SBD/June 18, 2013/Colleges

Teague's First Year As Minnesota AD Sees Major Staff Changes, Facilities Plan Delays

Teague aims to add a basketball practice facility and a new indoor football facility
Univ. of Minnesota AD Norwood Teague after his first year on the job is "presiding over a department in transition, and experiencing the problems inherent in such makeovers," according to Chip Scoggins of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Teague has "made sweeping changes in top-level personnel, one major coaching hire, suffered through one public relations crisis and has several times delayed unveiling a long-term facilities plan." He said, "It’s been probably the quickest year of my life. I’m running really hard trying to meet a lot of needs and be a lot of places." Teague has "exhibited a certain aggressiveness and willingness to shake things up in his desire to create a 'national brand.'" He also has "overhauled his management team by hiring and/or promoting five new administrators," including two from his staff at VCU, while "letting go several holdovers from Joel Maturi’s staff." He "has 'totally rebuilt' his development department in order to breathe life into disjointed fundraising efforts." After Teague drew the ire of UM fans by canceling a home-and-home football series versus UNC, he "invited more than 50 disgruntled fans to his office." His "legacy will be determined by his ability to raise money and build facilities, two areas that are intertwined." The school "needs a basketball practice facility, a new indoor football facility and a new academic center." Teague estimated that the entire project could "cost between" $80-125M. The unveiling of the facilities master plan has been "pushed back several times as the athletic department attempts to tackle a massive project at a university that has come under heavy criticism for its spending habits." Teague "fits the mold of the modern athletic director: equal parts CEO and socialite." Fundraising "remains his bailiwick and a key distinction between him and his predecessor" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 6/16).

CHANGING ALL THE TIME: In Denver, John Henderson wrote of the evolving role of college ADs, "Rising budgets. A nonstop facilities arms race. Shrinking support from the state. An athletic director must have a skill set that goes well beyond hiring coaches." Utah AD Chris Hill said, "Business helps, but not at the expense of relationships with coaches. People are marked by who they hire." Seven Pac-12 ADs have been "hired within the last five years." Every one but Stanford's Bernard Muir, who was an AD at two other schools, "has a business or strictly fundraising background." Arizona AD Greg Byrne said, "(Fundraising) has always been important but the pressure (is) on you to fundraise successfully, not only to support your annual budget through your annual gifts but also because you are trying to find a way to pay for millions and millions of dollars of infrastructure support." Washington AD Scott Woodward "knows a business acumen is required" for the job. He said, "It's very important. You need to be able to read a spreadsheet. You need to understand financing, especially when you're doing big capital projects. You have to have some background in capital construction and you obviously have to have experience in fundraising" (DENVER POST, 6/16).
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