Bill Moos is coming over from Washington State as Nebraska’s new athletic director. The Huskers announced his hiring 24 days after parting ways with previous athletic director Shawn Eichorst.
Here are some quick facts to get you caught up on him:
Moos comes to Nebraska from Washington State, where he was pretty successful
If Moos can put Nebraska football on the same track he got the program at Washington State on, fans are going to be pretty happy. He hired Mike Leach, who has turned the Cougars into a fearsome program that reached No. 8 in the AP Top 25 before losing in blowout fashion to Cal on Friday night. If Nebraska does decided to part with football coach Mike Riley after the season, Moos’ connection to Leach means the latter will be a name that will inevitably come up, even if it’s just on message boards.
Moos was the athletic director at Oregon before going to Washington state, and his term there did not end amicably
Moos helped elevate the Ducks to the Pac-12 power they are now. He put Oregon on the path to get $160 in facilities renovations, improved alumni donations, added two women’s sports and negotiated an exclusive contract with Nike during his 12 years at the school. His departure from Oregon in 2007 was reportedly tied to disagreements with Oregon super-donor and Nike founder Phil Knight, who made a $100 million donation to the athletic department after the school bought out Moos’s contract. Still, Moos did not say anything negative about his departure from the school.
“Oregon’s got an arena, and I’ve got a cattle ranch,” Moos told Seattlepi.com. “Everybody’s happy.”
Bill Moos has seen money pour in to the schools he’s led
Moos was part of the aforementioned deal with Nike, a brand that has helped lead Oregon to new heights. He also helped negotiate the Pac-12’s 12-year, $3 billion television contract with FOX and ESPN.
From his Washington State biography:
“Oregon’s annual athletic department budget grew from $18.5 million in his first year to more than $40 million by 2007, becoming 100 percent self-sufficient during that time. Under his direction the Duck Athletic Fund donor base increased from 4,930 to 12,290, resulting in an annual gifts increase from $4.1 million to $15.3 million.”
Increases in money are usually synonymous with winning. If a team wins more games, alumni are going to be more willing to donate more money. If a team has more money, it can invest in facilities and a video department, which can impress recruits, which can lead to more wins.
Bill Moos is a Washington State football alum
Nebraska isn’t trying to pretend that football is anything except its most important sport.
“We all know the importance of football in Husker athletics,” chancellor Ronnie Green said after the program fired Eichorst. “I’m not going to debate that. We know the importance of it to our brand. The expectations associated with Husker football are high, should be high. But with that said, we also expect greatness in baseball. We expect it in basketball, men’s and women’s basketball, we expect excellence in track and field. We expect excellence in gymnastics, in volleyball. You go down the list.”
Moos played football at Washington State, so he undoubtedly isn’t taking the Huskers football program lightly.
He is 66 years old, so this could be his last big job
A SportsBusinessJournal report from 2014 pegged the average athletic director age at 52. This is Moos’s fourth stop as an athletic director, and at his age, it’ll likely be his last. That could be good for Nebraska. The Huskers likely won’t be losing him to another school because that school would likely be on the hook for Moos until his mid-70s. Not that it can’t be done (Bill Snyder is still coaching Kansas State at 78), but the fact is that Moos is likely not coaching for his next job. His comments upon arriving in Lincoln said as much:
Bill Moos, walking out of North Stadium. How long has this been on his radar screen? "Nebraska? 25 years. That's the kind of school it is."
— Parker Gabriel (@HuskerExtraPG) October 15, 2017