Thursday, June 5, 2008

Potential Candidates For AD Have ND Connections

By Granger Irish

Here is a list of potential candidates for the University of Notre Dame athletic director position. Remember, these are the popular names. But, there might be others on Notre Dame’s list of candidates.

The prospects (in no particular order):

Steve Orsini – Orsini has obvious Notre Dame connections. After all, he played fullback and was a captain on the 1977 National Championship team. He is a 1978 graduate. Importantly, he also has experience in athletic administration. After a career as a certified public accountant, Orsini worked in the administration for Georgia Tech, Navy and also in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys. He has athletic director experience, too. He was athletic director for Central Florida. While there, he hired one-week Irish coach, George O’Leary. After his stint at Central Florida, he moved on the Southern Methodist University, where he has been since 2006. There is another Notre Dame connection there. Orsini hired one-year basketball coach, Matt Doherty.

Mike Bobinski – Bobinski is a 1979 Notre Dame grad. Before entering the world of athletic administration, he spent 20 years as a certified public accountant. He was a Notre Dame administrator for 5 years after that. He is currently the athletic director at Xavier University. He is in his second year there. While at Xavier, he has been responsible for hiring Thad Matta. Matta has since moved on to coach at Ohio State. Bobinski hired another person with Notre Dame connections. Former Muffet McGraw assistant, Kevin McGruff, coaches the Xavier women’s basketball team.

Lawrence “Bubba” Cunningham – Another candidate with Notre Dame connections. Cunningham graduated from the University of Notre Dame with both, a bachelor’s and master’s degree. He played on the Irish golf team. He spent 15 years in administration at Notre Dame. From 2002-2004, Cunningham was the athletic director at Ball State University. He is currently the athletic director at Tulsa, where he has been since 2005.

Rick Chryst – Chryst graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1983. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics. While at Notre Dame, he played baseball. At one time, he worked for the Southwest Conference, which no longer exists. He was in sports information. Since May of 1999, he has been the commissioner of the Mid-American Conference.

Joel Maturi – Maturi graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s in government. He is a 1967 graduate. He has experience as an athletic director at three universities. His first two stints were at Miami of Ohio and the University of Denver. He is currently the athletic director at the University of Minnesota. He has been there since July of 2002. Evidence of his success is balancing the books after inheriting a deficit of $31 million. He also hired former Kentucky coach, Tubby Smith, as Minnesota’s men’s basketball coach.

Bob Minnix – Minnix is a 1972 Notre Dame graduate. He was also a running back for coach Ara Parseghian. He led the Irish in rushing for the 1971 season. He is a former president of the Black Coaches Association. He spent 20 years working for the NCAA. Minnix spent 13 years at Florida State University in athletic administration. Since February of 2008, he has been associate athletic director at Washington State University.

Bernard Muir – Muir is a Brown graduate. However, he does have a connection to Notre Dame. He served under former athletic director Kevin White as deputy director of athletics for administration as deputy director of athletics administration. From Notre Dame, Muir went to Georgetown University. He has been athletic director there since July of 2005.

Another candidate that many considered the favorite candidate was Gene Smith. Smith, who graduated from Notre Dame, is now athletic director at Ohio State. Recently, he took his name out of consideration, even before anything was offered to him.

Other potential candidates include current Notre Dame administrator’s, John Heisler, Billy Scholl and Missy Conboy. Conboy was recently names interim athletic director while the search goes on. John Paxson, former Notre Dame basketball player and Chicago Bulls administrator is another prominent name mentioned.

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1 comment:

Sheridan said...

Good thing Kevin White ended the series with Boston College. I got tired of watching the Irish's junior varsity squad lose to the Eagles, but the women's fencing team could kick B.C.'s butts.