I admit, I knew nothing about Shawn Eichorst (IKE-horst) before I found out that he was close to being hired as the new UM athletic director.
Eichorst was announced today as UM's new athletic director to replace Kirby Hocutt.
In 2006 he joined the athletics program at Wisconsin, where UM president Donna Shalala was the former chancellor. Since 2009, Eichorst has been the deputy athletic director/chief operating officer. President Shalala is close with former Wisconsin football coach and current athletic director Barry Alvarez, so if he thinks Eichorst is great, she would value that opinion a great deal.
He's an attorney (law degree from Marquette in 1995), is a native of Lone Rock., Wis., and came to Wisconsin from South Carolina, where he served as senior associate athletics director for administration.
He played football (DB) for Wisconsin-Whitewater (1990 team captain) and graduated magna cum laude in business from UW-Whitewater in 1990.
"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 in a UM release. "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."
Quote from Shalala: "Shawn Eichorst has the skills, experience, and philosophy to elevate UM athletics and exceed our highest expectations.''
By the way, one of the things Eichorst is responsible for at Wisconsin is men's basketball.. Hmmmm. Maybe he'll try to persuade Wisconsin-MIlwaukee coach Rob Jeter -- a former Wisconsin assistant -- to interview for the UM job. Jeter is said to be interested in the UM job.
I'm wondering how much UM's own Tony Hernandez was considered. He's a very intelligent man, is a UM guy all the way, and a lawyer as well. Hernandez earned a Law Degree and a Bachelor's of Business Administration in Finance, both from the University of Miami. Tony was named the Deputy Director of Athletics for UM in August. He is an expert on compliance issues, and oversees that department. Tony has been groomed for years at UM, and everyone I know who knows him well thinks he is very good at what he does. He's a very nice man, to boot.
As far as Eichorst goes, I'm obviously withholding judgement because I've never met him and don't know anything about him other than what I've read.
Addendum: UM football coach Al Golden was one of the people who interviewed Eichorst, and said he approved of the hire. "I'm real excited about Shawn joining UM,'' Golden said. "He's energetic, he's exactly what we're looking for and he has been at South Carolina and Wisconsin and has great experience in athletic departments and certainly in terms of football. He wants to be here and obviously came really highly recommended from both [Wisconsin football coach] Brett Bielema and [Wisconsin athletic director] Barry Alvarez.
UM safety Vaughn Telemaque injured himself during Thursday's practice, and was transported by ambulance to the hospital. h
Telemaque, as you know, showed up to the scrimmage and was walking the sideline with a red jersey (for injured players) and a neck brace.
I heard from someone who was at Thursday's practice that coach Al Golden stopped the practice after Vaughn was hurt, and had his players make a circle around Vaughn and begin praying. Vaughn was strapped to a board and taken by ambulance.
Vaughn talked to reporters before today's practice, saying he hopes to be out of the brace by the end of the week.
"I was pretty scared,'' he said. "It felt like a flashback of my freshman year. I'm just really excited it wasn't as serious, and I'll be back.''
Pinched nerve? he was asked. "Something like that,'' he answered, explaining that as a freshman he had a "dead nerve'' in his shouler.
Golden said Telemaque will “be fine. We always want to err on the side of caution when we’re dealing with the back or neck… so we are going to continue to sit him down this week.’’
OTHER TUESDAY NOTES
Golden was asked about TB Storm Johnson, who led the last scrimmage with 75 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Golden said (and made sure to tell us he had told Johnson this already), "if he doesn't improve his ball security and pass protection he's not going to be the starter. We need to really make progress on that here the next three practices.''
Again, Golden lauded Jacory Harris as much improved, saying he's "impressed with the direction he's taking us right now. He's finding his checkdowns and hit some explosive strikes down the field'' during Saturday's scrimmage.
But Golden also said Jacory still needs to improve in his "preparation, film study and being a student of the game.''
He said he likes Stephen Morris' arm strength and the way he moves with the ball.
He maintains Harris and Morris are in "a dead heat right now.''
LT Seantrel Henderson was on the sideline with the injured players Tuesday.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN