Washington AD Troy Dannen leaves for Nebraska

After more than five months as the University of Washington athletic director, Troy Dannen will be leaving to oversee the University of Nebraska's Athletics Department.

ESPN's Pete Thamel first reported on Wednesday that Nebraska was finalizing a six-year deal to be the school's new athletic director.

Washington president Ana Marie Cauce named Erin O'Connell – the school's Deputy Athletic Director and Chief Operating Officer – as interim director, a role she held after Jen Cohen left UW for the University of Southern California in August. 

"This is deeply disappointing," Cauce said in a statement. "But as a University committed to the welfare of the entire individual, we understand the need to make choices based on what’s best for one’s family. We wish Troy well.

"Leading this program is one of the greatest opportunities in the country. We’ve seen time and again how Huskies compete and win on the national stage and we are grateful for the strong support of Husky Nation, who have positioned us so well for the future. And with Coach Fisch joining our group of talented coaches, who are leading teams of incredible student-athletes, our future is bright.

"We’ll begin a search for the next Director of Athletics immediately. I look forward to recruiting a leader who is committed to the goals and values of Husky Athletics – someone who will lead Husky Athletics into the Big Ten and build on the successes of recent months and years."

Cohen left the role to move to USC shortly after the school's decision to leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten. O'Connell served as the interim AD in place of Cohen until Dannen's hire in October.

Before he was hired at Washington, Dannen had been with Tulane since 2015. The Iowa native has served on various NCAA committees in recent years, including the Division I Transformation Committee and the Football Oversight Committee.

During his time at Tulane, Dannen hired football coach Willie Fritz and helped turn the Green Wave into one of the strongest Group of Five programs in the country in the American Athletic Conference. Before his time at Tulane, he was the athletic director at Northern Iowa.

Dannen's first big decision came in hiring Arizona's Jedd Fisch to succeed Kalen DeBoer, who left for the University of Alabama after leading the Huskies to the National Championship game in January. Earlier this month, Dannen had announced that Mike Hopkins would not return as the Washington men's basketball coach after he was with the program for 7 seasons.

The next AD will immediately be tasked with finding a new head coach for the men's basketball program along with stabilizing a department that has seen significant turnover in major positions in the last several months.

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 14: Washington Athletic Director Troy Dannen gets introduced during his first home football game after becoming the Athletic Director at Washington. The game was between the Washington Huskies and the Oregon Ducks on October 14,


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