Courteous Comments with Kirt Manion

Kirt Manion
Nebraska City News-Press

Nebraska's new AD

I’ve watched a lot of Nebraska football. 

In the 80s and 90s, returns were consistently good. Lots of wins and few losses. 

Since 2002, the results have been very much mixed and have lacked the high points of conference crowns and major bowl games.

Through it all, there have been a number of coaches and many discussions about the positive abilities and negative liabilities of those coaches.

Got to say though, I never really took note of the athletic director.

I don’t remember thinking about AD Bob Devaney, who operated in that role after taking the job from Tippy Dye in 1967. Devaney was AD and football coach until Tom Osborne took over as the Huskers’ Head Coach in 1973. Devaney continued in the AD role until handing it off to Bill Byrne in 1992. Byrne lasted 10 years in the job. And I really didn’t think about him much either.

Did you know that Adolph J. Lewandowski was the AD at Nebraska in addition to leading the Husker football, men’s basketball and baseball teams? That was pre-Devaney, so I am guessing probably not.

We know about Devaney, mainly because he led the Huskers to two national football titles and handed the job to Tom Osborne for three more national titles and a few near misses too.

Some might know of Byrne, but only because people didn’t like Byrne’s replacement, Steve Pederson, who fired Frank Solich from the head football job and hired Bill Callahan—the guy who killed Nebraska’s option offense.

Osborne rode to the rescue as AD after Pederson left. And his tenure, like the man who filled the role, was understated. Steady leadership and a calm demeanor don’t make for too many headlines.

We all know AD Shawn Eichorst, the red-headed assassin as Husker fans came to know him, because he didn’t like Bo Pelini and fired him. And also because he hired the easy-smiling Mike Riley as head football coach. Riley didn’t cuss like Bo. He didn’t win like Bo either, so the fans subbed in on the cussing part.

Exit Shawn. Enter Bill Moos. 

He fired Riley. That was going to be a given. And he hired Scott Frost.

Now Moos is gone.

Enter Trev Alberts. What will we know about Alberts? If all goes well, not much that we don’t know now. He was a great player at Nebraska—one of the best linebackers we’ve ever had, and the linebacker list has pretty impressive names on it. We know about his career at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Trev killed wrestling and football at UNO—which didn’t draw too many Mav fan cheers.

But we really don’t care about the Mavs. Sorry to any who are offended by that bit of news.

It’s Husker football around here.

If the 2021 season of football begins and Frost’s program rises, fans will forget, at least most of the time, that Alberts is the AD.

Nobody will watch the day-to-day AD job duties just like nobody watched or cared about Devaney or Byrne or Pederson or Osborne or Eichorst or Moos.

Alberts didn’t hire Frost. But he’ll support him. I really believe it.

And if it doesn’t work out, Alberts will be known as the guy who fired Frost and hired (fill in the blank). Maybe Trev will stay. Maybe he’ll go somewhere else. 

Rinse and repeat.

And so, with that, we welcome Trev Alberts back to the Husker family. 

He never really left though. 

Once a Husker always a Husker.

And the AD job can’t make him more famous than he already is now. We’ll just all hope that he has many success and few heartaches, although he’ll likely celebrate most of his success and endure most of his heartaches without the judging eyes of Husker Nation gazing directly upon him.

Kirt Manion