Nebraska fired athletic director Shawn Eichorst on Thursday, calling for a higher level of competitiveness days after the Cornhuskers‘ football team fell to Northern Illinois.
University chancellor Ronnie Green, who did not hire Eichorst, said in a statement that while Eichorst made positive contributions to the school, his “efforts have not translated into on-field performance.”
The firing is effective immediately, and Nebraska will begin a search for its next permanent athletic director. Eichorst, hired in October 2012 from the University of Miami, will be paid the approximately $1.7 million remaining on his contract, which runs through June 2019.
“Our fans and our student-athletes deserve leadership that drives the highest levels of competitiveness, as well as excellence across all facets of Husker athletics,” Green said in a prepared statement.
The stunning move comes five days after Eichorst, in a rare impromptu meeting with reporters, expressed his frustration and anger over Nebraska’s 1-2 start to the season. He reiterated his support for third-year coach Mike Riley, whom he hired to replace Bo Pelini after the 2014 season.
Green and university president Hank Bounds met with Eichorst earlier Thursday, and Green and Bounds met with Nebraska coaches to inform them of the decision.
“While I am deeply disappointed in the decision today, I am grateful for the wonderful years that my family and I have spent at Nebraska,” Eichorst said in a prepared statement. “I am proud of how our student-athletes, coaches and staff represented this great university and state, and I am confident that the future is bright for Nebraska athletics.”