These days, younger folks may only know Trev Alberts as that guy who used to be on ESPN, or, more recently, as the jerk University of Nebraska-Omaha AD who destroyed football and wrestling to make himself look good to UNL suits when Osborne vacates their AD position. (Yes, that looks even sillier in print than it sounds in the bars.) And, oh yeah, he used to play for Nebraska or something.
In the last game of the 1993 season, Alberts dislocated his right elbow against the Oklahoma Sooners. Wearing a cast on the elbow in the Orange Bowl against Florida St. and basically playing with one arm, Trev was the Nebraska Defensive Player of the Game pressuring Heisman winner Charlie Ward all night and recording three sacks against an offensive line that had only given up five all season.
The events of the last couple of months probably make a dislocated elbow sound pretty good.
Alberts finished his college career as one the most decorated Huskers to ever line up on the defensive side of the ball. In his senior year, he garnered the following accolades:
- 1993 Consensus 1st Team All-American
- 1993 Butkus Award Winner (Nebraska's 1st)
- Football News 1993 National Defensive Player of the Year
- Big 8 1993 Defensive Player of the Year
- Big 8 1993 Male Athlete of the Year
- 1994 Orange Bowl Defensive MVP
- 1993 Today's Top Six Award (NCAA's highest off-field honor)
- 3-time Big 8 All-Academic 1st Team
- 1993 Academic All-American
- 4 Postgraduate scholarships
In other words, Trev had it going on. By the way, he graduated before his senior season. Something tells me that while Bo may not have been a fan of his ESPN commentary, he would strangle a neighbor's pit bull to have someone like the Cedar Falls, IA native coming off the end.
Following stints at ESPN and CSTV, Alberts was hired as UNO's athletic director in April of 2009. While many grumbled that he would be mainly be a public face for the department while he shined his resume for that future run at the same job in Lincoln, the public at the time was mostly unaware that he was walking into a shambles of an athletic department thanks to some horrible decision-making (stupid? intentional? both?) by now fired/resigned Chancellor Nancy Belk and Athletic Director David Herbster which included the financially crippling move of UNO hockey from the Civic Auditorium to the oversized Qwest Center.
Alberts began proving the doubters wrong when he hired Dean Blais to take over UNO hockey head coaching job for the 2009-10 season. I won't list the Blais resume here but for comparison's sake, let's say it was like being hired for the Kentucky or Illinois AD job and snagging Urban Meyer out of retirement. He also has laid the groundwork for a new on campus arena more suited to college hockey than Qwest.
Then of course came the controversial decision to take UNO to Division 1 as a Summit Conference member and leave their long-standing, if poorly-attended, football and perennial national champion wrestling programs behind. I'm not looking to relight the was he right, was he wrong candle, but I will say it was a decision that he absolutely knew would be far short of popular in many local circles.
Only the next few years will show if it was the right or wrong one, and Trev has been the first to admit that he would have handled a few things differently if could turn back the clock. But Alberts had some tough decisions to make and definitely showed a pair of brass ones in pulling the trigger.
Just like we'd expect from one of the best to ever don a Blackshirt.