New era arrives for UNK athletic department

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Updated: Mon, 09 Sep 2013 08:32:14 CST

"We'll start the Plinske era here at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. I'd like to introduce you to the next director of intercollegiate athletics at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Paul Plinkse. Paul." Chancellor Kristenson said it best. Let's start the Plinske Era. Paul Plinske, formally announced Wednesday as the 7th Athletic Director in UNK history. After a three month, nationwide search, the University of Nebraska at Kearney has found a new leader for it's athletic department - Paul Plinske. "When the partnership started to get established over the weekend through conversations I felt more and more comfortable and the excitement just continued to grow as I looked to the future and what it could be like there at UNK," said Plinske. "Paul received overwhelming support from everyone who gave me input." Plinske leaves the same post at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater - a Division 3 powerhouse which won nine national titles under his direction. Sound familiar? Well, that's because current Nebraska Director of Athletics, Shawn Eichorst used to be the AD there as well. "I told him that he's been a great friend and a great resource but he'll probably become a little bit of a competitor to me." That's what it's all about in sports... competition. And Plinske inherits a few programs that have thrived in recent years. "Well it's exciting. As you look closer at the sport programs here because there are some teams that have a tremendous foundation and there are some teams that are doing extraordinarily well, especially as they transition to their new conference and still compete at a very high level in division two," said Plinske. But there are also a few programs, that aren't exactly up to par Bringing them around will be a true challenge for the new regime "That to me, energizes my heart. It says, you know what? I wanted to build this thing with these coaches," Plinske said. And in a somewhat rare situation, Plinske will be able to lean on his predecessor Jon McBride who retired earlier this summer due to health issues, but will remain as a special assistant to the chancellor. "The campus is getting a win in a lot of ways. They're getting both of us at the same time and I think it can be a great partnership as we try and serve the chancellor and help the campus grow," said Plinske.