Monday, June 10, 2013

Kingston on UT: "We're gonna beat 'em."

There is nothing like the introductory press conference.  The unblemished sense of possibility...the purposeful stride to the podium...the flinty gaze...the hat (in this case worn for a second but no more) could you not love it?  Are we not human?

Chris Kingston introduced himself to the Falcon Nation today as BG's 13th Athletic Director.  He talked wistfully about his mentors, thanked his wife, etc.

And then he got into the kind of talk that landed him the job.

There was one part--dropped softly into his 2nd element of success--that to me said everything about the challenge he faces.  I wrote  yesterday that BG's current funding of athletics is lagging.  Until that is addressed, the kind of winning we all seek is going to be hit and miss.

He said this:
"Our goal will be to reach the average operating budget in the Mid-American Conference.  Given [our strengths] we will overachieve by reaching the average operating budget in the MAC."
That is a bigger goal than it seems like.

I went to the USA Today database on college athletic finances, which contains data from 2012.  Here is what it shows....

So, a couple of observations.  First, BG is the lowest spending time in the MAC.  Second, the MAC average is $24,653,563, which means that BG is about $6.3M and change below THE AVERAGE.

The Falcons would need to increase spending by 34% to reach average, and that's assuming the target stays stable between now and whenever we think we can get this done.  In actuality, we have to go 34% ahead of whatever the inflation is.

Where will the money come from?  Well, it will be tough to get it from students....BG is just below the MAC average currently.

Kingston answered this way:
"There are a number of ways we will accomplish this--through new and existing partnerships and I can tell you from experience it is a formula that works."
In other news:

  • He talked to Bill Frack for 45 minutes and feels like he has a friend for life.  Which he probably does.
  • He had lunch at Myles Pizza...good start, tough to make tomorrow that good.
  • He thanks Debbie Yow...not judging...but eesh.
  • "Everyday is a game day for an administrator."
  • "Three components are the formula for success: people, resources, opportunities."
  • Challenges are really opportunities.
  • The sky is not the limit---phrase copyrighted by his daughter Lakin.
  • Your attitude determines your altitude.  (I made that one up)
  • It sounds like we flew his family up on a private plane, courtesy Wilcox and Sebo.
  • He's a basketball junkie.
  • He talked about hockey, even with a verbal typo on what WCHA stands for.
  • He said "Roll Along."  There was applause.
  • He was a photographer at SeaWorld (while in college).
  • "We're cresting the hill here at BG."  (Military talk).

He was asked about the Army-Navy rivalry and to compare it to BG-Toledo.  Referring to the Rockets, he named a bunch of sports and said, "it doesn't matter what it's in, we're gonna beat 'em."

BOOM, BABY!  That's what I'm talking about.  Oohhh yeah.

Seriously, he was well prepared, referenced a lot of stuff that you would only know if you had spent time getting ready.

At the start, what matters is how you understand the challenge.  At BG, it is to transition from facilities to operations and winning.  Facilities are now an asset and the next AD has to bring it home with championships while preserving our program's integrity and academic stability.

Whether he succeeds or not is still to be determined, as it is for everyone.  We're behind him 100%.


afrankangle said...

Because he loves hoops, sure wonder if that means Coach Orr is on the hot seat.

Orange said...

I cannot envision the circumstances in which Coach Orr's contract would be renewed.