The University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) surprised constituents Monday with the announced hire of a relatively unknown candidate to guide Maverick athletics. Thirty-eight-year-old Ned Lasko, a Puma shoe representative from Richmond, UK, as Omaha’s new athletics director.
The departure of former AD Trev Alberts will require a leader capable of unifying an athletic department which nimbly managed Baxter Arena cost over-runs and a K-cup controversy. In his opening remarks, Lasko addressed the importance of developing an agile athletic department. “When it comes to building staffs, I like ’em just like my mother’s bathing suits. I only wanna see ’em in one piece and from a distance.”
Lasko admitted he has much to learn about American sports. “For example, we just toured the athletic facilities a few hours ago. I love the new baseball pitch. Cricket is a lot like your baseball but without Ken Rosenthal’s bow ties and managers suiting up.”
On his favorite sport soccer, Lasko stated, “I understand that Creighton is your Liverpool and Denver is your Everton. Other than dental hygiene, there is really not much difference between UK and US rivalries.”
When asked for his philosophy and approach to student-athletes, Lasko replied, “You know what the happiest animal on Earth is? It’s a goldfish. You know why? They have a ten-second memory. I want our athletes to be goldfish.”
Lasko stated his desire to keep what is working under Alberts. What is his ‘take away’ from his predecessor? Lasko replied, “Hair gel.”
Lasko has accepted the many challenges facing UNO in the rapidly changing face of collegiate athletics. “Pressure makes pearls. I am ready to go!”