Some names to keep in the disused subsection of your brain you're going to overwrite with unnecessary worry about Michigan's next athletic director:
Bob De Carolis
Currently the athletic director at Oregon State. De Carolis was hired in 1998, promoted in 2002, and has a contract through 2011; prior to that he had spent the previous 19 years at Michigan as an associate athletic director. His time at M:
He started his Michigan career in 1979 as an administrative assistant. He was promoted to assistant business manager in 1980; at the same time, he was also named the head softball coach. De Carolis was Michigan's softball coach from 1980 to 1984 and his Wolverines had a third-place finish at the AIAW national championships.
De Carolis was promoted from assistant business manager to business manager in 1983; in 1987 to assistant athletic director for business; in 1990 to associate athletic director for internal operations; in 1994 to senior director for financial operations; in 1996 to senior associate athletic director and became responsible for all athletic facilities and venues at Michigan
Under his leadership as senior director for financial operations, De Carolis led negotiations with Nike for an all-school contract for athletic shoes and apparel one of the first of its kind in the country. He established a long-term relationship with Pepsi-Cola for beverage rights, to all athletic venues.
De Carolis also spearheaded a "gift brick" donor program for Michigan Stadium, developed a comprehensive capital improvement program and coordinated the development of a master plan for the renovation of Michigan Stadium.
At Oregon State, he pulled a Bill Martin:
Since arriving at OSU, De Carolis has developed and executed the financial recovery plan that helped the Department of Athletics eliminate a $12.5 million accumulated deficit and grow the overall budget by more than $25 million.
What's more, the football team went from moribund to half-decent, the softball program went to the CWS, and the baseball program won back-to-back national titles. Basketball… eh. But it's Oregon State. When Indiana was looking for a new AD, he made the three-man shortlist, which caused local sourpuss columnist John Canzano to pen a statement of strong support for OSU keeping the guy. Building The Dam has a series about their love for the guy. FWIW, De Carolis has a daughter at Michigan now.
He's a strong candidate with a successful experience at a BCS-level school with major previous ties to the school. Setting aside politics, he's an obvious A-level choice amongst folk with ties to the department.
Currently the athletic director at Arkansas. Long's path to his current job was considerably more winding than De Carolis. Before his tenure at Arkansas, he was:
- AD at Pitt
- Senior associate AD at Oklahoma
- AD at Eastern Kentucky
- Associate AD at Virginia Tech
- …hired by Bo Schembechler into the athletic department.
Long, like De Carolis, got his start at Michigan. Long oversaw Pitt's rise as a basketball power, and… well, oversaw Dave Wannstedt. He hired Wannstedt, which seemed like a decent idea at the time. He also hired Jamie Dixon, then an assistant, to replace Ben Howland. That worked out better.
Pitt's stuck in an ugly stadium situation where they share the Steeler's stadium and play in front of very few people. Not sure what, if anything, Long could have done about that.
As far as the Michigan connection, he was picked by Bo to be an assistant coach after Spurrier cut him loose at Duke and worked with him for a long, long time:
Schembechler, the legendary Michigan football coach who died Friday of heart failure at age 77, had heard good things about Long and hired him as a graduate assistant coach.
Long rose to associate athletic director at Michigan, working under Schembechler when the latter had the dual role of football coach and athletic director.
"There won't be people like him in sports again, I don't think," Long said yesterday, his eyes welling with tears. "He's a unique guy, one who can't be duplicated."
Some of the stuff he did at Michigan:
Before you knew it, the kid from Kettering was, for all intents and purposes, the director of football operations for one of the most powerful programs in the country. He organized the first on-campus "Kick-off Classic" in 1995 and was Michigan's administrative liaison at 11 bowl games and three men's basketball Final Fours.
Administrative liaison sounds like a sweet gig, eh? The rest of that article is an extensive profile of Long upon his hiring at Pitt, if you're interested in more detail.
