Jim Souhan: If we want a Big Ten AD, let's search, woo and pay

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 13, 2012 - 7:37 AM

There's no need to bring in anyone with local connections.

hide

Joel Maturi

Photo: file, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

With Joel Maturi leaving the position of athletic director, Gophers fans are casting a butterfly net for his replacement.

Some want a former Gophers player to take the job. Some want a former Gophers coach, or at least a current or former Twin Cities resident. Some are willing to travel to the far reaches of the western suburbs in search of the perfect candidate.

For many fans and alumni, the process of finding someone to run a potentially lucrative Big Ten athletic department that must compete with Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Nebraska for prizes worth millions, a job that combines aggressive fundraising and visionary leadership, is a bit like the process by which you choose your seat at the Thanksgiving table.

Gophers fans seek familiarity. I've found the perfect candidate for them.

You know him. He's experienced. He wears maroon everywhere he goes. He's dedicated and hard-working. He cares deeply about the university. He's from Minnesota, and he would never leave us for another school.

Sound perfect?

His name is Joel Maturi.

If local roots are what you crave, Maturi should keep the job. If you want Minnesota to start acting like an ambitious Big Ten athletic department, you should ask university President Eric Kaler to cast a wide net, one that could snag Moby Dick and Shamu while the shrimp and mollusks slip through the seine.

This is no time to think small, or local. This is no time for provincialism, and yet the names you hear in connection with the athletic director job all seem to have connections to Minnesota, if not actual homes here.

Glen Mason? Well, you wouldn't have to pay moving expenses.

Tony Dungy? Just how deluded do you have to be to think that someone who hasn't worked here in 17 years, who loves living in Tampa, who attained his greatest professional achievement in Indianapolis, and who gets paid vast sums of money to work a few dozen days a year by NBC is dying to move back to the tundra to work 4,000 hours a year while taking a pay cut?

Jeff Diamond? The former Vikings executive is smart and competent, but so are a hundred other qualified candidates.

These words have never before appeared in modern America, but the key to success is imitating the Timberwolves.

When the Wolves needed a coach who could transform their franchise last year, they identified the best available candidate, then aggressively pursued and wooed him, and paid him big money. It was Wolves President David Kahn's finest hour.

Rick Adelman has no connection to Minnesota. His hiring was not the result of sentiment. Adelman was hired because he was the best candidate, and he's made the Wolves the most interesting and entertaining team in town.

If Kaler will enter this process with no preconceived notions and expand the candidate list beyond those who have moth-eaten Gophers letter jackets stuffed in their closets, he has a chance to transform the athletic department in the same way Adelman transformed the Wolves.

The right candidate might be running a midmajor in Indiana. He might be an assistant AD in the Southeastern Conference. He might be a CEO who knows how to run a business and can hire an assistant AD to help him navigate the sports world. Somewhere out there is a great candidate who just might daydream about a close personal relationship with Goldy Gopher.

Sentimentality is blinding. Big Ten history proves that.

Ohio State coach Woody Hayes and Michigan coach Bo Schembechler created the greatest rivalry in conference history.

Hayes played football at Denison University in Ohio and coached at Denison and Miami (Ohio) University. He was never affiliated with Ohio State until he was hired to become the Buckeyes' head football coach.

Schembechler would make Michigan football great, would create the now-popular notion that a "Michigan Man'' must run the program.

Schembechler, the seminal Michigan Man, played at Miami and coached under Hayes at Ohio State. Michigan Man was an Ohio guy, until he wasn't.

So think big, Minnesota. You might even want to consider paying moving expenses.

Jim Souhan can be heard Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon and weekdays at 2 p.m. on 1500-AM. His Twitter name is Souhanstrib. • jsouhan@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland 4 Suspended
Kansas City 2
Baltimore - W. Chen 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - M. Pineda
Kansas City - D. Duffy 6:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Carrasco
Seattle - J. Paxton 6:07 PM
Toronto - J. Happ
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt 6:08 PM
Detroit - K. Lobstein
Pittsburgh - F. Liriano 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Houston - N. Tropeano 7:05 PM
Texas - D. Holland
St. Louis - A. Wainwright 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood
Arizona - J. Collmenter 7:10 PM
Minnesota - R. Nolasco
LA Angels - C. Wilson 9:05 PM
Oakland - J. Samardzija
San Francisco - J. Peavy 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - D. Haren
Colorado - T. Matzek 9:10 PM
San Diego - E. Stults
Chicago 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Ottawa 2 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Ottawa 5:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 0 2nd Prd
NY Rangers 0
Detroit 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Toronto 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Washington 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
St. Louis 7:30 PM
Dallas
Anaheim 8:00 PM
Colorado
Colorado 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Los Angeles 9:00 PM
Arizona
Arizona 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pm
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close