Gladchuk's legacy, UH
sports on course
By Jake McKim
Daily Cougar Staff
Standing on John O'Quinn Field at Robertson
Stadium following Saturday's devastating
loss to those pesky Rice Owls, the sports
editor of The Daily Cougar asked UH Athletics
Director Chet Gladchuk whether a rumor
of his jumping ship to the U.S. Naval Academy was true.
Gladchuk took a deep breath, looked around
with satisfaction and, like a proud father
watching his kids go off to college, replied,
"My work here is done."
Pin Lim/The Daily Cougar
Athletics Director Chet Gladchuk
relaxes in his office as he talks about the
improvements achieved during his four
years at the helm of the athletics program.
Apparently deciding it was time to take
on a new project, Gladchuk officially accepted
the AD position at Navy because of the
intangibles the job offers -- less pressure to win,
close ties to the Northeast and an abundance
of fan and financial support.
At UH, Gladchuk endured the constant strain
of trying to win, something that is less
heavily emphasized at Navy.
Many may criticize Gladchuk for leaving
before the job is done. While his contract was
for seven years, he completed only four.
Gladchuk leaves our fine school's Athletics
Department with much more than it had
when he first arrived in July 1997.
Gladchuk inherited a sports program that
was plunging into the abyss of mediocrity and
turned it into a reputable program that
appears on the verge of doing great things again.
Robertson Stadium now looks like a real
collegiate football field. Women's sports are
suddenly emerging as a force at UH. Fan
support seems to be steadily growing and the
football and men's and women's basketball
teams now appear to have solid, stable
coaches who, with time, should be able
to put more Ws than Ls in the win-loss column.
While Gladchuk isn't sticking around until
the end, it can be said that the next AD will
inherit the fruits of Gladchuk's labor,
and for that, the next administrator should be
Who can blame Gladchuk for moving on to
bigger and better things? While the
instability of the AD position frustrates
many UH fans, what we should all do is
remember the legacy Gladchuk left behind
and say, "Thank you."
Despite the loss to Rice, head football
coach Dana Dimel had one of the best recruiting
classes in a long time for UH. Things
should begin to improve once those players begin
to make their mark.
Women's head basketball coach Joe Curl
is bringing in all kinds of talent and should
have a terrific team on his hands beginning
The men's basketball team is only one or
two decent recruiting classes away from being
a Top 25 team, and this year should show
notable improvement over last season.
In addition, the track and field, volleyball,
soccer, golf and swimming and diving teams
are on solid ground and successful.
We should all wish Gladchuk good luck in
his quest to right the ship at Navy and begin
the search for a new AD who will be Gladchuk-esque
in the pursuit of success at UH.