Nebraska hires Washington’s Troy Dannen as AD

Less than six months after taking the position at Washington, Troy Dannen will become athletics director at Nebraska, the Cornhuskers athletic department announced Wednesday.

Nebraska interim university president Chris Kabourek announced the hiring less than a week after previous athletics director Trev Alberts departed for Texas A&M.

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“Joining the Nebraska family is truly an honor,” Dannen stated in a release. “My family and I are humbled by the opportunity to be part of such a proud athletics program, institution, community and state. Growing up in Iowa, I watched a lot of Nebraska football on Saturdays with my family. I’ve spent a lot of time in the state and I’ve found that we share a similar approach to life, work and sports: Work hard, stay humble, compete and expect to win. There is a storied tradition at Nebraska, but more work to be done. I truly believe our best years are ahead of us. I couldn’t be more grateful to Interim President Chris Kabourek for this opportunity. Chris has championed an inspiring vision for excellence across the University of Nebraska and he and I are completely aligned on where Nebraska needs to go in the future. I look forward to doing my part to helping Nebraska win championships across the board, graduate our student-athletes and elevate the world-class reputation of the University of Nebraska. I can’t wait to arrive in Nebraska and get to work.”

Dannen was originally appointed Huskies athletics director in October 2023. He made the move from Tulane where he led an overhaul of the program.

Dannen had been athletics director at Tulane since 2015. He was part of the program when it reached three-consecutive bowl games from 2018-20 and won two straight.

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Dannen was also in charge when Green Wave student-athletes earned a record-setting department Academic Progress Report of 992, according to a release.

Under Dannen’s guidance, Tulane secured “the largest unrestricted gift in Tulane Athletics history, an endowment gift which funds the operation of a new sport (sailing), and a $10 million lead gift for capital renovations, which is the second largest gift in department history,” according to a release.

“From my first conversation with Troy Dannen, I knew he was a perfect fit for Nebraska,” Kabourek stated in a release. “He is a fierce competitor, he holds himself and his programs to uncommonly high standards, and he cares personally about the success of student-athletes in sports, school and life. Troy sees the vision and momentum we have here at Nebraska, from our bold investments in facilities to our record success in the classroom to our bold plan to elevate our national reputation and competitiveness, and he is excited to be a part of it. I am thrilled that we’ve found someone who is 100% aligned with our high expectations and will be all-in on Nebraska. Husker Nation, we’ve found a winner in Troy Dannen. I can’t wait to welcome him and his family to Nebraska.”

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Dannen previously served as director of athletics at Northern Iowa from 2008-15. Before that he was the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union’s Executive Director for seven years.

“I’m so fired up about this hire,” Nebraska head coach Matt Rhule said. “Interim President Kabourek has found exactly the right person to lead the Huskers forward. Troy sees what we see – that Nebraska is a special place, with special people, a great vision and the courage to be unabashed about wanting to win across the board. The fact that someone of Troy’s caliber wants to join Team Nebraska will light a fire across our entire department. Let’s go!”