A member of the highly esteemed NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, Bruce Rasmussen enters his 21st year as athletic director, and 35th overall at Creighton University.
During Rasmussen’s tenure, Creighton has risen to prominence with its success on and off the field, impressive facilities and record-breaking fundraising efforts.
For evidence, look no further than four recent projects that continue to change the area athletics’ scene. The Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center and D.J. Sokol Arena opened in 2009 and immediately gave Creighton’s women’s basketball and volleyball teams a top-notch facility to call home. East of the Ryan Athletic Center is Creighton’s new student recreation center that was named the Rasmussen Center in his honor and stands as one of the centerpieces on the Creighton campus. It is located near the Championship Center, which opened in June 2014 and is considered one of the best of its kind. Last but not least is the completion of TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, home to Bluejay baseball and the College World Series, which opened in 2011 to rave reviews.
Those projects add to an overhaul in the school’s athletic facilities over the past decade, which has also seen Creighton begin play at three of the finest facilities nationwide -- Michael G. Morrison, S.J., Stadium (soccer) and CenturyLink Center Omaha (men’s basketball) and TD Ameritrade Park Omaha (baseball)
Rasmussen also helped lead the charge for one of the biggest moves in school history when the school accepted an invitation into the BIG EAST Conference in March of 2013.
Since Rasmussen assumed the role of athletics director, Creighton has won 30 regular-season and 36 conference tournament titles, which have helped lead to 69 postseason appearances. The Bluejays remain the only school in the 108-year history of the Missouri Valley Conference to make 16 straight men’s basketball postseasons, and have made the NCAA Tournament in men’s soccer in 21 of the past 22 years. The Creighton softball team has made six NCAA Tournament appearances in the last 12 years.
Creighton was also recognized with the MVC All-Academic Award in seven of its final nine seasons in the league, including a record 3.37 GPA in the spring of 2012 by student-athletes.
A member of the College World Series of Omaha, Inc., Executive Committee, Rasmussen continues to play a vital role in Creighton and the city of Omaha remaining as host of the College World Series. He was one of six individuals on the CWS Oversight Committee that helped decide the location for the new downtown TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, which will help keep the CWS in Omaha for another 25 years. With Creighton serving as host, the CWS has welcomed more than 300,000 fans in each of the last nine years.
Rasmussen was one of four regional winners from the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) to take home a 2004 GeneralSports TURF Systems AD of the Year Award, and in 2010 was again honored with an Under Armour AD of the Year award by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. In 2008, he was inducted into the Omaha Sports Hall of Fame.
Creighton’s reputation as one of the nation’s top academic institutions is reflected in the success the Bluejay student-athletes have had in the classroom during Rasmussen’s service as athletics director. Creighton’s baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s golf, volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country, women’s soccer and men’s and women’s tennis teams all have received national awards for their academic success. Bluejay student-athletes have owned GPAs of 3.30 or above in 16 straight semesters entering the fall of 2014.
Creighton’s primary annual athletics fundraising events are the Bluejay Bash and the Bluejay Jamboree. Under Rasmussen’s leadership, each of these events continues to raise record-breaking funds for Creighton athletics. Most notably, the 2013 Jamboree generated more than $400,000 through its gourmet dinner, raffle and auction.
Rasmussen accepted the associate athletics director position in 1992 after a 12-year run as the winningest coach in Creighton women’s basketball history (196-147), culminating in the program’s historic 1991-92 season.
The 1992 Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, Rasmussen led the 1991-92 Bluejay women to a program-record 28 wins (28-4), the WAC regular-season and tournament championships and a first-round NCAA Tournament victory in the program’s first-ever trip to the “Big Dance.” With that 28-4 record in 1991-92, Rasmussen completed his college coaching career with a 196-147 record, good for a .571 winning percentage.
After serving as associate athletics director for two years, 1992-94, Rasmussen was named athletics director on Aug. 1, 1994.
A native of Webster City, Iowa, Rasmussen and his wife, Jill, have five children: Megan (29), David (27), John (23), Katie (19) and Grace (16).