Trev Alberts is directing Nebraska athletics along with help from Linsey Chamberlin.

Trev Alberts is known by many from his days on the football gridiron. From 1990-93, he played at Nebraska, where he was a consensus all-American his senior season.

For the past 14 years, Alberts has been known for his work in a suit and tie. He is in his second year as Vice Chancellor, Director of Athletics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, but his journey to this position was not without challenges. Those close to Alberts point to a demeanor and personality that they believe has him poised to make decisions in the best interest of the university.

Hired in July of 2021, Alberts returned to his alma mater after 12 years at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

“We were all on the same team though we were on different campuses,” Alberts said. 

In his latest transition to UNL, Alberts said he felt that based on where his family was, he was ready to move to Lincoln. He wouldn’t have left UNO for any other school than UNL. 

The world of sports is constantly evolving and there is a growing importance of digital media. Sports organizations are also recognizing the value of diversity and inclusion and making efforts to promote equality. 

In his first year, Alberts navigated many of the new aspects of Name, Image, and Likeness for the Nebraska student-athletes. He also completed fundraising for Nebraska’s Go Big Project which provides the Nebraska Football Program with a new facility, scheduled to open in the summer of 2023.

Alberts is responsible for overseeing the athletic program, including hiring coaches, managing budgets, and ensuring compliance with NCAA rules and regulations. The athletic director role requires the ability to balance the demands of academic excellence with the pressures of high-level competition. It also needs strong leadership skills and a deep understanding of collegiate sports. The role is both rewarding and challenging that provides a deep commitment to the success of both the staff and the student-athletes. 

“I learned that my job really is to solve problems,” Alberts said. “If people don’t bring me their problems they don’t trust I can solve them, they think I don’t care or don’t trust me to lead them.”

Albers hires and surrounds Nebraska’s coaches and staff with experts in each area in which he depends on those people to create a unity of purpose and a community where people feel valued. 

“I’m a jack of all trades and a master of none,” Alberts said. 

The main individual he delegates to is Linsey Chamberlin, who provides administrative support and office management. Along with being the main point of contact, she also handles his calendars, travel, expenses, etc.  

Though he has people in his corner who help him every day, Alberts is responsible for the decisions made in the athletic program. One of the most recent decisions was when he hired head football coach Matt Rhule in November. That followed Alberts’ decision to fire previous coach Scott Frost in September, after three games last season. 

Alberts said he believes that the Huskers’ football program in particular is the catalyst of bringing the state together, so when determining the right fit for Nebraska’s new football coach, he considered many factors. 

He started by asking “What is the current state of football at Nebraska”? 

Alberts also referenced Admiral Stockdale, who said, “You have to have the courage to define the blatant truth of your realities.”  

Alberts said he was determined to find where he thinks the program can go, what the Huskers value, what Nebraska is going to stand for and what we need to get there. 

“You have to stand for something or you fall for anything,” Alberts said.

Alberts said he tried to find the right fit for the Huskers when it came to finding a new football coach. He said he believed there were a lot of great coaches that would not do well at Nebraska. Alberts had about six to eight coaches that he loved but it came down to deciding who would fit best. 

“I believed more than anything else we needed leadership, integrity, and character from that position,” he said.

Alberts said the most important aspects to his hire of Rhule were connections and how athletics are used to elevate the university and serve the state as a whole. Beyond football he believes it’s about engagement and after talking with Rhule, he believes Rhule has the humility, work ethic and connectedness to draw the state together. 

It is one thing to talk about the decisions that are made for Nebraska’s athletic program but it is another to understand the process behind it and for Alberts, integrity is an important factor in that. 

“Integrity is discerning what is right and what is wrong and acting on what is right even at the risk of personal loss,” he said.

Alberts said he challenges himself with whether this is a decision that is in his personal best interest either career-wise or whether it is the best decision for Nebraska. He said he has a level of humility in his office because it belongs to the alumni, the university, and the fans.

Former Nebraska football player Mike Anderson played alongside Alberts in 1989. Anderson said even then, he noticed qualities that have translated to the work that Alberts does today.

“He has a level of integrity about him, has no personal bias, and makes decisions in the best interest of the athletic department,” Anderson said.

Alberts said he holds himself accountable by believing if he made a decision that is in the best interest of the university and it still cost him his job, he would do it. He gathers as much information as possible, talks to as many people as he can to make a decision, and advises to never second guess yourself. 

Alberts said he believes that it is best to make a decision based on the information you are given at the time. However, he does not make these decisions alone. He relies on experts but you will never have a consensus on a decision. Alberts role is vital one, that shapes the success of Nebraska’s athletic program and university. And he hopes his decisions have put the Huskers in the best possible position moving forward.