LINCOLN–(NU Athletics July 17)–Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos announced Wednesday the hiring of two veteran collegiate athletic administrators who will join the Huskers’ senior athletic staff.
John Johnson and Garrett Klassy will each bring experience as Division I athletic directors to the Nebraska staff. Johnson will serve as Senior Deputy Athletic Director—Chief of Staff, while Klassy has been hired as Nebraska’s Senior Deputy Athletic Director—External Operations. Both Johnson and Klassy will assume their new roles on July 29.
“We are fortunate to add John Johnson and Garrett Klassy to our staff at Nebraska,” Moos said. “The administrative expertise these two will bring will continue to enhance our program as we work toward excellence which will lead to championships. John and Garrett will be great additions to our talented administrative team and provide great leadership for our athletic staff.”
Johnson will work closely with Moos on all aspects of the Huskers’ athletic administration and direct the department when Moos is at out of town functions. He will also have sport supervision of the men’s basketball program. Klassy will have oversight of all of the Huskers’ external units including development, ticket office, marketing, licensing, communications, creative and emerging media and HuskerVision.
Johnson joins the Nebraska staff after spending the past 15 years at Washington State University. Johnson has served as a Senior Associate Athletic Director for the Cougars since 2004, including seven years under Moos’ leadership.
“I am grateful to Bill Moos for the opportunity to again work with him and his outstanding team,” Johnson said. “It is an exciting time for the Huskers, and I look forward to being part of the incredible legacy and tradition that is Nebraska.”
Johnson has focused on external operations, facility development and strategic planning during his time with the Cougar Athletic Department. In addition to his role as Senior Associate Athletic Director, Johnson served as Washington State’s Interim Director of Athletics from October of 2017 to January of 2018 after Moos was hired at Nebraska.
Johnson has 11 years of experience as an Athletic Director, leading both the Weber State and Eastern Washington athletic departments. During Johnson’s tenure at Weber State from 1997 to 2004, the Wildcats won the Big Sky All Sports trophy five times. Johnson also provided the leadership to secure funding to greatly enhance Weber State’s facilities during his tenure.
While at his alma mater of Eastern Washington from 1993 to 1997, Johnson guided a 15-sport intercollegiate program and lead efforts to greatly enhance the marketing and branding of the EWU program.
Klassy comes to Nebraska after spending the past two years as the Director of Athletics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Klassy is responsible for a NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics program with 20 sports, more than 100 coaches and staff and more than 350 student-athletes.
In his time leading the UIC program, Klassy was responsible for engineering the naming rights partnership for Credit Union 1 Arena valued at $9.3 million with an additional gift of $750,000 for UIC student scholarships. Also, UIC student-athletes achieved a record high GPA and UIC topped all other Horizon League schools in the 2018-19 Learfield Directors Cup for success in competition. Klassy also refreshed the UIC Athletics brand creating unprecedented exposure, created the Flames Athletic Fund to support athletic scholarships and created an athletic department strategic plan.
“I am thrilled and honored to be joining the Nebraska team and I would like to thank Bill Moos for the opportunity to serve the University of Nebraska,” Klassy said. “Our team will work tirelessly to ensure that our student-athletes have the resources to win championships, graduate from an elite institution and prepare them for life after Nebraska. We will make sure the Nebraska brand is promoted globally and the great Husker fans will have an amazing experience at our events. I can’t wait to get started. GBR!”
Klassy had a diverse resume in intercollegiate athletics prior to his appointment as the UIC Director of Athletics. From 2013 to 2017, he served as a Senior Associate Athletic Director at George Washington University where he oversaw all aspects of External Relations, and had sport oversight for four of the Colonials’ programs.
Klassy has Power Five experience at the University of Oregon and University of Alabama. He spent eight years at Oregon from 2005 to 2013, including six years as Assistant Athletic Director for Development. During that time, Klassy was a member of the Oregon Athletics Leadership Team and had oversight of the operations and staff of the Duck Athletic Fund, Ticket Office and Sales departments.
Klassy was an assistant director of ticket operations at Alabama from 2001 to 2005 and was the Director of Ticket Operations at Tulane in 2000-01. Klassy is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin where he served as an intern in the athletic ticket office.
Johnson and Klassy will join Moos’ senior staff which also includes Deputy AD Bob Burton, Deputy AD/SWA Pat Logsdon, Deputy AD/CFO John Jentz, Executive Associate AD-Academics Dennis Leblanc and Executive Associate AD-Compliance Jamie Vaughn.