|Position:||Director of Athletics|
|Hometown:||Lone Rock, Wis.|
NCAA Documents and Reports
- Director of Athletics
Miami (Fla.) (2011-12)
- Director of Athletics
- Deputy Athletic Director (2009-11)
- Executive Associate Athletic Director (2007-09)
- Senior Associate Athletic Director (2006-07)
South Carolina (2004-06)
- Senior Associate Athletic Director
- Director of Athletics
- Education: B.B.A., Wisconsin-Whitewater (1990);
- Juris Doctorate, Marquette (1995)
- Family: Kristin (wife); Jack, Joseph and Bennett (children)
Shawn Eichorst was recruited and hired by the University of Nebraska in 2012 and quickly displayed an incredible passion for the University and for its student-athletes as well as the State of Nebraska. As the leader of a tradition-rich athletic program with 24 intercollegiate teams, 600-plus student-athletes and more than 325 full-time employees, Eichorst has relied on a strong value system and a student-centered approach to lead the department. Nebraska’s primary mission is to provide student-athletes with the resources and support they need to be successful in academics, athletics and life. The health, safety and welfare of student-athletes are priority one and the essence of every decision made at Nebraska. Since Eichorst arrived in Lincoln, resources and services in every student-athlete support unit have been reviewed, improved and enhanced, including academics, athletic medicine, life skills, nutrition, sports psychology, strength and conditioning and performance/research (i.e. Nebraska Athletic Performance Laboratory (NAPL) and the Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior (CB3)).
Eichorst has continued to move Nebraska forward aggressively with several new initiatives to enhance the student-athlete experience. Beginning in the summer of 2015, Nebraska became the first athletic department in the country to offer laptop computers to every student-athlete and created a data analytics department. Husker student-athletes in all sports now receive four-year, full cost of attendance-based scholarships. Nebraska was also the first-known department of athletics to create a post-eligibility opportunity (PEO) program, where every Husker letterwinner who graduates and has exhausted his or her eligibility has an opportunity to pursue either an internship, study abroad or graduate school program valued at $7,500. Nebraska was also one of the first institutions to create a spring service abroad trip, taking a team of student-athletes and staff to Guatemala in 2015 and to the Dominican Republic in 2016.
Eichorst is in high demand and has made more than 500 public appearances around the state and country and his monthly radio show and “Connecting on Campus” online column provide opportunities to connect and share the incredible activities, initiatives and accomplishments happening at the greater University and in the department. As a member of the Chancellor’s Senior Administrative Team, Eichorst maintains a strong connection and collaboration between the University and athletics.
A highly respected national leader, Eichorst was appointed in 2015 to the Division I Football Oversight Committee. Most recently, Eichorst was named co-chair of the NCAA Division I Football Recruiting ad hoc working group. He also serves on the Big Ten Conference Program and Budget Review Committee. Eichorst was the first Director of Athletics from any conference to visit the Big Ten Conference-based Academic Alliance (formerly known as the Committee on Institutional Cooperation) at its Champaign, Ill., headquarters. The Big Ten Academic Alliance is a highly successful academic-based consortium of 15 schools, including all 14 in the Big Ten Conference. Nebraska is leading the Big Ten and the Big Ten Academic Alliance in several areas, including Digital Humanities and head injury research.
Under Eichorst, Nebraska extended its nation-leading total of CoSIDA Academic All-Americans to 325 and its nation-leading total of NCAA Top Ten Award winners to 17. More than 700 awards were presented at the 26th Annual Student-Athlete Awards Show—A Night at the Lied. In 2015-16, 109 student-athletes earned undergraduate or graduate degrees and the Big Ten Conference honored 209 Husker student-athletes with Academic All-Big Ten awards. For the first time in school history, all Nebraska teams had an NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 960 or higher and the overall Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 86 percent is the highest in program history. In addition, seven Husker teams (women’s basketball, golf, gymnastics, softball, tennis and volleyball and men’s tennis) had a GSR of 100 percent as reported in the fall of 2015.
During Eichorst’s tenure, Nebraska has won three NCAA team Championships, increasing its total to 27. In 2012-13 and in 2014-15, the Nebraska women’s bowling team earned the program’s fourth and fifth NCAA titles, while the Husker volleyball team won the 2015 NCAA Championship, the program’s fourth national title.
