Michigan’s search for a new athletic director will soon be under way, if it’s not already. The Wolverines might be shopping for a new football coach before the year is over, which makes a speedy decision for the new leader of the department more of a pressing issue.
The university’s president, Mark Schlissel, said he’s looking for a leader who will prioritize the welfare of Michigan’s athletes and one who shows a high level of integrity. No experience as a “Michigan man” is necessary, but that doesn’t mean Schlissel and interim director Jim Hackett won’t look closely at a few qualified candidates with ties to the school and its athletic program. Here’s a short list, in alphabetical order, of some potential targets that make sense for the Wolverines.
Current job: Boston College athletic director
Michigan ties: Played defensive back for the Wolverines under Bo Schembechler in the late 1970s.
Notable coaching hires: Steve Addazio (2013)
Credentials: Bates has worked in college athletic departments since 1985. He spent 17 years serving multiple roles at Vanderbilt before taking his first athletic director job at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He left Miami in 2012 for Boston College, where he has been a part of coaching searches for the football and basketball programs.
Bates holds a doctoral degree in education from Vanderbilt, which might score him some points with Schlissel, a newcomer to Michigan who previously served as a provost at Brown University.
Current job: University of Arizona athletic director
Michigan ties: None
Notable coaching hires: Dan Mullen (2008), Rich Rodriguez (2011)
Credentials: Byrne, an Oregon native, graduated from Arizona State in 1994. He has two decades of experience working in college athletics. He made stops at Oregon, Oregon State and Kentucky before landing his first athletic director position at Mississippi State.
Byrne has not been mentioned at all in connection to the Michigan job, but if the Wolverines plan to hire a new head coach this winter, he would be a strong choice to lead that search. Byrne hired Dan Mullen, who has Mississippi State at No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings, and former Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez, who has turned Arizona into a Pac-12 title contender. His father, Bill Byrne, hired Kevin Sumlin while serving as Texas A&M’s athletic director.
Current job: Oklahoma University athletic director
Michigan ties: None
Notable coaching hires: Bob Stoops (1999)
Credentials: Castiglione hired Stoops during his first full year as the athletic director, and together they have helped keep Oklahoma a fixture among college football’s top programs. The Florida native graduated from Maryland in 1979. He held a variety of fundraising and communications jobs in college sports at Rice, Georgetown and Missouri before taking over as the Tigers’ athletic director in 1993.
While Castiglione has plenty of job security and is well entrenched in Norman, the coaching website FootballScoop.com reported Friday that his name is one to watch in the Michigan search.
Bob De Carolis
Current job: Oregon State athletic director
Michigan ties: Coached softball and served as an associate athletic director during 19 years in Ann Arbor
Notable coaching hires: Mike Riley (2003)
Credentials: De Carolis started his career as an administrative assistant at Michigan in 1979 and worked his way up the ladder. He coached the Wolverines softball team for five years while working as the athletic department’s business manager. He was in charge of all of Michigan’s athletic facilities when he left for an associate AD job at Oregon State in 1998. He took over as the Beavers’ athletic director in 2002. He holds degrees in business education and sports management.
Current job: University of Arkansas athletic director
Michigan ties: Served as an associate athletic director during his 11-year career at Michigan
Notable coaching hires: Bret Bielema (2012)
Credentials: Originally hired by Michigan legend Bo Schembechler, Long spent more than a decade in Ann Arbor serving in a variety of roles for the athletic department. He is currently the head of college football’s new playoff selection committee and has served on many NCAA task forces and committees.
Prior to taking over at Arkansas in 2008, Long held athletic director positions at Eastern Kentucky and Pittsburgh. He earned a master’s degree in education from Miami (Ohio) in 1983 while working as a graduate assistant on the football team. He also coached at Rice, Duke and North Carolina State.
Current Job: University of Connecticut athletics director
Michigan ties: Played defensive end for Schembechler for two seasons, and joined the track and field team when a neck injury ended his football career
Notable coaching hires: Bob Diaco (2013), Jeff Quinn (2010 at Buffalo)
Credentials: The former high school All-American started as a defensive end for the Wolverines in the 1980s. He remained at his alma mater for more than a decade and held several positions of leadership in the athletic department. He oversaw the football and basketball programs and was named an associate athletic director for the Wolverines in September 2000.
Manuel, who holds a master’s in social work and an MBA degree from Michigan, is in his third year as the athletic director at UConn. Prior to moving to Connecticut, Manuel spent seven years as athletic director at the University of Buffalo.