life Skills adds full-time permanent Life Skills Coordinator joining, Associate Athletic Director and two Life Skills Assistants
2012   Five professionals work in Husker Life Skills. Three full-time permanent employees along with two 5th year students courtesy of a diversity grant provided by the Big Ten Conference


Nebraska Life Skills selected by NCAA to present at National Life Skills Symposium on "Maximizing Community Outreach through Creativity and Collaboration"



Nebraska Athleteics collaborates with the Center for Civic engagement to implement an annual service abroad trip to Guatemala in May 2015. Trip will include current student-athletes, Letterwinner Alumni, and athletic department staff.



4th Life Skills Coordinator hired to oversee new initiative providing Post-Eligibility Opportunities to letterwinner graduates effective December 2015 and beyond.


Student Life Complex

The Abbott Life Skills Center is located in the new $8.7 million Student Life Complex which opened in June 2010. A state of the art facility, student-athlete leaders were actively involved in the design phase of the 50,000 square foot facility which also features the Compliance Center, Academic Center, Technology Center and Enrichment Center. Please enjoy the Student Life Complex virtual tour to experience the comfortable home away from home enjoyed by 600 Husker student-athletes day in and day out. The Student Life Complex is conveniently located in West Memorial Stadium just steps away from campus allowing student-athletes to best manage their multiple daily commitments.
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