In 2016, the Husker men’s track and field team swept the Big Ten Indoor and Outdoor Championships and 14 Nebraska teams competed in NCAA postseason action, including bowling, football, volleyball, women’s swimming and diving, wrestling, softball, baseball, men’s and women’s gymnastics, rifle, and men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field. In 2015-16, Nebraska produced 41 All-Americans who won 49 national awards, including 21 first-team honorees.
In 2013-14, Nebraska became one of only two NCAA institutions – and the first Big Ten program in history – to qualify for a football bowl game, and advance to NCAA postseason in the major team sports of volleyball, soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and softball. Additionally, Nebraska was the only institution to win a postseason game in six of those seven sports.
Nebraska’s fan support continues to be unparalleled in college athletics. In 2015-16, top 15 national rankings for average attendance were reached across 10 sports—football, volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling, soccer, softball, baseball and men’s and women’s gymnastics. Nebraska is the only school in the country to rank among the top 15 nationally in both football and men’s basketball attendance and in volleyball and women’s basketball. A tribute to loyal Husker fans, two sports lead the nation with consecutive home sellout streaks. Football has 347 consecutive sellouts and volleyball has 204 consecutive regular-season sellouts.
Under Eichorst’s leadership, Nebraska continues to focus on improving its facilities and the game-day experience at all athletic venues. In August of 2015, Hibner Stadium and Barbara Hibner Field for soccer and the Sid and Hazel Dillon Tennis Center were completed. A new center-hung video board and sound system was installed in the Devaney Center in 2015 to improve the game-day experience for volleyball, wrestling and men’s and women’s gymnastics. In 2014, the largest wireless network system at a college football stadium in history was installed in Memorial Stadium, along with a state-of-the-art sound system. In the summer of 2013, Memorial Stadium expansion added the innovative NAPL inside East Stadium next to the Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior (CB3). That same year, Nebraska’s men’s and women’s basketball teams became the primary tenants at Pinnacle Bank Arena, and the renovated Devaney Center became the home for Husker volleyball, wrestling and the men’s and women’s gymnastics programs.
Eichorst came to Nebraska after serving as Director of Athletics at Miami in 2011 and 2012. He hired legendary men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga, who led Miami to the NIT Second Round in his first season and ACC regular-season and tournament titles as well and the NCAA Sweet 16 in his second. The women’s basketball program posted its highest national ranking in school history (No. 5) and advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. The Miami women’s tennis team advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight for the fourth straight season, and the baseball team made its 40th consecutive NCAA appearance. The Hurricane women’s soccer team posted its first NCAA Tournament win in school history, and the volleyball team made its third straight NCAA Tournament trip.
Before heading to Miami, Eichorst was the Deputy Athletics Director at Wisconsin. He was the Chief Operating Officer and oversaw the department’s daily operations, as well as the men’s basketball program under the direction of Director of Athletics and former Husker Barry Alvarez.
From 2004 to 2006, Eichorst served as the Senior Associate Athletics Director for Administration at South Carolina, overseeing the department’s daily operations, as well as the football and baseball programs under legendary coaches Lou Holtz, Steve Spurrier and Ray Tanner, respectively.
From 1999 to 2003, Eichorst served as the Director of Athletics at Wisconsin-Whitewater, which produced four top 10-percent finishes in the NACDA Directors Cup, one NCAA team title and two NCAA runner-up finishes. The program also featured 11 CoSIDA Academic All-America selections.
A native of Lone Rock, Wis., Eichorst was an all-conference defensive back, three-time letterwinner and 1990 football team captain for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He graduated magna cum laude in business from UW-Whitewater in 1990 and in 2015 was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Achievement. He earned a law degree from Marquette Law School in 1995, practiced law in Milwaukee until 1999 and is a past member of the State Bar of Wisconsin Board of Governors. He served as an assistant adjunct professor of law at Marquette, where he taught classes in sports law. He serves on the Marquette University National Sports Law Institute Board of Advisors and in 2006, Marquette awarded Eichorst the Sports Law Alumnus of the Year Award. He is also a graduate of the Sports Management Institute and serves on its Executive Committee.
Shawn and his wife Kristin have three sons: Jack, Joseph and Bennett.