Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The New Mexico AD Search and How it Relates to SMU

So, who is looking for a new AD? Well, New Mexico was. They hired Krebs from Bowling Green in the last week to fill a vacancy announced in October (maybe the SMU search isn’t taking that long after all).

Before I go on, please tell me we called Krebs. Krebs, years ago hired a guy named Urban Meyer to coach Bowling Green. If Krebs was looking for a better gig, surely SMU knew that and surely SMU inquired. If it didn’t, what is going on? Honestly, I would have thought a guy of Krebs’ caliber to move from Bowling Green to a BCS school, not New Mexico. Is New Mexico that much better a job than SMU?

Interestingly, New Mexico publicly listed a formula that it used to help them evaluate candidates applying for the position. That formula is below. I would suggest that SMU could rely on a similar formula. The points listed indicate the maximum each candidate could receive in that area.

16: Current AD experience at a comparable Division 1A school.
16: Fund-raising experience and a history of creative marketing.
12: Observance of NCAA rules, Title IX and diversity issues. Proven ability to hire and work with coaches who maintain high academic standards.
10: Proven administrative and leadership abilities.
10: Strategic planning.
10: Ability to interact with academic community.
8: Ability to work well with legislators, government officials, media.
8: Fiscal responsibility.
5: Highly regarded with national reputation.
5: Strong commitment to UNM and knowledge of state.

You either think SMU is a better or worse job than New Mexico, or about the same. Regardless, I think you ought to consider the caliber of candidates for the New Mexico job as comparable to what SMU should hope to expect. Anyway, let’s take a look at the finalists for the New Mexico job: Krebs (I would love to have had a shot at Krebs), Northern Iowa’s Rick Hartzell and Wichita State’s Jim Schaus. Since Krebs is gone, let’s look at the other finalists as possible names.

Northern Iowa Athletics Director Rick Hartzell

Academics* Northern Iowa student-athletes combined for 3.08 grade-point-average following the 2004 spring semester and the department’s most recent graduation rate is the best in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC)...Hartzell helped guide the university through a successful NCAA certification process

Fundraising/Facilities* Construction is near completion on the McLeod Center, a new arena that will house the men's and women's basketball, volleyball and wrestling teams...the UNI-Dome and future McLeod Center will also be venues for concerts and special events to help generate revenue for the program
* Construction begins April 15 on a $9 million Human Performance Center
* Constructed a new football locker room and weight room, plus enhancements to the Mark Messersmith Outdoor track and field complex
Sports / Competition* The Northern Iowa football team has claimed three conference titles in the past five years
* The UNI men's basketball team was ranked in the top 25 at times in 2--5-06 ...UNI is 22-7 overall and 11-6 in the MVC...the Panthers qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2004 and ‘05
* The women's volleyball team has won six of the past eight MVC titles, and advanced to the Sweet 16 three times since 2000...the men's indoor track team has won six straight league championships

General* Current vice-president of the Missouri Valley Conference administrators and chair of the MVC Sportsmanship and Officiating Committee
* NCAA men's basketball official since 1986
* Director of Athletics, Bucknell, 1988-99
* Director of Athletics and Chairman of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Maryland-Baltimore County, 1985-88
* A 1974 graduate of Northern Iowa with a bachelor's degree in Physical Education and English, and a member of the football and baseball teams...master's degree from UNI in 1977 in Educational Administration...completed all but his doctoral dissertation in Higher Education Administration from the University of Iowa

Wichita State Athletics Director Jim Schaus

Academics* An 88% graduation rate in the latest NCAA report...this rate is based on student-athletes that have completed their eligibility at WSU...student-athletes at WSU have combined for a 3.0 grade-point-average every semester of his tenure there

Fundraising/Facilities* Secured private funding for the $25 million Roundhouse Renaissance project, addressing the primary facility needs for the WSU athletics department...the facility includes an arena for basketball and volleyball, locker rooms, weight room, training room, student services building, academic center and athletic department offices

* WSU has established all-time records in all revenue areas, including $2.2 million in annual giving...Schaus orchestrated nearly $35 million in new facilities construction and secured the largest outright gift in university history ($6 million)

Sports / Competition* Wichita State won the Missouri Valley Conference all-sports trophy in 2003-04 and 2004-05...WSU was 7th in Schaus' first season
* The men's basketball team is currently 22-7 overall and leading the MVC with a 13-4 record...the team has had 14 sellouts this year
* Four programs are nationally ranked in attendance

General* A member of the NCAA Committee for Academic Performance
* Previous athletic administration positions at Oregon, Cincinnati, UTEP and Northern Illinois
* Director of Marketing, Washington Redskins, 1983-86
* A 1983 graduate of Purdue University with a bachelor's degree in Communications with an emphasis in Journalism and Public Relations
* Master's degree in Athletic Administration from West Virginia University in 1987
* Son of Fred Schaus, former head men's basketball coach at Purdue and West Virginia, and former head coach and vice-president of the Los Angeles Lakers...was also athletics director at West Virginia

Are either of these guys candidates for the SMU job? I have no idea. Should they be? I dunno, but since we don't have any idea of the caliber of candidates so far, I will go out on a limb and say, "Yes." SMU should be considering these two candidates as well. The sitting AD of a successful I-AA program should get a serious look.

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