December 18, 2009

GOAZCATS.com AD Hot Board

University of Arizona President Robert Shelton informed Arizona's Athletic Director since 1994, Jim Livengood, that his contract would not be renewed. Now that Livengood is leaving for the same position at UNLV, the search for a new AD has started. The initial GOAZCATS.com AD Hot Board has Chris Del Conte at the top due to his ability to fundraise and his previous connections to Arizona. There are new names that can emerge in the upcoming days, but candidates like Del Conte, Mike Bobinski, and Norwood Teague seem like they are strong possibilities. Many sources indicate that President Shelton will select someone who has had measurable success as a fundraiser. The GOAZCATS.com AD Hot Board will continually be updated as new information comes in. Stay tuned for what many think is the most important hire in Arizona Athletics history.





















Name:

Chris Del Conte

Current Job:

TCU AD

Salary:

estimated 850K
Previous Rank:

NA

1


IN: Del Conte has the history with Arizona to know what it takes to successfully run the athletic department. He helped create Campaign Arizona for the Student-Athlete, which raised more than $120 million. In addition, he was named a senior associate AD at the UA in 2003 where he oversaw media relations, business operations and external affairs. At Rice, he helped secure funds to build the Tudor Fieldhouse and helped create numerous campaigns that raised nearly $200 million, including a $4 million project that resulted in upgrades to the football facility.  In October, Del Conte was named Athletic Director at TCU, thus gaining more experience and notoriety.


OUT: The major obstacle here could be the salary, as it would take a relatively significant amount to get him. Del Conte has only been at TCU for two months, which may make it difficult to leave. There is a rumored exit clause for a BCS conference school, although the cost and details of the clause is unknown. There is a chance that Robert Shelton chooses to look at somebody completely new, as Del Conte has a relationship with Jim Livengood.


Name:

Mike Bobinski

Current Job:

Xavier AD

Salary:

Private
Previous Rank:

NA

2


IN: He will obviously have some big names on his side, as he and Sean Miller have a great relationship. As associate vice president for development at Xavier from 2004-06, Bobinski oversaw all fund-raising efforts for Xavier University including annual and planned giving, major gifts, grant services and internal operations. Bobinski also succeeded as Athletic Director of Akron and has made numerous successful hires. In addition, he helped oversee the opening of the Cintas Center, a multi-functional facility/arena at Xavier.


OUT: Bobinski does not oversee a football program at Xavier, so there will be a bigger workload. In addition, he does not have the experience at a major school, although Xavier is certainly not a low major.


Name:

Norwood Teague

Current Job:

VCU AD

Salary:

Private
Previous Rank:

NA

3


IN: Teague has a connection with Shelton, as both were at UNC at the same time. Teague served as North Carolina's associate athletic director for marketing, where he was in charge of the marketing and licensing of all 28 UNC sports. Most of Teague's experience revolves around marketing and he has experience working in the Pac-10, as he was the general manager of the Sun Devil Sports Network. Teague had a hand in hiring basketball coach Anthony Grant, thus he has some success in that area.


OUT: Teague may not have enough experience for the job, as he was hired at VCU in 2006. Being the athletic director at Arizona is much different than being athletic director at a smaller school, and Arizona may be better off going with somebody that has the credentials rather than a guy trying to build them.


Name:

James Moore

Current Job:

President UA Foundation

Salary:

Unknown
Previous Rank:

NA

4


IN: Moore is responsible for getting private funding for Arizona and helps generate more than $120 million per year. He is known as a fantastic fundraiser and is well known and liked throughout Tucson. Thought to have the support of many influental people.


OUT: Moore may be a great fundraiser, but that does not necessarily translate to being a great athletic director. With little experience, it is difficult to imagine Moore getting the Arizona job as his first stop.


Name:

"Rocky" LaRose

Current Job:

UA Interim AD




Salary:

195K
Previous Rank:

NA

5


IN: LaRose has been involved at Arizona for 25 years, so she knows what the job entails better than anyone. She oversees all 19 sports and is the first woman in her capacity to have day-to-day operational responsibilities over Division I-A football and men's basketball programs. In addition, Larose has been Vice President of the Pac-10 Conference and is a current member of the Pac-10 Council.


OUT: Shelton may choose to go in another direction, as LaRose obviously has a major connection with Livengood. If Shelton chooses to start from scratch or go with somebody he is more familiar with, LaRose is automatically eliminated.


Name:

Bob Bowlsby

Current Job:

Stanford AD

Salary:

Private

Previous Rank:

NA

6


IN: Simply put, Bowlsby is one of the best in the game. The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) named Bowlsby in 2001-02 as Central Region Athletic Director of the Year and Sports Business Journal selected him from the four regional award winners as the National Athletics Director of the Year. While at Iowa, Bowlsby helped oversee an $87 million renovation to Kinnick Stadium, a $4.6 million state of the art athletics learning center, and the Kenyon Football Practice Facility (which includes two full natural turf practice fields, one artificial surface field and an on-site medical training facility) as well as the 25,000 square foot Roy G. Karro Hall of Fame and Visitors Center. While he has been just as successful in fundraising at Stanford, he is most known for firing Walt Harris nearly right away and making the Jim Harbaugh hire.


OUT: It is hard to imagine Bowlsby wanting to leave his comfortable job at Stanford. Sure, there are academic requirements he has to work with, but it has not really effected his job yet.


Name:

Rick Steinbacher

Current Job:

UNC Associate AD


Salary:

Unknown

Previous Rank:

NA

7


IN: Steinbacher is another candidate with a connection to Shelton. He was Assistant Athletic Director for football operations at UNC and is moving up the ladder rapidly. Steinbacher is a young candidate and one that would likely be at Arizona for a while.


OUT: It will be difficult to justify somebody that has the amount of experience that Steinbacher has. He has plenty of experience with television, even serving as a sideline reporter, but not too much as the man in charge. In addition, he is a North Carolina legacy, and it is not a sure thing that he would come to the UA.


Name:

Larry Gallo

Current Job:

UNC Sr. AD


Salary:

Unknown

Previous Rank:

NA

8


IN: Once again, the North Carolina connection comes up. Gallo has held the position of senior athletic director at UNC since 1997. Gallo has a lot to do with compliance and works with academics closely, thus bringing an expertise of sorts in that area.


OUT: Gallo is a long shot because he is considered to be a lifer at UNC.






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