Josh D. Weiss-US PRESSWIRE
What's the new direction of Georgia Tech athletics going to look like?
Georgia Tech seems to have made their search for a new Athletic Director final, reportedly pegging Xavier AD Mike Bobinski as their new AD to replace the recently departed Dan Radakovich.
The school has not confirmed this yet, but multiple media outlets are reporting the hiring. This comes at the right time for Tech, after all the football coaching mess has pretty much settled (TBuzz said in the comments of today's Tidbits that Auburn DL coach Mike Pelton was hired to coach our DL, as reported by JacketsOnline.com). But what are his credentials, and what might his focus as AD for Georgia Tech might be? From his official bio on the Xavier athletic website:
Associate Vice President Mike Bobinski is completing his 12th year as Xavier's Director for Athletics...[is] the current Chair of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee...was honored by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA)...as the winner of the Under Armour Division I Northeast AD of the Year Award (ADOY)...During Bobinski's tenure as athletic director, nine Xavier teams have earned 40 team or individual spots in NCAA Championship competition...Xavier teams have captured 25 Atlantic 10 Conference Championships. In men's basketball, Xavier has averaged 25 wins over Bobinski's 12 years while making at least the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 four out of the last five years. XU made the 2004 and 2008 Elite Eight. In addition, men's basketball has extended its streak to 88 straight seniors that have graduated.
Sounds pretty qualified...except for the glaring absence of a football program. Honestly, this point is a huge disappointment. Say you want about the big business of basketball, but to me CFB is a completely different culture. I was hoping to see a real football-focused mind tapped for this opening that would help bring GT football back to greatness and it doesn't appear that way. But before I get all crazy and SEC fan-ish, lets do the prudent thing and analyze his history a bit more.
Before spending 15 years at Xavier (12 as AD), Bobinski was AD at Navy and Akron, so he doesn't have any "big-time" football experience. However, GT's search committee had quite a reason to overlook all these football shortcomings: Bobinski's business acumen. He was assistant business manager at Notre Dame from 1985-89, and was chair of Xavier's development (read: fundraising) office from 04-06. In the period from 2004-2008, Xavier made the sweet 16 and the elite 8. More money coming in generally means a stronger brand and a better program, and it looks like Bobinski delivered. The Musketeers have also been consistent under him, making the Sweet Sixteen four of the past five years. Bobinski also has an eye for talent. He hired the current coaches of Ohio State and Arizona for his basketball program. I believe that this eye for talent will translate to any field, but particularly the football field. Being able to sniff out leadership is what's really important when hiring a head coach of anything and Bobinski clearly can.
However, we come back to the football concerns. You can't know if Bobinski is ready for the pressure that comes with managing a big time southern football program. Football is a much more expensive sport, and we all know the challenges that Radkovich faced when it came to fundraising. Don't get me wrong, I think the biggest reason Bobinski got the job must have had something to do with his creative fundraising ideas, I just don't know if it will be enough. But time will certainly tell, and it looks like we've scored pretty well for ourselves.
Sounds like Georgia Tech got a well-connected athletic professional with business acumen. Do you think this is a good hire?
- GTNate contributed to this report.