The University of Nebraska Kearney announced current UW-Whitewater athletic director Paul Plinske has accepted the same position with Loper athletics. Plinske was hired over three other candidates — Jean Berger of the University of Northern Iowa, Mary Ellen Gillespie of Bowling Green State University and Rick Goeb of Bemidji State University. Plinske replaces Jon McBride, who stepped down in May.
Nebraska Kearney competes in Division II of the NCAAand is a member of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). The Lopers compete in 17 sports.
Chancellor Doug Kristensen welcomed Plinske to Kearney.
“Paul brings vision and a wealth of experience and noteworthy accomplishments to UNK,” Kristensen said. “He is the best fit for moving our athletic program forward in a time of rapid change, challenges and opportunities in collegiate athletics.”
Under Plinske’s leadership UW-Whitewater won nine national championships, had seven national runner-up finishes, won 42 conference titles and secured more than $12 million through fundraising to support facility enhancements, including an $8 million outdoor athletic complex renovation.
“It is an honor to be selected as the next director of athletics at the University of Nebraska at Kearney,” Plinske said. “I am genuinely excited to be in a position to collaborate with the campus and community to further advance the mission of the university and Loper athletics. I would like to thank Chancellor Kristensen for this outstanding opportunity,” he added. “I’m proud to be joining the Loper family and Kearney community.”