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Posted on Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 1:49 p.m.

Former Michigan football assistant coach part of athletic director search

By Dave Birkett

A former linebackers coach under Bo Schembechler is working as a consultant in the search for an athletic director at the University of Michigan.

Headhunter Jed Hughes, part of the Michigan football team's coaching staff from 1973-75, and the consulting firm Spencer Stuart are managing the search process, the university said Monday.

Click here to view
a pdf of the
Position and Candidate
Specifications for
the next U-M Athletic Director

Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman is directing the search with the help of a five-person internal committee made up of basketball coach John Beilein, executive vice president Timothy Slottow, managing director of the Life Science Institute Liz Barry, faculty athletic representative Percy Bates and executive vice president for academic affairs Teresa Sullivan.

Football coach Rich Rodriguez is not on the search committee.

An official job posting on the university Web site said Coleman “selected the advisors based on their knowledge of particular aspects of the athletic director role, as well as her respect for their judgment.”

Bill Martin announced his resignation as athletic director last month, effective next September.

At the time, Rodriguez said he wasn’t concerned about having a say in the search.

“I think the administration will get input from a lot of different areas in a lot of different facets,” he said. “We have a terrific president. I think Mary Sue Coleman is absolutely one of the best there is and I know she and the administration will have a plan to follow, and I’m sure they’ll get a lot of input from a lot of areas.”

Rodriguez finished his second season as Michigan coach with a 21-10 loss to Ohio State on Saturday. The Wolverines went 5-7 and failed to qualify for a bowl for the second straight year.

Coleman has not specified a timetable for making a hire, but said in a statement last month that Martin would serve in an advisory role once one is hired.

In the official job description prepared by Hughes and consultant Phil Murphy, Spencer Stuart identied three “critical competencies" for a successful hire: Passion for student athlete development, inspirational leadership and superior business acumen.

Among the candidates reported to be in the running to replace Martin is Dominos Pizza CEO David Brandon, a former university regent who lettered in football at Michigan in 1973, Hughes' first season as an assistant.

Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.



Tue, Nov 24, 2009 : 11:58 a.m.

David Brandon WOULD be a great person to be AD, but is he really interested in the job? It's hard for me to understand why someone who is CEO of a major corporation and makes a ton of money already would take such a big pay cut to become AD. (Unless he's bored and wants to move on to something else) Whoever they hire should be an experienced AD (not an assistant AD), have high integrity, and strong financial management skills. Being a Michigan man would be a bonus. In addition to Brandon, I like Brad Bates of Miami of Ohio. He's a former Bo player at Michigan, is well-educated, and has been successful as AD at Miami since 2002. It will be interesting to see how this search progresses.


Tue, Nov 24, 2009 : 10:08 a.m.

Ah the race card rears it's ugly head AGAIN. And why.You know and i know that the new AD will either be an insider connected with UofM from the vast network of existing AD's.


Tue, Nov 24, 2009 : 9:54 a.m.

Now we need to know who the search committee is to find Snake Oil Salesman Richs place.


Tue, Nov 24, 2009 : 6:34 a.m.

The most important thing in the new athletic director is integrity. I am very happy that Belein is on that committee, because he understands how important that is. If we have integrity at the top, hopefully we will demand from all of our coaches.


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 10:35 p.m.

azwolve: I guess you and I just see things a bit differently, and I also think RR & staff had a solid game plan (based on the talent/injuries they had) against OSU. If Tate doesn't make all the turnovers (not coaches fault - they practice reads daily), the game is very close. I don't see how knowledgeable fans could be that surprised by how little improvement was made record wise based on all the key injuries and under-classmen playing. Next year is a different story - even though they're losing their best 2 defensive players and Minor (they need a power back). Go Blue in the recruiting off-season!


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 10:22 p.m.

If you want an AD candidate with Michigan ties and a near-impeccable resume, it's hard to get past Bob De Carolis, AD at OSU (Oregon State, that is)( Whoever the next AD is, I hope he (or she) can balance both the business side and the athletics side.


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 9:55 p.m.

azwolve: I guess you and I just see things a bit differently, and I also think RR & staff had a solid game plan (based on the talent/injuries they had) against OSU. If Tate doesn't make all the turnovers (not coaches fault - they practice reads daily), the game is very close. I don't see how knowledgeable fans could be that surprised by how little improvement was made record wise based on all the key injuries and under-classmen playing. Next year is a different story - even though they're losing their best 2 defensive players and Minor (they need a power back). Go Blue in the recruiting off-season!


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 9:28 p.m.

Theo, you've said a lot of things in the past...always wrong. Amzak...hopefully the new AD will see RR for the disaster he has been and fire him.


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 8:53 p.m.

tomhagen: you forgot to mention that the new AD should be strong enough not to crack under pressure (from the media and the weak) and run scared when the going gets tough - like when a program is going through a strategic yet difficult rebuilding period.


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 7:39 p.m.

hopefully the first thing the new AD will do is fire nim-rod.


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 7:27 p.m.

I don't care who the person is per se, I just want us to hire an experienced and professional athletic director. Personally, I don't want some guy (or girl) getting the job because they are former Michigan athelete and now run a business. We've had that and they treat our athletic programs like they are fantasy football teams. We need to stick with folks that know how to run a clean, big time athletic program, be they an OSU or ND grad, doesn't matter. Hire a professional, period.


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 7:02 p.m.

The Next AD will need to understand football, hiring, fund raising as well as all administration duties. Tough job...but that person is out there. Hopefully he/she will be one that acts swiftly and according to facts/reality rather than personal agendas or biases as has been the case.


