Fresh off a Gator Bowl win over Georgia and an NCAA Volleyball Regional Finals appearance, our student-athletes and staff kicked off the new year and the spring semester on a positive note with a well-respected author and nationally prominent motivational speaker.
Jon Gordon is the author of The Energy Bus as well as seven other motivational books. He came to Lincoln this week to share his wisdom and positive energy with each member of our athletic team and by all accounts, he left his mark.
Our athletic teams were invited to get on The Energy Bus and reach new heights as a united team with vision, focus, purpose and positive energy. Jon spoke to our 600-plus student-athletes in the beautifully renovated Devaney Center on Sunday night, the day before classes began for the spring semester. He showed our student-athletes how to fuel for success by focusing on the positive and creating a culture of greatness. On Monday morning, Jon also spoke to our entire athletic department staff. He provided tools and encouraged us to become more effective, positive leaders, so we can make this great place even better.
A year ago, I provided The Energy Bus book to our staff, so each of us had an opportunity to read his book before hearing Jon speak. The Energy Bus takes readers on an enlightening and inspiring ride that reveals 10 secrets to fuel your life, work, and team with positive energy, which has been proven to lead to success.
Every person, organization, company and team will face challenges and will be asked to overcome negativity and adversity to define themselves and create their success. The answer to these challenges is positive energy – the kind that nurtures vision, trust, optimism, enthusiasm, purpose, and spirit. All of those qualities define great leaders and their teams.
Jon shared many of the 10 secrets and challenged all of us to drive a positive culture; know what we stand for: base our decisions on core values; and to stay positive through every opportunity that arises. Jon told our student-athletes, “Do not be an energy vampire and sabotage yourself or the team. Have fun, choose faith over fear and strength over adversity. Positive energy is a proven game-changer in sport and in life.”
Jon revealed his belief that participation in sports can assist us to become better human beings. He outlined the five C’s of creating a positive culture: 1) Contagious behavior; 2) Communication; 3) Connection; 4) Consistency; and 5) Caring. The five C’s lay the groundwork for an optimistic shared vision that leads to positive results.
At Nebraska, we appreciate the resources, support and the unique opportunities we have. Jon’s message reinforces the Nebraska Way and the Nebraska Culture, and lays the groundwork for such high-achieving student-athletes as Mary Weatherholt. Two months ago, the NCAA announced Mary as a Top Ten Award winner – the most prestigious individual honor bestowed upon a student-athlete. The NCAA selects just 10 honorees each year from approximately 450,000 student-athletes.
At the NCAA’s annual convention Friday, Jan. 17 in San Diego, Mary will be presented with that award, and Chancellor Perlman and I will proudly be among the many university leaders applauding this humble student-athlete for all of the positive energy she has created. Becoming an NCAA Tennis Tournament Singles runner-up and winning a Top 10 Award requires an optimistic mindset and daily doses of positive energy. With a positive attitude, Mary pushed her way through the challenges of injury and accomplished her individual and team goals, leading the Huskers to our first women’s tennis conference championship and earning her degree.
Until next time, stay positive and Go Big Red!
I’m looking forward to hearing Michael Eric Dyson’s keynote address at the Chancellor's Program on Tuesday, Jan. 21, as our university observes Martin Luther King Jr. Week. Michael is an award-winning author and a professor of sociology at Georgetown University. He’s also an American Book Award recipient and a two-time NCAA Image Award winner. His keynote is entitled "Beyond Race, Addressing the Universal Commonality of Concern". The program, open to the public, begins at 3:30 p.m. inside the Nebraska Union’s Ballroom. During the program, Chancellor Harvey Perlman will present the 2014 “Fulfilling the Dream Award” to Jake Kirkland, assistant director of Career Services at UNL. The award honors individuals or groups who have contributed to the UNL community or the wider Lincoln community with their exemplary action in promoting King's goals and vision. Find out more about UNL's MLK Week activities here.
UNL Scientists Rank High with Discover Magazine
We all know how difficult it is to achieve national rankings for any program, and we are proud to congratulate ANDRILL Science Management Office based at UNL for achieving this status. Discover Magazine ranks the year’s best science stories, and research by UNL scientists finished 12th on the list of the Top 100 science stories in 2013. Congratulations to Frank Rack, associate professor of Earth and atmospheric sciences, and executive director of the ANDRILL Science Management Office. Frank and his team of engineers and scientists used a hot water drill system to reach 2,500 feet – the equivalent of nine football fields – for clean water access to a sub-glacial environment. Collaborating with 16 other academic institutions, the UNL-led National Science Foundation-funded team built a drill system that cut through a half-mile of ice to reach a sub-glacial lake in the West Antarctic ice sheet. Rack said the team was able to retrieve water and sediment samples that have been isolated from direct contact with the atmosphere for thousands of years. The highly ranked scientific achievement became a two-page Discover feature story – The Search for Life Trapped Under Antarctica's Ice.
