Crystal J. Doucette
Ed De La Garza
Nikie Johnson Ellen Simonson
Dear Potential Athletics Directors,
Congratulations on being selected as a
finalist for the position of AD for the University.
As a candidate for the job, you need to
be informed of the positives and pitfalls that come with it.
The Athletics Department is moving in the
right direction after the five-year tenure of your predecessor, Chet Gladchuk.
Gladchuk helped balance the scholarship
disparity between male and female athletes with the additions of women's
soccer (1998), softball (2000) and, beginning next season,
He also oversaw the return of the football
program to its true home, Robertson Stadium, and has helped the athletic
department shed the unwarranted stigma of "Cougar High"
with a rededication to academics.
Although your title will be the same, your
duties will be drastically different.
Gladchuk was asked to repair (more or less)
the entire department, whereas your duty will be to fine-tune varying aspects.
His most visible failure was the fact that
UH fans have had very little to cheer for (excluding the successes of baseball,
volleyball and track and field) during his stay. Now, it
would be unfair to place all of the blame
on him, but blame comes with the job.
Your main duty will be to build and maintain
consistent winners on campus.
Think of it as a rebuilding project. The
old house needs a shingle here, a replaced pipe there, but foundation is
It just seems that for every step UH takes,
it then takes two steps back.
Case in point: The once-vaunted basketball
program was turned over to former Cougar great Clyde Drexler, whose aim
was to resurrect the program after it turned belly-up
during the 1990s.
A seemingly brilliant move at the time,
the Drexler hire renewed interest in UH and "Cougar Pride" had finally
But Drexler's brief stint was mired by
a lack of coaching experience, talent or just plain desire, and the experiment
was mercifully ended.
You will have to continue to improve the
The Athletic/Alumni Center is a state-of-the-art
facility that was generously donated by alumni John and Rebecca Moores
(whom you can always call on for a donation). But
Robertson Stadium and especially Hofheinz
Pavilion are dated playing fields that are unattractive for fans and potential
The other Division I programs, women's
basketball, soccer, baseball, men's and (next season) women's golf, softball,
volleyball, swimming and diving, track and field and tennis
will be near or at the top of their conferences.
As AD, you will have to deal with support
from apathetic students and an invisible alumni base.
The tradition is there, the potential is
there and the city will be there if you win.
All we need is you.