Michigan Football: Relooking at The Michigan Football Administration — Part II
The first administrative construct for discussion is positive involvement of the Athletic Director. All programs spout the gospel of helping a coach, and some practice it. All too often a seemingly impassioned athletic director ascends to the podium to declare support for a head coach, and then a short time later, the passion turns to announcing a new coach.
David Brandon is far more substance than fluff. He is far more worried about what is good for the Michigan program than his own hide. He is in a position of clearly demonstrating past managerial success, has reasonable financial security, and is held in esteem because of what he is more so than what he has accomplished in his short time as Michigan Director of Athletics. Mr. Brandon also is in a position to claim expertise about the nature of football and football operations. Mr. Brandon is a dedicated graduate and not a hired gun brought on board as a fundraiser and cheerleader. While not secretive, Mr. Brandon is not transparent about every decision and interaction, and that is good.His hiring of Coach Hoke was not a plan C as some imply or state as fact. Clearly, he is genuine in his belief that Hoke will not only put the Michigan back into Michigan football, but be very successful.
As stated, David Brandon is not a hired gun that comes to town for a big salary, routinely hiring and firing to keep the locals happy and do the dirty work. He is vested in the program’s success and has publicly made it clear one of his main responsibilities is to provide resources for success, for all programs. He does not threaten, he does not posture, he does not throw staff under the bus, Brandon is visible and readily accessible.
Proficient- and maybe heading for Exemplary some day.
The second construct involves material support. Psychological and moral support is nice, but big time football must have tangible resources. In today’s world of big time college sports, an age-old phenomenon of “upping the ante” is taking place. Practice facilities, locker rooms, weight training facilities, study personnel, stadium nuance, scoreboards, and the list goes on as far as items schools “up the ante” on the opposition. Successful fundraiser Bill Martin started the process of upgrade and Brandon is digging in to complete the work. The upgrades are obvious, perhaps not the world’s best, but nonetheless the upgrades are impressive. A Big Ten network commercial on behalf of Michigan shows the final vision.
Proficient- and probably at the middle to top end of proficient.
The final construct to be discussed in part two is observation and accurate program success. Brandon is a successful manager, he is hard working, and he has sufficient technical knowledge of football and other sports to make informed judgments. Not every athletic director can make that claim.Brandon has made it clear football will receive the lion’s share of assessment. He is more than a frequent visitor to practices and events. He does not show up to have a good time and be seen. Brandon shows up to accurately observe and assess. He has demonstrated precision in this regard but also has undertaken this venture as a partnership with the program personnel. Again, Brandon does not blow smoke. Brandon is trustworthy and he is not an egotist. Poison is an accurate word for the relationship of an athletic director and head coach who do not trust each other or at the very least have mutual respect. Loyalty, appreciation, and commitment are powerful forces linked to high character. Brandon seems to fit the bill.
At least Proficient, perhaps Exemplary.
Part three will deal with constructs more closely related to staff than athletic director. Although clearly an informed look demonstrates an athletic director certainly is a stakeholder in achieving success of the final set of constructs.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff
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