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Reports: Washington AD Troy Dannen set to leave for Nebraska after just 5 months with the Huskies

SEATTLE, WA - November 25:  Washington head coach Kalen DeBoer holds the Apple cup trophy with Athletic Department AD Troy Dannen after the 115 Apple Cup college football game between the Washington Huskies and the Washington State Cougars on November 25, 2023, at Husky Stadium in Seattle, WA. (Photo by Jesse Beals/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Just months after they celebrated beating Washington State in November, both Troy Dannen (L) and Kalen DeBoer have new jobs. (Photo by Jesse Beals/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) (Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Nebraska moved quickly to secure its replacement for Trev Alberts.

According to multiple reports, the Huskers are set to hire Washington athletic director Troy Dannen. Alberts left his alma mater for Texas A&M a week ago and found out Sunday that both the Texas A&M men’s and women’s basketball teams are playing Nebraska in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Dannen’s arrival means he’s joining the Big Ten a few months earlier than he was supposed to. Washington is heading to the Big Ten this summer along with Oregon, UCLA and USC as the Pac-12 essentially dissolves. Four other schools — Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah — are heading to the Big 12.

Dannen has only been at Washington for five months. He came to the school from Tulane to replace Jen Cohen after she took the athletic director job at USC. And to say that Dannen’s time at Washington was eventful would be an understatement.

The Huskies had an undefeated regular season in football and made it to the national title game before losing to Michigan. As the school was in negotiations for a contract extension with head coach Kalen DeBoer, Alabama coach Nick Saban retired. Alabama hired DeBoer as Saban’s replacement. Dannen then went out and hired Arizona coach Jedd Fisch to replace DeBoer.

As Washington’s men’s basketball team failed to make the NCAA tournament for the fifth consecutive season, Dannen recently made the decision to fire coach Mike Hopkins. With the tournament set to begin on Thursday, Washington is without a men’s basketball coach. And may be without a coach until a new athletic director is hired.

If you’re someone who feels the ability for players to freely transfer schools is a net negative for college sports, it must be hard to not feel the same way about Dannen's departure. Five months is an incredibly short tenure for an athletic director — especially one who is departing voluntarily.

At Nebraska, Dannen will be hoping for the same football turnaround that Washington experienced. The Huskies improved from 4-8 in 2021 to 11-2 in 2022 after firing Jimmy Lake and replacing him with DeBoer. The Huskers were 4-8 in 2022 after firing Scott Frost three games into the season and went 5-7 in Matt Rhule’s first season in 2023. The former Big 12 power hasn’t won 10 games in a season since it went 10-4 in its second season in the Big Ten in 2012.