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:
Report: It's Warde Manuel to be next AD at Michigan https://t.co/IPMnRGmHBS
— The Michigan Insider (@michiganinsider) January 27, 2016
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.