LINCOLN, NEB - Husker nation, coaches, student athletes and athletic staff all are getting a glimpse into the future of Husker athletics as Troy Dannen was introduced as the university's 17th athletic director on Tuesday afternoon. 

“I know what this place is,” Dannen said. “To think that I can stand here, in this role, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime.”

The opportunity of a lifetime, for an Iowa native.

Troy Dannen may be Nebraska’s newest athletic director, but he began his time at the University of Northern Iowa, spent eight years as AD at Tulane, before his prior stop to Nebraska, with the Washington Huskies.

Dannen says the AD role at Nebraska was attractive, because he noticed something he calls the “Give a Darn” factor.

“There’s so much momentum here right now…. So much history, great coaches, indescribable facilities, incredible student atheltes and an incredible passion from our fans and that passion is something I like to call a ‘Give a Darn’ factor,” Dannen said. Nothing beats a high “Give a Darn” factor and that factor exists here… Every place throughout the state.”

A project Dannen will take on is the renovation of Memorial Stadium. The current plan would reduce stadium size by possibly 15,000 and revamp south stadium to improve fan seating, while making improvements to restrooms and concessions for fans with ticketed seats in the area.

While Dannen said he has yet to be filled in on the projects fundamentals, his main focus is winning.

“I will say this, and it’s true with anything… If it helps us win, great. If it doesn’t help us win, I want to win,” Dannen said. “The assessment on anything we do… any stadium infrsatructure, any hire we make, any dollar we invest, does it help us win? Does it help us win academically, socially or does it help us win on the field? That is the criteria by which every dollar we spend should be measured.”

And lastly, Dannen is a big proponent of coach Rhule.

“I’ve seen him win at two different places, where he came in and, not only built it from scratch, but turned it quickly,” Dannen said. “When he was hired, I said this to Trev, put that guy in this gold mine, good things will happen.

Dannen also noted the influence Gov. Jim Pillen had on his decision to take the job at Nebraska and said he plans to meet with volleyball head coach John Cook later this week.