AD Mike Bobinski leaving Georgia Tech for Purdue
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) Purdue hired Georgia Tech athletic director Mike Bobinski on Tuesday, less than a month before the struggling Boilermakers football program kicks off its fourth season under Darrell Hazell.
Bobinski replaces Morgan Burke, who has held the position for 23 years and is formally retiring next summer. Purdue did not disclose terms, but President Mitch Daniels said Bobinski will receive a multi-year deal with a salary in line with other Power Five conference athletic directors.
Bobinski had been at Georgia Tech since 2013 and becomes only the fourth Purdue athletic director since World War II. Daniels said Purdue sought a person whose values and vision are similar to Burke's.
''His credentials, record, values and intensely competitive desire to win convinced us that Mike Bobinski is that person,'' he said.
Bobinski served as the chair for the NCAA men's basketball committee during the 2012-2013 season. And while Bobinski's background is filled with basketball success - he hired Thad Matta and then Chris Mack while he was the AD at Xavier and Josh Pastner this spring at Georgia Tech - his first challenge at Purdue will be to evaluate a football program that is 6-30 under Hazell, whose contract runs through the 2018 season.
Home attendance for Purdue football has declined during Hazell's first three seasons with only 37,152 attending the 2015 game with rival Indiana.
Bobinski said he met with Hazell on Monday night and that the coach ''is a terrific guy with lots of energy.''
''I have been around football most of my years in this business, and I know what it is like,'' Bobinski said. ''I know success, and I know lack of success. There are fundamental things that you look for in evaluating any program. I see better days ahead for the gold and black. I want to see that our players are developing and that we are recruiting the right young men. There are things that must be in place to be successful at the national level.''
As recently as 2014, Georgia Tech finished the football season 11-3, including an Orange Bowl victory against Mississippi State. Bobinski helped develop a plan to increase attendance at Georgia Tech home games and wants to bring Purdue fans back to 62,500-seat Ross-Ade Stadium.
''We can't always promise a nail-biting, great finish, high-energy deal, but what we can control is making the experience fan-friendly and fun,'' Bobinski said.
Bobinski was eager to return to the Midwest. He attended Notre Dame, where he played baseball, and later worked at his alma mater. He also had AD stints at Akron and Xavier. He said the prospect of returning to a college town was enticing.
''Atlanta is a great city, but there are so many things to do and the traffic can be horrible that it is difficult at times just getting fans to our (Georgia Tech) events,'' he said.