In a joint press conference on Wednesday morning, Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman joined Athletic Director Tom Osborne as Osborne announced his retirement from the AD's office, effective January 1st, 2013.
Osborne will stay on as a "Athletic Director Emeritus" role for a 6 month period, as to help the transition to a new AD. That search, said Perlman, has already started with several interviews and "could have some more" with the assistance of a search committee that will include up to 12 people and have former players and boosters on it.
Osborne, 75, was asked if health was an issue. While he answered the question by stating it's not a problem, there have been rumblings that Tom's age and such helped this out. Osborne stated that ".. at some point, whether you're able to function or not, the perception that you're old gets in the way".
Recently hired Nebraska Basketball coach Tim Miles happened to break the ice with a tweet he put up approximately 15 minutes before the presser started.
Tom Osbourne announcing retirement. Leaves an unreal legacy for NU. Go Big Red twitter.com/CoachMiles/sta…— Tim Miles (@CoachMiles) September 26, 2012
Osborne's 5 year legacy with the athletic department speaks volumes. Tom was responsible for hiring Bo Pelini, Darin Erstad, and Tim Miles. Along with that, he laid the foundation for having the Pinnacle Bank Arena built in the Haymarket, along with the East Stadium addition. Both projects are slated to be completed by the start of the 2013 academic year. Along with that, Nebraska Volleyball will be moving to the Devaney Center after a major facelift, and the Hendricks Training Center, a fantastic multi-sport training center was opened under TO's watch also. It is fair to say that Osborne was a spearhead for getting UNL's sports facilities up to par with the rest of the country and then some.
The names that come up immediately to mind to replace Osborne are as follows:
- Paul Meyers, Associate AD. Tom's right hand man who has done a fantastic job with fundraising for the new Pinnacle Bank Arena and East Stadium addition. Not sure if he would take it, very comfortable where he is.
- Jamie Williams, Associate AD. Was hired in May from The San Francisco Academy of Art. He built up the athletic department at the AofA before being hired by Tom for an Associate AD spot that was out of the blue. Would be the leader in the clubhouse with the timing of the hire and how hands on Tom was with his hiring.
- Trev Alberts, Univ of Nebraska-Omaha Athletic Director. Has made a point to make it known he would love being the head man in Lincoln. However, for all the good things he has done for UNO, the fact he sacrificed the football and wrestling programs for it sits badly with some people. Supposedly not all the regents are pleased with Alberts, so seeing him in the top seat seems very unlikely.