Mike Kemp has been named Omaha’s interim athletic director and will assume the role on Monday, July 19, 2021.
“This is a bittersweet time for me,” said Kemp in a statement. “Trev Alberts has been a trusted friend and a great colleague for over 12 years. Together, we have gone through many challenging and thrilling experiences. He has left an indelible mark on Omaha athletics that will ink his legacy in our athletic lore.
“It is a great honor for me to be entrusted with the responsibility to lead this department,” added Kemp. “I want to thank President Carter, Chancellor Li and the Nebraska Board of Regents for this tremendous opportunity. I have spent my career here at UNO dedicated to creating opportunities for student-athletes, first as a coach, then as a sport administrator, and I feel blessed that my journey has led me here. In this new position, student-athletes will be the center of my efforts. With the help of the campus community, and the continued support of Omaha at large, we will be able to continue the tremendous growth that Omaha Athletics has experienced over the past 12 years. I look forward to the challenge.”
Kemp has been with Omaha since 1996 when he became the program’s first head hockey coach. He later rose to the associate athletic director position in 2009 which he held until 2019 when he was elevated to senior associate athletic director for events and facilities, overseeing the hockey program and serving as the general manager of Baxter Arena.
For his service to the conference and NCAA men’s hockey during a difficult 2020-21 season, Kemp was honored in April with the 2021 NCHC Commissioner’s Award. He is the first person to receive the NCHC Commissioner’s Award, which is presented to an individual who, through dedicated effort and service, has achieved a singularly distinguished accomplishment that has significantly enhanced the NCHC or a member institution during the current academic year.
“Mike Kemp has been an integral part of the NCHC since its formation,” said NCHC commissioner Josh Fenton. “He has made significant contributions toward our success over 10 years. We are fortunate to have someone in Mike who can step right into the interim AD role at Omaha and continue supporting the conference at a high level.”
“I would like to congratulate Mike on his appointment to interim AD,” added Mavericks hockey coach Mike Gabinet. “Mike is a friend, mentor and a great leader. I am very confident in his ability to continue to grow our athletic department. We are in good hands.”
During Kemp’s tenure at the helm of the Maverick hockey program, the team became a national leader in college hockey attendance, a tradition that continues today. Also during his coaching career, he served on the board of governors of the American Hockey Coaches Association, serving as a second vice-president from 2000 to 2003.
Kemp is currently a board member of the Omaha Sports Hall of Fame and serves as the chair of the six-member NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee.
In 2009, Kemp was inducted into the Omaha Hockey Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Omaha Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.