In April 2009, the University of Nebraska Omaha started to move in a new direction: one direction.
With the hire of Trev Alberts as Director of Athletics, and now Vice-Chancellor of for Athletics, not only did the athletic department change, the university as a whole did.
When Alberts arrived on campus, he had no experience with being an administrator. In fact, Alberts graduated with a bachelor’s in Communication from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Alberts’s only job experience was playing in the NFL for three years and broadcasting college and professional football with networks like CNN, ESPN and CBS
Why did Alberts decide to get into athletic administration then?
“I was encouraged to look at the job,” said Alberts. “I wanted to give back and serve my university.”
When he first arrived on campus, Alberts said he didn’t see any banners with the school’s logos.
“There was no sort of presence on campus,” said Alberts.
That was the first change Alberts made in his new position. With a rebrand of the athletic department, “Omaha” finally had a name and look.
The second change that was made, one that has been met with backlash, came in 2011 when Omaha moved from Division II athletics to Division I. With the only invite being from The Summit League, the athletic department needed to make cuts to its program; those being wrestling and football.
When asked if the program is where he thought it would be when he made the decision to move up a division, Alberts said he can’t honestly say this is where we need to be. However, he noted the immediate success that the teams have had since the move and gives credit to the coaches and their staff.
Along with the tremendous success Maverick athletics have had in the past years, and with the hiring of great coaches, Alberts also attributes these accomplishments to three key points: 1. Educate students, never allow a GPA below 3.2; 2. The integration of athletics on campus; 3. Everything revolves around the student-athlete.
Points two and three go hand in hand. As the athletic department continues to grow, Alberts wants student-athletes to play on campus and include the university in those games; especially the students.
Because Alberts is a vice chancellor, he works with other administrators such as Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs B.J. Reed; whom when Alberts was hired, was his mentor.
When asked about Alberts, Reed said he puts academics first and refers to the Maverick athletes and student-athletes.
As students, we can also thank Alberts for our student section at Baxter Arena.
“He was a strong advocate to make sure there were 700 seats for students,” said Reed. “Those seats could have bought tickets and increased revenue; the new students were an integral part.”
As for the future of the Omaha Athletic Department, Alberts says the opportunities are endless; either with new facilities or adding new sports such as Men’s Cross Country or Men’s swimming, which is not offered at any university in the state.
For his own plans, Alberts plans to stay in his position as vice chancellor. Although he hasn’t thought about teaching about either athletic administration or communications, he will still continue to be a guest speaker throughout the community.
When you get an opportunity to sit down with Trev Alberts, plan to be there for a while. “I like to talk,” he says.
Alberts will be glad to share his knowledge of administration and communication. You will also get a feeling that he is one who grew up with the Omaha name his whole life. When you ask the coaches in Sapp Fieldhouse to describe Alberts, they will all tell you he’s a ‘Maverick.’
As someone who cares for his students, those that are not in the athletic department and is described as a ‘Maverick,’ the University of Nebraska Omaha is lucky to have him leading the way for Omaha Maverick Athletics.