It’s been a couple of days since Vanderbilt athletic director David Williams announced his retirement, but the takes are already flying. Joe Rexrode suggests that Vanderbilt should look outside the athletic department for its new AD.
That this has to be said out loud should tell you a lot about the state of things at Vanderbilt right now. There was basically no one who was suggesting that Vanderbilt should promote from within to replace David Williams. Williams himself, in response to a question from Adam Sparks, might have suggested that he’d like to see somebody else within the department take over. But there is no such thing as an athletic department who starts its search for a new director with the thought of hiring from within.
Now, of course, there are downsides to the “professional athletic administrator” model. Athletic director tenures are comparatively short, and if you think football coaches hop jobs a lot, check out how often athletic directors do. The days of the legendary football coach taking over the athletic directorship in retirement are mostly over, with the exception of in Knoxville (and that, well, happened because of a particularly disastrous professional athletic director.) One problem with all this, though, is that oftentimes athletic directors are working for their next job as much as their current job. Scott Peterson hired Kevin Stallings to Pitt and was at Oregon State by the time the interest came due on that hire.
The short version of what I’m trying to say is that you don’t particularly have to worry about this with someone like Candace Storey Lee — but then, hiring someone just because they’re committed to Vanderbilt can be bad for different reasons.
Meanwhile, Adam Sparks has a list of potential candidates.
Short one today. We’ll have more content coming later today, including our Q&A with the Notre Dame blog. You’ll want to see that.