Dienhart: Mike Bobinski marks Big Ten's seventh new AD since 2012
In a bit of a surprise move, Purdue has named Georgia Tech’s Mike Bobinski as athletic director.
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“Humbled to be Purdue’s new AD,” Bobinski said at a press conference Tuesday morning. “Comes with tremendous expectations.”
Bobinski will replace Morgan Burke, the longest tenured athletic director in the Big Ten who took over in 1993. Bobinski will be just the fourth AD at Purdue since 1942, following Guy “Red” Mackey, George King and Burke. Burke doesn’t retire until June 2017, so the school has plenty of time to transition between the two.
“Mike Bobinski truly understands the lasting value of college athletics in preparing young people to experience success in competition, in the classroom and most importantly in life,” Burke said. “His values match Purdue’s, and I look forward to working with him and the athletics staff in what is my ‘senior year’ to hand the baton over in a smooth and seamless transition.”
Bobinski—who goes from one engineering school to another–will have his work cut out for him at West Lafayette. While Purdue boasts one of the few self-sufficient athletic departments in the nation, the reserve funds aren’t at ideal levels. Why? It’s due mostly to a lagging football program that has gone 6-30 the last three seasons under Darrell Hazell. No doubt, Bobinski must make a decision on Hazell’s future this fall, as attendance in Ross-Ade Stadium has fallen to record lows.
Bobinski is a graduate of Notre Dame. He had been at Georgia Tech since April 2013. Before landing in Atlanta, Bobinski was at Xavier for 15 years, including two tenures as the AD. In between stints, he was an associate vice president for development at Xavier, where he oversaw fundraising for the school. Bobinski was also the athletic director at Akron from 1994-98.
Among others believed to have been considered for the Purdue A.D job are San Francisco 49ers executive Keena Turner, Xavier A.D. Greg Christopher and Ohio A.D. Jim Schaus.
There has been a lot of turnover recently among Big Ten A.D.s. Bobinski will be the seventh new hire since 2012.
Here is a look at each full-time Big Ten athletic director and the year that person was hired.
Barry Alvarez, Wisconsin, 2004
Gene Smith, Ohio State, 2005
Gary Barta, Iowa, 2006
Mark Hollis, Michigan State, 2008
Jim Phillips, Northwestern, 2008
Fred Glass, Indiana, 2008
Kevin Anderson, Maryland, 2010
Shawn Eichorst, Nebraska, 2012
Sandy Barbour, Penn State, 2014
Patrick Hobbs, Rutgers, 2015
Warde Manuel, Michigan, 2016
Josh Whitman, Illinois, 2016
Mark Coyle, Minnesota, 2016
Mike Bobinski, Purdue, 2016