The Search

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Greg Roberts dropped six names on his radio show on Tuesday.  Let’s talk about all six names on the list.

Here are the six names…

Whit Babcock: Cincinnati AD
Warde Manuel: UConn AD
Michael Kelly: COO of the College Football Playoff
Chris Plonsky: AD of Women’s Sports at the University of Texas
Jeff Bourne: James Madison AD
John Ballein: VT Associate AD for football operations (IE, Beamer’s right hand man)

Note that Roberts never said that they were the finalists, which is the story that first made the rounds.  He said he thought Tech’s AD would be one of the six people above, and he also said that he thought there was no way that John Ballein would get the job.  Roberts went on to say that his gut feeling told him that Whit Babcock would end up being the guy.

In my opinion, the first three names on that list are the most attractive candidates once you dig into their resumes.

Whit Babcock

Whit Babcock has been the AD at Cincinnati since 2011, where he hired former Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville away from Texas Tech.  In his short time at Cincinnati, he’s also begun a plan for an $86 million renovation project for Nippert Stadium.

Babcock, who is from Harrisonburg and played baseball at James Madison, also has a background in fundraising at three major schools: West Virginia, Auburn and Missouri.

Auburn: Assistant AD for Developement for five years
WVU: Executive Director of Development for five years
Missouri: Associate AD of External Operations for five years

Let’s dig a little deeper into his work at Missouri…

“At Missouri, Babcock oversees the External Operations of the department which includes all fund-raising matters related to the Tiger Scholarship Fund, and provides directorial oversight of Marketing and Promotions, Athletics Ticket Office, Game Operations, Licensing, Internet Services, Media Relations, Mizzou Sports Properties (multi-media and corporate partnership rights) and Men’s Basketball. Since his arrival, Mizzou has achieved all-time highs in donor participation, fundraising, season ticket sales, and department-wide revenue generation. The men’s basketball program is coming off its third straight NCAA Tournament appearance.”

At Missouri, he oversaw their version of the Hokie Club (which needs some new strategy at VT), he worked with marketing and promotions (which could use some help at VT), he oversaw the ticket office (which needs some work at VT), he was in charge of multi-media and corporate sponsorship rights (VT needs to find more revenue streams), and he oversaw men’s