LINCOLN — Dave Rimington is returning to Nebraska, where he was considered one of the great players in college football and played on some of the Huskers' best teams of the early 1980s.
Rimington on Tuesday was named the Huskers' interim athletic director, which NU Chancellor Ronnie Green announced in a release. Rimington will start in his new role immediately and was scheduled to meet with news media members Tuesday afternoon.
According to Nebraska, Rimington agreed to take a leave of absence from his position as president of the Boomer Esiason Foundation. His Husker appointment is scheduled for up to 60 days.
"I am humbled and grateful to accept this responsibility," Rimington said in a statement. "I look forward to working with the coaches, staff and student-athletes at Nebraska, which is a truly special place that has had a profound impact on my life and the lives of countless others."
The Rimington impact was so big during his Husker career (1979 to 1982) that the Rimington Trophy was created in 2000 to annually honor the top college center in college football. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997.
Rimington since 1995 has served as president of the Esiason Foundation, which works to raise money, awareness and support for cystic fibrosis. Rimington and Esiason spent five NFL seasons together as center and quarterback with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Rimington retired from the NFL after playing the 1989 season with Philadelphia.
The interim tag means that Rimington, 57, temporarily moves into the role held by Shawn Eichorst since 2012. Eichorst was fired last Thursday. To find his permanent replacement, NU officials announced that they would both use a search firm during the coming process and seek advice and input from former A.D. and head football coach Tom Osborne, whom Rimington played for as a Husker.
"I'm so pleased that we could count on Dave Rimington, who is a Husker through and through, to answer our call to lend his administrative expertise and unwavering support for Nebraska Athletics during this key time of transition," Green said in a statement. "I am confident that Dave will provide exceptional leadership as we move forward in our search for a new, permanent director of athletics."
Although Rimington and his family — wife, Lisa, and four children — currently live in New York City, the Omaha South graduate regularly returns home. He holds a football camp each summer in Omaha and the Rimington Trophy banquet annually in Lincoln, and proceeds from both help benefit the cystic fibrosis community in the state.
From the Esiason Foundation website: Under his leadership, BEF has instituted and developed a variety of educational programs, scholarships and new media initiatives that have directly benefited cystic fibrosis communities nationwide. Under Rimington’s direction, the Foundation has taken an active approach to education, awareness and fundraising strategies through new media and technology channels. Programs such as the popular CF Podcast Series have served as a source of inspiration to many in the CF community.
Nebraska went 41-8 during his four-year career, and Rimington was a first-team All-Big Eight choice each of his last three seasons. Rimington was named the Big Eight offensive player of the year in 1981, the only time in league history that a lineman earned that honor.
Rimington is still the only player to win the Outland Trophy in consecutive years (1981 and '82), and he added the Lombardi Award as a senior. In 2004, he became the first NU student-athlete in history to be inducted into the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame.
Rimington was a first-round draft choice of the Bengals in 1983 after his NU career.
In recent years, Rimington has taken to photography, mostly centered around his love of the outdoors.
“When you get out in nature, you feel better,” Rimington said. “I can have a bad day but then go to the lake and listen to the water or the birds and it’s a stress reliever for me.”
Rimington is No. 27 on The Nebraska 100, a World-Herald ranking of the great athletes in state history that was originally selected in 2005 and then updated and re-ranked in 2015.
From his bio: Rimington tore an anterior cruciate ligament in the 1978 Shrine Bowl before enrolling at NU out of Omaha South. Surgery to repair torn ACLs wasn't refined until later, said Tom Osborne, his coach at NU, so Rimington played his entire career with a torn knee ligament.
Is Dave Rimington the right choice for Nebraska's interim A.D.?
Nebraska announced on Tuesday that former Husker All-American will take over as interim athletic director. Did NU make the right choice?