Pederson and Callahan will open the day with a send-off event at the First National Tower in Omaha from 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. The two will cover more ground than any other group, visiting six cities during the day and traveling as far west as Scottsbluff before returning to Lincoln to stop by the festivities at South Pointe Pavilion Friday night.
"We are so fortunate at Nebraska to have such enthusiastic and loyal fans," Pederson said. "The Husker Nation Tour is a great opportunity to personally thank them for everything they have done for us. It is also a great way to introduce the fans to Coach Callahan and his talented staff. We are very happy to have the support of First National in this exciting event."
Pinnacle Sports Productions will play an vital role in bringing the Husker Nation Tour to Nebraska fans who are unable to attend one of the tour stops. Pinnacle, which is in its eighth year of producing and marketing live broadcasts of Husker athletics, will utilize network stations across the state to promote the tour. In addition, Pinnacle Sports personalities Jim Rose, Adrian Fiala, John Bishop, Randy Lee and Matt Davison will each travel with one of the five tour groups and will report back to Gary Sharp, who will host Sports Nightly live from South Pointe Pavilion beginning at 6 p.m.
First National, the title sponsor of the Husker Nation Tour, will serve as the official bank sponsor of Husker athletics pending approval by the Nebraska Board of Regents at its June 2004 meeting. First National of Nebraska serves 27 communities statewide and is one of the largest bank holding companies headquartered west of the Mississippi River. First National and its affiliates have $15 billion in managed assets and more than 7,000 employees located across the United States. Primary banking offices are located in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas. First National is committed to helping the University of Nebraska maintain its standing as one of the top athletic programs in the nation.
While several of the 2004 cities were also stops on the inaugural 2003 tour, many of this year's stops will be first-time destinations. The cities, groups and sports information contact are listed on the following page. Times, event details for each stop and local chairpersons will be released Tuesday, May 25.
2004 Husker Nation Tour - Brought to You by First National Bank
Group 1: Omaha, Norfolk, Valentine, Chadron, Scottsbluff, Lincoln
4Football Staff: Bill Callahan, Head Coach
4Administration: Steve Pederson, Athletic Director
4Pinnacle Broadcaster/MC: Jim Rose (Gary Sharp live from Lincoln on Sports Nightly)
4Sports Information Contact: Chris Anderson, (402) 472-2263
Group 2: David City, Seward, York, Aurora, Grand Island
4Football Staff: Kevin Cosgrove, Defensive Coordinator; Scott Downing, Recruiting Coordinator/Tight Ends
4Other: Barry Collier, Head Men's Basketball Coach (first four stops only)
4Administration: Mark Boehm, Executive Assoc. A.D.; Tommie Frazer, Asst. Director of Development
4Pinnacle Broadcaster/MC: Randy Lee
4Sports Information Contact: Keith Mann, (402) 472-2263
Group 3: McCook, North Platte, Ogallala, Kearney
4Football Staff: Jay Norvell, Offensive Coordinator
4Other: John Cook, Head Volleyball Coach
4Administration: Paul Meyers, Asst. A.D. for Development
4Pinnacle Broadcaster/MC: Matt Davison
4Sports Information Contact: Shannon Sherman, (402) 472-2263
Group 4: Fremont, Wayne, Columbus
4Football Staff: Bill Busch, Outside Linebackers; Tim Cassidy, Assoc. A.D. for Football
4Administration: Paul Miles, Assoc. A.D. for Corporate Marketing
4Pinnacle Broadcaster/MC: John Bishop
4Sports Information Contact: Jeff Griesch, (402) 472-2263
Group 5: Syracuse, Nebraska City, Auburn, Falls City, Tecumseh, Beatrice
4Football Staff: Turner Gill, Receivers; Dan McLaughlin, Graduate Asst.; Aaron Stamn, Graduate Asst.; Mike Christianson,
4Administration: Bob Burton, Senior Assoc. Athletic Director
4Pinnacle Broadcaster/MC: Adrian Fiala
4Sports Information Contact: Jerry Trickie, (402) 472-2263
**At least one Nebraska football player will accompany each tour group.