The search for a new athletic director has come to an end.
The University of Miami announced on Tuesday morning that Shawn Eichorst has agreed to terms to take over the position that was left vacant by Kirby Hocutt’s departure in late February.
“Shawn Eichorst has the skills, experience, and philosophy to elevate UM athletics and exceed our highest expectations,” said University of Miami President Donna Shalala in a released statement.
Eichorst was formerly the deputy athletic director at the University of Wisconsin, where he served in that position since 2009. He has also previously worked as the Senior Associate Athletic Director for Administration from 2004-2006 at the University of South Carolina, working directly with coaches such as Lou Holtz, Steve Spurrier, and Ray Tanner.
“I am truly humbled and honored to have the tremendous opportunity to lead and build upon the University of Miami’s rich tradition of excellence in athletics. Under President Donna Shalala’s great vision, passion and leadership, the University of Miami has quickly developed into not only the best institution in the state of Florida, but one of the top research universities in the United States,” said Eichorst. “The success of our student-athletes, academically, athletically and socially will always be our foremost objective and I am looking forward to working collaboratively with our coaches, staff, student-athletes, campus administration, faculty, board of trustees, donors, alumni, fans and community members to realize our full potential,” Eichorst said.
Following Hocutt’s departure, the athletic department had originally announced their intention to name a new athletic director in time for the beginning of the fall semester.
However, with the departure of former men’s basketball head coach Frank Haith, the University made the hire earlier than expected in order for Eichorst to assist in the hiring of a new coach.
No perennial front-runner to take over Haith’s position has been established. Eichorst made it a point to mention that anybody interested will be given consideration.
“To this point, no individual has been excluded from consideration, and no individual has been offered the position to coach at the University of Miami,” he said. “From this point forward, I will take complete charge of the search and will exhaust all means to find a coach who stands for the great values of this institution, is a fundamentally sound teacher of the game, and will positively lead our players with a tremendous amount of passion, integrity and dedication. We are committed to doing what is necessary to build a program capable of winning basketball championships.”
Eichorst is taking over a program with a new head football coach as well.
Still, he had nothing but praise for coach Al Golden.
“He is by far one of the most impressive and up-and-coming football coaches in the business,” Eichorst said of Golden. “That really had a big bearing on taking the opportunity there at Miami. When [University of Wisconsin Athletic Director] Barry Alvarez says that a coach is special, that really says something.”
Despite the challenges that await him, Eichorst has “embraced the opportunity” and is looking forward to getting started.
He noted that in order to get the program back on the right track, it’s going to take a group effort.
“You’ve got to hold everybody accountable,” he said. “Not just the student- athletes, not just the coach; we are all going to be held accountable for supporting this program. We’re going to get that done.”
Ernesto Suarez may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.