Hello: New Athletic Director Warde Manuel

Submitted by Seth on January 27th, 2016 at 11:09 AM

Warde Manuel, director of athletics, is interviewed at his office at Gampel Pavillion on Sept. 3, 2013. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

via UConn Athletics

After most of a decade as one of two excellent candidates Michigan apparently had waiting in the wings, it looks like Michigan has decided on UConn AD Warde Manuel:

Who says? AJerseyGuy is Mark Blaudschun, a former Boston Globe reporter who covers UConn. While it appears that Michigan didn't plan to announce until later in the week, the Freep's David Jesse and Mark Snyder posted the news soon after Blaudschun. While Michigan did its due diligence, Manuel and Boston College AD Brad Bates were consensus frontrunners for the position going back to the search that yielded Dave Brandon. If they did Crystal Balls for ADs, Sam Webb should get epic points.

A quick take: Manuel built a football program where there was none in two locations—Buffalo and UConn—and got Michigan to fill his stadium despite Brandon twisting in the wind to get it moved to a neutral New York site. Prior to those jobs he was Bill Martin's top lieutenant, running football and basketball operations at Michigan, his alma mater. He's considered one of the best ADs nationally. Brian will share his thoughts once he's done with a super secret important matter. Some bits he's shared in the past:

Manuel hired Turner Gill at Buffalo, who briefly made Buffalo not the worst team in D-I, and then ended up hiring Kevin Ollie at UConn, though that was not much of a decision. Paul Pasqualoni was already in place when he was hired at UConn; he fired him and replaced him with ND DC Bob Diaco after taking a swing at MSU DC Pat Narduzzi. That may or may not work out but that process seems pretty sensible to me.

My take: The best possible choice since tying Jim Hackett to a chair for the next 20 years had several legal and logistical disadvantages. Among the various tales of greatness that are about to emerge, my favorite is at Buffalo he swooped in to hire the woman who successfully sued Isiah Thomas and the Knicks.



January 27th, 2016 at 11:12 AM ^

Welcome home, AD Manuel.  You have some enormous shoes to fill!

Also, how awesome is today?  We get what I view as the concensus #1 recruit at both AD and football NOTY (McDoom) committing within minutes. 


January 27th, 2016 at 11:22 AM ^

My money was always on Jeff Long.  He must feel like he's got it pretty good right there at Arkansas, or perhaps Manuel is even more highly regarded than he is.  All three of these guys (including Bates) would have been great hires.

Excited to see where Warde takes us!

Go Blue in MN

January 27th, 2016 at 12:58 PM ^

If you pick someone with college AD experience, it can go really poorly (Brandon) or really well (Hackett).  We didn't have to take that risk, when we have several candidates with Michigan ties who are extremely well-regarded nationally.  (We didn't have to take that risk with Brandon, certainly, but MSC did anyway.)