Sources: LSU Secured Interest From Woodward Before Offering AD Role
LSU was "able to move quickly" in its decision to replace AD Joe Alleva with Texas A&M AD Scott Woodward because the school's Board of Supervisors had "already secured interest from Woodward," according to sources cited in a front-page piece by Kubena & Ballard of the Baton Rouge ADVOCATE. Sources said that conversations among board members about their "dissatisfaction with Alleva were already underway when Woodward emerged as a possible candidate." Sources said that Alleva's removal had "little to do" with circumstances surrounding men's basketball coach Will Wade. The board felt Alleva had "lost the confidence of much of LSU's core support base." Board members wanted an AD who could "galvanize donors and who had a reputation for being a successful fundraiser." Sources said that Board of Supervisors Chair James Williams, who had known Woodward during his time at LSU, "initially reached out to him about a possible deal." Several board members said that the decision to remove Alleva as AD was "made Tuesday night during a tight-lipped executive meeting" (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 4/19). Woodward will be "formally introduced in Baton Rouge on Tuesday during an event that is open to the public" (Bryan-College Station EAGLE, 4/19).
HOMETOWN HERO: Woodward, an LSU alum, said the job is "a dream come true." He added, "I’m honored and humbled that my alma mater wanted me to come back and serve it." Woodward "acknowledged that he had a good job at Texas A&M and indicated that LSU was perhaps the only school that could have made him leave." Woodward: "I know the traditions and the special feel of LSU as well as anyone. I don’t want to take away from the excitement and passion of LSU athletics, and what it means for the state. We want to make sure we get it right and continue to get it right" (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 4/19). Woodward said, "They didn’t have to sell me on anything. I know it well enough. I know what it’s about, and personally I know how it transformed my life. It’s just a special place, and it’s just a special opportunity" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 4/19).
THE RIGHT PATH: It is hard to argue with Woodward's track record as he moves into the LSU AD job. Each step of Woodward’s path in athletics has been the result of aligning himself with the right people. He worked for then-LSU President Mark Emmert and developed such a strong relationship that he followed Emmert to Washington, where he became the Huskies’ AD. There, he met another fast-rising university president, Michael Young, who moved from Washington to Texas A&M and later hired Woodward to join him in College Station. In this age of ADs who become the face of the athletic department, Woodward is more of a throwback, an old-school AD who prefers to stay under the radar and in the background, like most lobbyists (Michael Smith, SBJ College).