Listen: Inside the Trev Alberts Hire at UNL

July 14, 2021, 4 a.m. ·

Trev Alberts Answers Questions At His Introductory Press Conference
Trev Alberts answers questions during his introductory press conference where he was announced UNL's AD. (Photo courtesy Nebraska Athletics)

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Trev Alberts, formerly the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s athletic director, will start as the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's athletic director next Monday. Nebraska Public Media News reporters William Padmore and Will Bauer discussed the move on Wednesday.

WILLIAM PADMORE: Tell me about Nebraska's new athletic director.

WILL BAUER: He was a very successful Nebraska linebacker from the early 90s. He's athletic director (at UNO) for another few days. He played in the NFL for a few years and then began a career in sports broadcasting for a number of networks and he even hosted a few Nebraska football documentaries on this network. He became UNO's athletic director in 2009. In 2011, he made choices to cut UNO's football and wrestling programs to make UNO a Division I school in other sports, and many were not happy with those decisions. But now he's UNL's 14th athletic director, and he's excited about it – even showing a little emotion earlier Wednesday.

TREV ALBERTS: I love this place…Sorry about that. I didn’t know that was going to happen. I love the University of Nebraska, and I learned so much as a young man.

PADMORE: You mentioned he knows Nebraska football pretty well. What does that mean for Nebraska?

BAUER: UNL again hires a familiar face – and this is a continuing trend over the last few years: the women's basketball coach Amy Williams, the football coach Scott Frost, the baseball coach Will Bolt and now the AD are all former Nebraska players. The UNL athletic department had previously hired Fred Hoiberg as the men's basketball coach, who was also a familiar face in Lincoln. He didn't play for the Huskers, but he was born here in Lincoln. Nebraska is happy. This is another golden boy of UNL Athletics.

And Alberts said he's got four areas – in trust, handwork, teamwork and reflection – that will be key components for the athletic department under his purview going forward.

ALBERTS: I've watched organizations with tremendous talent accomplish very, very little. And I've watched some organization with some marginal talent because they were unified, change the world. We're gonna be an athletic department that's unified. And we're gonna have a unity of purpose, 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, right?

BAUER: In the immediate future, Alberts will have to deal with name, image and likeness – or more commonly referred to as NIL – because players can now profit from their name, image and likeness. And there's a lot of new hoops to jump through – a lot of mumble jumble that he will have to sort through.

Austin Allen, a Nebraska football player who he plays tight end, was on the search committee. He was one of the student athletes on the search committee that brought Trev Alberts in as the athletic director, and Allen said NIL was one of the first things he mentioned in those closed search committee meetings.

AUSTIN ALLEN: I'm not necessarily for or against it, but it's here now, and it's what is going to happen. I mean, as a student athlete, I'm gonna try and take advantage of it. But as a leader of this university, he needs to have an understanding of how it's going to work and how he's going to be able to let his student athletes capitalize on that.

PADMORE: And so not to gloss over this: This new hire does come under the shadow of the last athletic director abruptly leaving, right?

BAUER: Bill Moos left 19 days ago. He had 18 months left on his contract, so it was a shock to a lot of people – especially because a few weeks earlier, Moos had said publicly he was going to finish out his contract. But now Moos is gone, and the official word is that he retired. Fans and other people, of course, have speculated as to why he really left. The situation appears to have some unanswered questions. Moos, the day he left, told The Omaha World-Herald that he was informed he would retire by someone else. He would not say who told him that, however. So, it's it's been an interesting process and no new answers for that.

PADMORE: Trev Alberts leaves his post at UNO. He was hired away in about two and a half weeks. What else do we know about the hiring process?

BAUER: We know over 25 candidates applied for this position. UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green said about eight candidates stood out from the rest. Green said it became obvious that Alberts was the clear choice for this position actually last weekend. According to Ted Carter, who is the University of Nebraska system president, there were other big-time athletic directors who were interested in this position, but Alberts was the only candidate that UNL actually interviewed. So, we don't know who those athletic directors may be because only one was interviewed, and those names don't have to be public under state law.

We do know that the University of Nebraska Omaha, where Alberts came from, will have an opening in its athletic director position. UNO also has a brand new Chancellor, Joanne Li, who's running that campus, and she just started a few weeks ago. I asked Ronnie Green about what he said to his new colleague, Li, after he hired her athletic director, Alberts, away.

RONNIE GREEN: You know, she would certainly have loved to keep Trev – anybody would love to keep Trev in that position, but she also certainly understands that this is a very good move for him, for Husker athletics, and we're going to do everything we can to help her.

BAUER: Lots of change coming for University of Nebraska athletics in the last few weeks and coming few weeks, too.

Editor's note: This conversation has been lightly edited for clarity.

WATCH: Trev Alberts Introductory Press Conference