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 5:22 p.m.

Maybe they'll get West Virginia's A.D. to come too!


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 5:01 p.m.

Saginaw I'm with you. MSC is good for the university but has no understanding of football programs and what is needed to succeed. Im all for hiring a sports minded AD and have him/her hire an asst. AD that is financially sound and experienced in marketing.


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 4:56 p.m.

Zulu, Having reasd that last post I apologize for the comment about being insulting, that was not appropriate. I think I meant something more along the lines of contradictory.Go blue!


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 4:39 p.m.

This is a good article. It is essential that Michigan hires an AD that really understands the importance of big time college football to the University. We are already behind the 8-ball, as Mary Sue Coleman is a biochemist and does not understand football. She clearly needs to have more football people.


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 4:27 p.m.

Zulu, you missed my point the U of M and its president is being proactive against the wishes of the people in this state who voted to a majority on the issue. I really thinnk it is insulkting to now try and call her out. And as always,Vote with your feet if it doesn't meet with your approval, there are 49 states and a couple territories that would love to have you become a tax paying citizen. Back on point, While Brandon seems like a good fit, I always thought Bruce Madje(sp) would be a good fit since he is pretty intimate with the program. One other thing is looking into getting someone in here who has marketed and grown their respective sport, college or sports team they worked for. Golf and nascar have gained a lot of ground in the last twenty years. Pittsburgh black and gold is all across the country. Florida's colors have become a lot more popular than they once were too, but those national Championships might have something to do with it.


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 4:21 p.m.

Why is it that race has to be thrown in here. If there are qualified black candidates bring them in. Unfortunately the only name thrown out so far is Warde Manuel and he would be in way over his head. The bottom line is whoever is selected needs to have a multi faceted background encompassing many disciplines so that they can deal with the complexity and size of the program. I say the man for the job is Tim Wadhams.


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 4:08 p.m.

TreeTowCartel: The U would not have a need to appeal an affirmative action ruling if people were not historically denied access and equal treatment at a Public, taxpayer supported institution in the first place.

John of Saline

Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 4:04 p.m.

(eye roll) Looks like you don't want to examine your own prejudices, Zulu. But hey, it's your life. Assume the worst about everyone you see and you can't be disappointed, right? At least it's a self-consistent philosophy.


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 4:04 p.m.

sorry to correct u both but the U is a reference for Miami Fl....


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 4:02 p.m.

I find the banter on this board a little ironic considering the u Of m is pursuing a federal appeal after the taxpayers of the stae said no to affirmative action. Zulu, I will agree that people of certain races and stature have a privilege in society in certain situations that others do not, it all depends on the situation.


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 4 p.m.

John of Saline. I see that you are really struggling with this conversation and I don't want to increase your level of anxiety. Adios Amigo

John of Saline

Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 3:55 p.m.

First you say you're not bringing up racism, then you say anyone who denies it is delusional. Make up your mind. And is it any different for WHITE former players? Seems like the U. should be criticized for using the players up, then forgetting them after four years. And I've yet to see any evidence that there's a vast network helping out former Wolverines, but not the black ones. Talk about reality all you want. I think you want to see racism everywhere, so you do. It's like when I was in school and there were claims that white people got into the Union building with no security check (nights and weekends) but not blacks. Well, then I must be black. I got stopped every single time. So I call BS. (A friend worked for the rec center and talked of how, if they worked the front checking IDs, they'd be accused of racism no matter what. They checked every single person just the same as all others, stopping anyone who tried to just brush by without showing ID. Still, RACIST yelled at them regularly.)


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 3:45 p.m.

John of Saline. It's unfortunate that you have chosen not to live in reality. I guess for people like you its enough just to have the majority of the football team consistof Black players. That's demonstrates that there is no racism at the U. I beg of you, look at all of the power positions in the athletic department and see how many are occupied by Blacks, especially those who are former athletes for the U. Look at how any former white ball players are in administrative positions at the U. Unless a black Ball player makes it to the pros or get their degree and move on to a profession, which they all should be shooting for, once their playing days are over, the U doesn't have much use for them. Call it whining if you want to, I call it dealing in reality.


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 3:41 p.m.

I like that Beilein is on the committee. His basketball program is on the rise and he is an exceptional coach and man. He knows that the next AD will be key into the further development of the basketball facilities and maybe even a new bball arena as Crisler is a dump

John of Saline

Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 3:32 p.m.

You were whining about no minority candidates (or only a token one for show). Why if not to accuse the U of racism?


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 3:15 p.m.

John of Saline: You must have read the wrong post. I didn't mention anything about racism. I simply said the Hook Up is On. No Minorities, women or others need apply. Hell, it makes sense to me that a lot of money, time, effort and energy can be saved just by doing now what they are going to do anyway. What's racist about that? BTW. What does Goss have to do with this?


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 2:59 p.m.

The man they need is Tim Wadhams. He has more business sense and sports savy than both Brandon and Carr. He grew up in Ann Arbor, played football for Michigan and runs one of the largest corporations in Michigan. It might be tough to pull him away from Masco but if they do not try then they are missing the boat.

John of Saline

Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 2:59 p.m.

Zulu, you do remember Goss, right? I mean, the loose charge of racism is just stupid.

Joan Lowenstein

Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 2:46 p.m.

Liz Barry is not interim general counsel. She is director of the Life Sciences Institute.

dading dont delete me bro

Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 2:45 p.m.

maybe they'll come across the name of a good coach while they're at it?!?!?