'Privilege of My Lifetime'

‘Privilege of My Lifetime’

Rasmussen Retires as Athletic Director After 41 Years at Creighton

Bruce Rasmussen retired as Creighton’s McCormick Endowed Athletic Director on Aug. 16. Rasmussen had been at Creighton for 41 years, the last 27 as the director of athletics. At the time of his retirement, he was the fifth-longest serving active Division I athletic director in the country.

Rasmussen said his decision to retire, announced in July, came after months of thoughtful and prayerful consideration.

“My focus will shift to my family and other passions that have been on my heart for years,” Rasmussen said in his announcement. “Being the athletic director at Creighton University has been the privilege of my lifetime.”

Under Rasmussen’s leadership, Creighton athletics has risen to national prominence in a number of areas. His legacy includes 43 regular-season conference titles and 43 conference tournament titles; the hiring of successful coaches; the construction of new facilities in nearly every sport; academic accolades for student-athletes; Creighton’s historic move to the BIG EAST Conference in 2013; and record-breaking fundraising campaigns.

Rasmussen recently celebrated 50 years in education, as a teacher, coach and administrator. Before coming to Creighton, he was a successful high school girls basketball coach in Iowa.

“Bruce has been participating in the lives of student-athletes, in one capacity or another, for half a century — creating an incredible legacy of success, revealed in the lives of those he has touched,” said Creighton President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD.

“I want to express my deep gratitude to Bruce for his more than four decades of service to Creighton University and his 27 years as athletic director. Through his leadership, Creighton athletics is poised for continued success.”

Rasmussen came to Creighton in 1980 to coach the women’s basketball team. He would guide the Bluejays to school records for wins in five of his 12 seasons. He then stepped into athletic administration and was named athletic director on Aug. 1, 1994.

He served as chairman of the highly esteemed NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Selection Committee in 2018 in his final year of a five-year term on the committee, and he assisted in keeping the College World Series in Omaha and its move to TD Ameritrade Park through his work with College World Series of Omaha Inc. and the CWS Oversight Committee.

In 2019, Rasmussen became the first four-time recipient of the Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year Award. That same year, he was presented with the Gary Cunningham Lifetime Achievement Award from the Division I-AAA Athletic Directors Association.

Creighton’s reputation as one of the nation’s top academic institutions is reflected in the success that Bluejay student-athletes have had across the board in the classroom during Rasmussen’s service as athletic director. Bluejay student-athletes have achieved GPAs of 3.30 or above in 27 straight semesters entering the fall of 2021.

“None of what we have achieved could have been accomplished without the collective efforts of everyone who loves the University and our athletics program,” Rasmussen said. “To all of you, I extend my heartfelt thanks and deep appreciation for your encouragement, wisdom and support.   

“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.”