The University of Nebraska at Omaha announced today that Adrian Dowell will serve as its next vice chancellor of athletics.
Dowell, who currently serves as the assistant vice president and associate athletic director for Creighton University athletics, was selected following a national search. UNO Chancellor Joanne Li, Ph.D., CFA introduced Dowell during a press conference on UNO’s campus alongside University of Nebraska System President Ted Carter, UNO coaches, student-athletes, and members of the UNO campus and Omaha communities.
“Adrian Dowell is a true Maverick,” Chancellor Li said. “He is a dynamic individual who inspires a winning attitude in others and has proven to be an transformational presence in Division I athletics. I am thrilled for our Omaha community to get to know Adrian and I look forward to celebrating the success our student-athletes will achieve as a result of his leadership.”
President Carter commended UNO on the selection.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Adrian Dowell and his family to UNO and the University of Nebraska,” said University of Nebraska System President Ted Carter. “He will be an outstanding leader for our student-athletes and the UNO community as a whole. Adrian understands that athletics are a vital part of campus life, and he brings a proven record of leadership and success to our university. I’m confident he will help the Mavericks compete at the highest levels both athletically and academically.”
“It is an incredible honor and a privilege to lead this athletic department, and I am grateful to the search committee for this opportunity,” Dowell said. “Greatness is the collective goal at UNO and I believe there is a strong foundation in place that we can build on together to achieve that goal. I couldn’t be more excited to get started.”
Dowell joined Creighton’s staff in 2014 as the Assistant Athletic Director and Senior Director for Development when he was tasked with the initial build and implementation of the Athletic Development Office. Since the development of the office, the Athletic Department has raised over $98 million in gift revenue supporting various strategic priorities. In his current role, Dowell guides the department’s external affairs and oversees the Athletic Development Office including all fundraising efforts for the athletic department consisting of Jaybacker annual giving, endowment, capital and planned giving programs.
He previously served on the Mountaineer Athletic Club staff at West Virginia University, where he served the final three of his five years with the program as a major gifts officer and director of development. While at WVU, Dowell was an integral member of a team that recorded two then-consecutive record-breaking fundraising campaigns as part of WVU’s transition to the Big 12 Conference and oversaw all aspects of the premium seating program.
Dowell holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Health & Human Performance—Sport Management from Roanoke College, where he was captain on the men’s basketball team, and earned a Master’s in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Sport Administration from West Virginia University in 2011.
He is married to 2010 UNO Athletic Hall of Fame inductee Stephanie (Kirby) Dowell, and has three children: Lauren Grace, Paige, and Adrian III.
Dowell will begin his duties effective Dec. 1, 2021.
Watch: Adrian Dowell Speaks at the News Conference
What Others Are Saying
“I am delighted to welcome Adrian Dowell and his family to the UNO community. I have no doubt that UNO coaches, athletic staff, and student-athletes will thrive under his leadership.”
Barbara Weitz, University of Nebraska System Regent
"I have known and worked with Adrian Dowell for the last 8 years. His career and experience speak to the leadership and championship mindset he brings to the Omaha Athletics department. He will be a tremendous leader for UNO. I look forward to seeing how he continues to elevate the profile of all Mavericks to new heights both in competition and the classroom."
Jack Stark, University of Nebraska System Regent
“Today marks the beginning of what I believe will be a very exciting time for Omaha Athletics and the city of Omaha. The more time you spend around Adrian Dowell, you can’t help but be proud to be a Maverick.”
Mickey Anderson, Baxter Auto
“Adrian Dowell understands that when student-athletes have the support and resources they need to grow as people, they can excel in their sport. I am excited for each of our Mavericks to get to know Adrian and to understand his passion and commitment to the student-athlete experience.”
Lindsey Ekwerekwu, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Academics/Senior Woman Administrator, Omaha Athletics
“UNO’s selection of Adrian Dowell as its next athletic director shows its peers and competitors that this university is serious about building an athletic program committed not only to winning championships, but also to build upon a championship culture of academic success among its student athletes. I look forward to seeing how his experience, his vision, and his ability to foster existing relationships continues to raise the profile of Omaha Athletics.”
Howard Hawks, Former University of Nebraska System Regent
“Strong bonds between the university and its athletic department are critical to long-term success. Adrian Dowell is the person to strengthen those bonds and leverage the relationships he builds to help create a campus environment that is second to none.“
Bill Wakefield, Ph.D., Professor, UNO School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, NCAA UNO Faculty Athletics Representative
“It’s every athlete’s goal to be the hardest worker everywhere you go. That’s true on the court, in the weight room, and in the classroom. As a former student-athlete himself, Adrian Dowell understands that mindset and it shows through his genuine passion for college athletics.”
Sami Clarkson, UNO Volleyball Setter
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.