OMAHA, Neb. – Bruce Rasmussen, the Creighton athletic director who oversaw the rise of the men’s basketball team and the school’s transition to the Big East Conference during his tenure over the past 27 years, will retire next month.
Rasmussen, 70, announced his retirement Monday, roughly a month after he and the school were sanctioned by the NCAA for the only major rules violation of his tenure. The NCAA found that a former assistant basketball coach accepted cash from a management agency. Rasmussen conducted his own investigation into the matter but kept the findings private until the FBI released details of a corruption scandal that involved several big-name schools.
Despite that controversy, Rasmussen has generally been well regarded during his tenure and has been honored by Under Armour as the top athletic director in Division I a record four times. He also spent five years on the NCAA Division I men’s basketball selection committee, serving as the chairman in 2018.
“Being the Athletic Director at Creighton University has been the privilege of my lifetime,” Rasmussen said in a statement. “I will dearly miss the daily relationships with my awesome coaches, staff and students.”
During Rasmussen’s tenure, Creighton sports programs have won 43 conference titles, including league championships in men’s basketball, baseball, women’s basketball and volleyball during Creighton’s time in the Big East, which Creighton joined in 2013 after decades in the Missouri Valley Conference.
He helped pick the site of TD Ameritrade Park, which is home to the College World Series as well as Creighton baseball, and played a role in the construction of several other new facilities for Creighton athletics.
Rasmussen said retirng was the “most difficult professional decision” he has ever made, but he spent a lot of time thinking about it and he believes the school is in good hands with the current staff of the athletic department.
“I have always tried to do what is right for Creighton University,” Rasmussen said. “This is the right time for me. It is short notice because I am uncomfortable with farewell tours and long `goodbyes.”‘
Rasmussen also was Creighton’s women’s basketball coach for 12 years with his teams winning 57% of their games, including an NCAA Tournament game in his final year as coach in the 1991-92 season.