Dave Rimington named Nebraska interim athletic director
(AP) Dave Rimington, who became the most decorated offensive lineman in college football history in the early 1980s, was named Nebraska’s interim athletic director Tuesday as the school searches for a permanent successor to Shawn Eichorst.
The 57-year-old Rimington has been president of the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which raises money and awareness for cystic fibrosis research, since 1995. The foundation sponsors the Rimington Award, which is awarded to the nation’s top center. Rimington is taking a leave of absence from the New York-based foundation for up to 60 days.
“I am humbled and grateful to accept this responsibility,” Rimington said. “I look forward to working with the coaches, staff and student-athletes at Nebraska, which is a truly special place that has had a profound impact on my life and the lives of countless others.”
Rimington was a two-time first-team All-American in 1981 and ’82 and is the only player to win the Outland Trophy as the top interior lineman in consecutive years. The Omaha native also won the Lombardi Award in 1982 as the best lineman or linebacker and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997.
University leaders fired Eichorst on Thursday, five days after Northern Illinois became the first football team from outside a Power Five conference in 13 years to beat the Cornhuskers.
President Hank Bounds and Chancellor Ronnie Green said Eichorst was let go because the school’s teams, football chief among them, had fallen off in competitiveness.
Nebraska – which spent $101 million on athletics in 2015-16, the most recent year for which data is available – has not won a Big Ten championship in football or basketball (men’s or women’s) since joining the conference in 2011. The Huskers finished 37th nationally and seventh in the Big Ten in the Learfield Director’s Cup all-sports standings in 2016-17.
“I’m so pleased that we could count on Dave Rimington, who is a Husker through and through, to answer our call to lend his administrative expertise and unwavering support for Nebraska Athletics during this key time of transition,” Green said. “I am confident that Dave will provide exceptional leadership as we move forward in our search for a new, permanent director of athletics.”
Rimington is a revered figure in the state. Tom Osborne recruited Rimington out of working-class South Omaha, and he redefined the center’s position with his rare combination of strength and speed.
He was an All-Big Eight choice three times and in 1981 became the only lineman to ever have been named the conference’s offensive player of the year. Nebraska won back-to-back Big Eight titles in 1981-82, and the Huskers led the nation in rushing his senior season.
Rimington also was a two-time first-team academic All-American. He was an NCAA Top-Five Student-Athlete and was selected as a National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete in 1982.
In 2004, Rimington became the first Nebraska athlete to be inducted into the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame.
Rimington was a first-round draft choice of the Cincinnati Bengals in 1983. He played five seasons with the Bengals and two with the Philadelphia Eagles before retiring in 1989.