I am pleased to announce that John Jentz has joined our Senior Management Team as a Senior Associate Athletic Director and Chief Financial Officer. John is an extremely experienced and respected administrator who brings an exceptional skill set that will greatly benefit Husker Athletics. He joins us after serving four years as Senior Associate Director of Athletics and CFO at UCLA. Prior to that, he worked nine years in sports administration at the University of Wisconsin. John brings wide ranging experience and leadership skills that will have a strategic and direct impact on financial and business office operations, our financial master plan, capital budgets and accounting systems, human resources, gift and gift-in-kind and complimentary ticket accounting policies and procedures, risk management and sport program camps and operations. We welcome John, wife Nancy and their five daughters – Kristy, Marin, Emma, Serena and Lindsay – to our Nebraska family.
The current editor of one of three peer-reviewed journals published by the Association of Education in Journalism & Mass Communications and a past president of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication has been selected as Dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at UNL. Maria Marron, professor and chair of the Department of Journalism at Central Michigan University, will assume her duties on June 1. Maria succeeds Gary Kebbel, who stepped down June 30, 2012 to lead a university-wide mobile media initiative. Our Athletic Department works closely with the College of Journalism and we look forward to Maria becoming a Husker.
There’s a reason why Coach Rhonda Revelle’s Nebraska softball teams have won 799 games – more than any other Husker women’s or men’s head coach. Rhonda is always prepared and was a full year ahead of Nebraska Athletics’ introduction of The Energy Bus, Jon Gordon’s best-selling book about the power of positive energy. It was the second Jon Gordon book that Coach Revelle’s players have used to make improvements in all aspects of their lives. The Huskers’ coaching staff chose this book because they welcomed seven freshman players to the team last year. Rhonda wanted to help the newcomers learn and understand common language so the team could communicate with a “great creative mindset” while discussing how they would conduct their business.
Video: Coach Rhonda Revelle Discusses The Energy Bus
N-Sider Blog: Energy Bus Author Inspires Stanton, Others
Manning, Burroughs Guests on Eichorst Radio Show
Nebraska Wrestling Coach Mark Manning, Olympic Gold Medalist Jordan Burroughs and junior All-Americans Robert Kokesh and James Green were interviewed last week on Shawn Eichorst’s Talk to the Director of Athletics Radio Show. Greg Sharpe, the voice for the Huskers Sports Network, asked Nebraska’s head coach, reigning world champion and two current members of the team about the heightened experience and expectations of competing in the renovated Bob Devaney Sports Center. The wrestling interviews are included in audio segments 3 and 4.
Talk to the Director of Athletics Audio Segment 1
Talk to the Director of Athletics Audio Segment 2
Talk to the Director of Athletics Audio Segment 3
Talk to the Director of Athletics Audio Segment 4
I want to congratulate our women’s gymnastics program and our wrestling program for the way they worked together to make last Saturday night’s Tumble ‘N Rumble event a huge success. It was the first time in Nebraska Athletics history that we staged a gymnastics meet and a wrestling match simultaneously on the same floor. It was fun to see two of our Top Ten nationally ranked teams host a combined event that virtually ensures another similarly structured event in 2015. Our No. 6-ranked gymnastics team – led by senior Big Ten Gymnast of the Week Emily Wong – defeated Northern Illinois, 196.625 to 192.525. Emily is now ranked No. 7 nationally in the all-around and is tied for No. 2 nationally on floor. Our No. 8-ranked wrestling team completed a weekend sweep with a 30-10 win over Indiana Friday night and a 30-9 win over on Penn Saturday night. We will take an 8-0 record into Saturday’s 4:30 p.m. match against Iowa at the Devaney Center. Coach Manning would not be surprised if Saturday’s match draws as many 8,000 fans. I’m told Hawkeye wrestling fans love to travel and they may bring as many as 4,000 to Lincoln. Here’s hoping that the nearly 3,000 fans who attended Saturday night’s Tumble ‘N Rumble match return to the Devaney this Saturday and bring their friends with them.
Wrestling Highlights from Tumble N Rumble