Listen to Peyton Thomas’s Report on hiring of Trev Alberts:
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln announced Wednesday morning that former Husker All-American Trev Alberts will be its next athletic director.
Alberts returns to the Huskers after serving as the athletic director for the University of Nebraska-Omaha since 2009. During his tenure, he helped transition UNO to Division I athletics, cutting the football and wrestling program in the process. Alberts replaces Bill Moos as athletic director after his abrupt retirement last month.
Alberts played football at Nebraska from 1990 to 1993. In his senior season, he was a consensus first team All-American and the Butkus Award winner as the top linebacker in the nation. He was selected No. 5 overall by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1994 NFL Draft, where he played all three years of his NFL career. He returns to the Huskers as the 14th athletic director in program history.
Alberts was introduced at a Memorial Stadium press conference with Chancellor Green and university president Ted Carter.
“Other than my faith and my family, everything I have today, materially and otherwise, is a result of an opportunity to be a student at the University of Nebraska,” Alberts said. “So I don’t take this responsibility lightly. I will do everything I can to work as hard as I can for this place.”
Green said Alberts had the qualities Nebraska was looking for in its next athletic director, such as being student athlete focused and understanding the changing landscape of college athletics.
“As we went through this process, there was one potential candidate who emerged that checked all of our boxes in having all of the right qualities to be the next athletic director here at the University of Nebraska,” Green said. “Trev (Alberts) knows what it means to put everything you’ve got into competition and to succeed at the highest levels.”
Green said a diverse search advisory committee consisting of current and former student athletes, faculty and university leaders helped determine the direction the Huskers would go in hiring an athletic director. He said the initial pool of 25 candidates was “very high profile and very deep,” eight of which were identified as lead candidates. Carter said Alberts was the only candidate interviewed after a thorough screening process.
“At the end of the day, Trev Alberts was clearly at the top of that list,” Carter said. “We felt very confident that with that single set of interviews, we had the right candidate.”
Green said any Husker athletic director must understand football and its importance to Nebraska, a bill which Alberts obviously fits. His Husker jersey number is retired, his name is among the few that are on the walls inside Memorial Stadium, and he is in the College Football Hall of Fame.
An early focus of his tenure as athletic director is likely to center on the success that occurs within the confines of the stadium. He acknowledged the team’s woes while also giving coach Scott Frost a vote of confidence.
“Certainly, we haven’t achieved at the level that that we all hope to attain,” Alberts said. “But I believe strongly in Scott Frost’s leadership and the coaches that we have in the staff.”
Frost is 12-20 in three seasons as head coach, and he has yet to make a bowl appearance. Frost released a comment, applauding the move and calling it an exciting day for Nebraska Athletics.
“Trev Alberts has a great track record of success in whatever he has done, dating back to his playing days through his time leading the UNO athletic department,” Frost said. “Trev and I share a love of Nebraska, this football program, and this athletic department. I look forward to working with Trev to continue to build our program.”
Alberts said the best way he can help the football program isn’t tactically, but culturally.
“I want to be helpful,” Alberts said. “I will never call a play. I don’t tell coaches who to recruit. But I think bigger picture, some of the culture things, I think I can be helpful.”
Alberts admitted he wasn’t vocal about Husker athletics while at UNO because he wanted to show staff and student athletes that he was “all in for the Mavericks.”
“I can tell you that I would have never left UNO for any other job but this one,” Alberts said.
At Nebraska, he’s hoping to accomplish some of the things he built at UNO. He said he wants to build trust, teamwork, and good working habits across Nebraska Athletics. He plans to collaborate with campus leaders to help student athletes monetize their name, image and likeness.
“We’re going to have a unity of purpose,” Alberts said. “And we’re going to bring people together and bring our state together and bring our fans and donors together for something bigger than ourselves, because that’s when it’s really fun.”
Green added at the end of the press conference that he had discussed the importance of being part of the Big Ten with Alberts. The program and the Big Ten publicly butted heads last August when Nebraska threatened to play football outside the Big Ten if the conference cancelled the season.
“Being successful in the Big Ten, as a member of the Big Ten, is highly important to us,” Green said. “We are a committed, long-term member of being successful in the Big Ten.”
Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren issued a statement calling Alberts an “ideal selection.”
“Trev Alberts is an extremely talented individual and respected member of the Nebraska football family who has built a wealth of experience as a leader in intercollegiate athletics,” Warren said. “His background as an All-American student-athlete, NFL player, broadcaster and administrator makes him an ideal selection to guide the athletic department at the University of Nebraska. We look forward to welcoming Trev into the Big Ten family and working closely with him.”
Alberts is officially on the job Monday, July 19.