Currently athletic director at Buffalo. Manuel hired Turner Gill, who's turned Buffalo from the worst program in the country—for a couple years, Doctor Saturday (then calling himself SMQB) had a weekly "Buffalo Line Watch" in which he wondered over the Vegas line for that week's Buffalo sacrifice—into a mediocre MAC team. And he's probably done some other stuff, none of which anyone knows about because the only thing anyone's ever talked about in regard to Buffalo athletics is Turner Gill. His bio has a list of accomplishments, many of which are Team X won Thing Y; none are about Building Z was constructed.
But it's Buffalo, so the main goal is to keep your head above water:
When Manuel arrived on campus he focused on building a model of fiscal accountability - by using a zero-based budgeting methodology - that provided each area with the resources that were needed to be successful. Since his arrival, Manuel has effectively balanced a budget that has increased by nearly four million dollars while increasing corporate sponsorships by 40 percent.
This counts as a win at Buffalo.
Manuel was a defensive lineman at Michigan in the late 80s, earning a starting job as a sophomore before suffering a career-ending neck injury, and did some other non-athletic department stuff until 1996, when Michigan hired him. He quickly leapt up the career track, getting a promotion to associate AD in 2000. His career stagnated from there—the leaps all came during the thoroughly inept Goss administration, and he leapt to Buffalo in 2005.
To forestall a thousand emails: no, I don't know if the persistent rumors that Manuel is tight with Eastern Michigan regent James Stapleton, a guy who said Brian Ellerbe's firing "should shame us all," are true, nor do I know if the assertions that Stapleton was attempting to sabotage Rich Rodriguez and Bill Martin by feeding information to the Free Press are true. I have heard all the same things you have and have no further information. If you'd like to provide further information I am all ears; I have nothing more than message board mutterings to go on at the moment.
I do think Manuel's reaction to Gill not getting the Auburn job—he said it would be "naive" to think it wasn't racist—is reminiscent of the athletic department's actions during the Goss administration. You'd have to be naive to believe that race wasn't a factor in the hiring of Ellerbe, or the hiring of Tommy Amaker after Ellerbe's richly deserved firing attracted "shame us all" vitriol. I would like to avoid race being a factor either way, thanks.
Past that: Buffalo, a MAC school that's only been in D-I since 1999, is clearly not an athletic department on the same level as Oregon State or Arkansas. Manuel's done a good job there but Michigan wouldn't hire Buffalo's football coach and probably shouldn't hire their AD. He's a rung away from being an A-level candidate even without the CONSPIRACY rumors.
Currently athletic director at Miami (Not That Miami). Michigan graduate and a walk-on defensive back in the late 70s and early 80s. Spent two years as a grad assistant at Michigan, then moved into S&C at Colorado (under McCartney) and Vanderbilt. Moved into athletic administration in 1989, became senior associate AD at Vandy in '98, and was hired at Miami in 2002.
Bates has some things to recommend him. He hired and retained hockey coach Enrico Blasi and undertook the construction of a new Goggin Arena; the two items have turned the Redhawks into a CCHA power and saw them land in the national title game last year, albeit as a four seed. Miami and Vandy are Serious Academic Schools and he's done well with APRs at Miami, so he'd be more likely to slide in to the Michigan environment. His opinions on piped-in music are unknown.
Again, Bates is a rung away from A-level candidate since he's the AD at a MAC school, not a BCS one, and hasn't made great decisions when it comes to the two revenue sports.
Former regent Dave Brandon is out there, but is a heavily active Republican who might unnecessarily politicize something that doesn't need that sort of thing. He's also the Domino's CEO and would have to give up his current job, and has considered running for the Senate. He's got other priorities. Also rumored to be anti-RR. Lloyd Carr is unlikely to have any interest. Longtime AD member Fritz Seyferth did a lot of stuff in his tenure at Michigan and is now some sort of freelance consultant. He might be a candidate, but people say he's too old; he's pushing 60.