Creighton AD Bruce Rasmussen Announces Retirement Date
OMAHA, Neb. -- After 50 years in education, including the last 41 at Creighton University, McCormick Endowed Director of Athletics Bruce Rasmussen has announced that he will be retiring, with his last day on August 16, 2021. Hired as Director of Athletics on August 1, 1994, Rasmussen's impact on the Creighton and the Omaha community has been immense.
In his 27 years as athletics director, Creighton has risen to national prominence with its success inside and outside the lines of athletic competition. The Bluejays have won 43 regular-season conference titles and 43 conference tournament titles, graduated outstanding young women and men, built new facilities for nearly every sports program, and celebrated record-breaking fundraising campaigns.
Over the past 16 months, Bruce has been instrumental in guiding the athletic department through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, with its cancelations, postponements, and additional safety protocols. He established the Bluejays Persevere initiative, in which 50% of men's basketball season ticket holders donated all or a portion of the costs of their 2020-2021 season tickets to Creighton Athletics.
Rasmussen fostered Creighton's success in the Missouri Valley Conference, and he played a major role in Creighton's entrance into the BIG EAST Conference in March 2013.
Creighton's reputation as one of the nation's top academic institutions is reflected in the achievements Bluejay student-athletes have had in the classroom during Bruce's time as athletics director. Creighton's baseball, softball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, women's golf, women's soccer, and men's and women's tennis teams all have received national awards for their academic accomplishments.
His work has been recognized nationally. In 2019, he became Division I's first four-time recipient of the Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year Award (an honor he also received in 2004, 2010, and 2015), and he received the 2019 Gary Cunningham Lifetime Achievement Award from the Division I-AAA Athletic Directors Association. In addition, he served a five-year term on the highly-esteemed NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Selection Committee, serving as its chairman in his final year in 2018.
Locally, Bruce served as a member of the College World Series of Omaha Inc. Executive Committee, playing a vital role in Creighton and the city of Omaha remaining as hosts of the College World Series. He was one of six individuals on the CWS Oversight Committee that helped select the location for the new downtown TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.
Rasmussen issued the following letter:
After months of thought and prayerful consideration, I have decided that this is the right time for me to step down as Athletics Director at Creighton University. My last day of employment will be August 16. My focus will shift to my family and other passions that have been on my heart for years. Being the Athletic Director at Creighton University has been the privilege of my lifetime. I will dearly miss the daily relationships with my awesome coaches, staff and students. I have also been blessed to have interacted with the many faculty and staff on Creighton's campus for the past 41 years, and with so many, many supporters who have had such a dynamic and multi-generational impact on the young men and women who have come through our athletics programs. It has been an extraordinary honor to have served Creighton University--a special place with special people-- and being a part of something bigger than myself has been one of the joys of my life.
There are many things I've been thankful for during my career at Creighton University. I thank Bluejay nation for the privilege of serving you and for the rewarding life that this has allowed me to lead. I thank my wife, Jill, and my children, who each were so very supportive of my love affair with Creighton University. My thanks also go out to my senior staff, coaches and department staff, our unbelievable student-athletes, my many colleagues over the years at Creighton University, and the donors and fans of our program for their support. Many of my very dear friends are as a result of my career at Creighton—they have mentored me and provided guidance throughout my career. I thank Father Hendrickson and the Presidents at Creighton who preceded him. You cannot have any measure of success in athletics without a caring and supportive President and Board of Trustees. None of what we have achieved could have been accomplished without the collective efforts of everyone who loves the University and our athletics program and the many giants upon whose shoulders we have stood. To all of you I extend my heartfelt thanks and deep appreciation for your encouragement, wisdom and support.
I have said it often throughout my career, but it needs to be repeated—the success of Creighton Athletics would not be possible without so many people going beyond their jobs and their families to make a commitment to us. Our supporters need to know that by doing so, they have touched the hearts and changed the lives of thousands of students who also happened to be athletes over the years. When I see our product—the young men and women who have come through our programs—and how they are leading in their families and businesses and communities, and to see their character and servant hearts, I am so proud of them and Creighton University. This could not have been accomplished without your support.
I just completed my 50th year in education, including teaching, coaching and administration, and it is the right time to step aside and provide an opportunity for both new and different voices and a more contemporary vision. I take great comfort in knowing that the program is in good hands with the amazing staff we currently have in our athletics department. I have always tried to do what is right for Creighton University. This is without doubt the most difficult professional decision that I have ever made. I have spent a great amount of time thinking about this. This is the right time for me. It is short notice because I am uncomfortable with farewell tours and long "good-byes".