Husker coaches and University of Nebraska-Lincoln administrators and deans will travel across the state on the Big Red Express whistle-stop tour on Union Pacific Railroad’s historic train cars on Saturday, June 28. The tour, reminiscent of popular political tactics used in the 19th
century, begins in Omaha at 6 a.m. and includes stops in Columbus (10:05 a.m.), Grand Island (11:55 a.m.), Kearney (1:50 p.m.) and North Platte (4:50 p.m.) before returning to Omaha. Each whistle stop will include short speeches, a proclamation presented to each city and Husker coaches and university administrators mingling with the crowd.
Nebraska athletics shares a bond with academics at UNL including a strong relationship with the UNL College of Business Administration. Donde Plowman, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean of the College of Business Administration, is honored to be a part of this historic tour across Nebraska.
“This will be a unique opportunity for Nebraskans to connect with Husker coaches, academic deans and university officials to learn more about the university,” Plowman said. “It’s also a great way to share all we have started at the UNL College of Business Administration.”
Shawn Eichorst, director of athletics at UNL, sees a parallel between the success of the athletic department and the work being done at CBA.
“There is no project more important to athletics at UNL than the new college of business building,” Eichorst said. “This is my second stint working at a Big Ten institution, and they all have premiere business schools that make them extremely competitive. The new building will help us when we are recruiting athletes to Nebraska, so we need to get this building done.”
Husker head coaches taking part in the Big Red Express tour include: Chuck Chmelka (men's gymnastics); Darin Erstad (baseball); David Harris (cross country); Scott Jacobson (women's tennis); Dan Kendig (women's gymnastics); Robin Krapfl (women's golf); Kerry McDermott (men's tennis); Tim Miles (men's basketball); Pablo Morales (women's swimming); Bo Pelini (football); Gary Pepin (track & field); Rhonda Revelle (softball); Bill Spangler (men's golf); Bill Straub (bowling); John Walker (women's soccer) and Connie Yori (women's basketball).
Nebraska athletic administrators boarding the train include: Marc Boehm, executive associate athletic director; Bob Burton, senior associate athletic director; John Jentz, senior associate athletic director/chief financial officer; Dennis Leblanc, senior associate athletic director for academics; Pat Logsdon, senior associate athletic director/senior woman administrator; Jamie Vaughn, associate athletic director for compliance; Steve Waterfield, senior associate athletic director for performance and strategic research; Jamie Williams, associate athletic director for leadership, student-athlete recruitment and diversity initiatives; and Keith Zimmer, associate athletic director for life skills and N-Club.
University administrators on the train include: Prem Paul, vice chancellor for research and economic development; Ellen Weissinger, senior vice chancellor of academic affairs; Tim Wei, dean of the College of Engineering; Brian Hastings, president and chief executive officer of the University of Nebraska Foundation; Diane Mendenhall, executive director of the Nebraska Alumni Association; and Michelle Waite, assistant to the chancellor for community relations.