There is new leadership Wednesday morning for Loper Athletics. After a months long nationwide search, University of Nebraska Kearney officials announced their pick for the school's new athletic director.
News 5's Will Sherrat was at the announcement today at UNK.
Will - they had worked the process down to 4 finalists. Who is the final pick?
Will: Paul Plinske. That's the new athletic director over at UNK. He comes to us from Wisconsin Whitewater. They won nine national championships over his tenure. Keep in mind that is Division Three so a bump up for Plinske. A really interesting case here in the hiring. As you mentioned, four candidates were the finalists, but really the word we got out of Kearney during this whole process was that he was the front man so really no surprise.
Also interesting, Jon McBride, the outgoing athletic director wasn't fired. He actually stayed around because of health reasons. That's why he had to leave the position and still involved in some capacity at the school and McBride really was instrumental in the hiring of Plinske. And Plinske talks about that relationship.
"He's the nicest, friendliest person and yet at the same time also the one with greatest vision and greatest knowledge of this program so I need to pull him in and use him to the best of my ability to help us take steps. The campus is getting a win-win in a lot of ways. They're getting both of us."
Chris: Plinske, of course, coming from a D3 background. Will that change to Division II be challenging, do you think?
Will: I think so, I think raising funds, obviously, is going to be a little more difficult in Division II. But you know he comes in with a lot of support in Kearney and not really an empty cupboard sports-wise.You think about the programs volleyball and wrestling both rank nationally. Programs that do need to improve, though, basketball and football. I think that will be the biggest challenge.
Chris: And a Husker connection for him too, right?
Will: Absolutely. Yeah, Wisconsin Whitewater, if it sounds familiar that's because current AD of Nebraska Shawn Eichorst played football there and was athletic director there as well. So a little connection there with Wisconsin and Nebraska.
Created: Wed, 14 Aug 2013 12:27:14 CST
Updated: Mon, 09 Sep 2013 08:33:09 CST