Indiana University President Michael McRobbie said after he met with the finalists in contention to become the university's next athletic director, there was no doubt in his mind that Indianapolis attorney Fred Glass was the man for the job.
"When I kept reflecting on all the characteristics I wanted, I kept returning to Fred Glass," McRobbie said at a news conference this morning announcing that Glass would replace outgoing athletic director Rick Greenspan on Jan. 2. "Fred is a strong Hoosier leader who has taken on tough issues."
McRobbie said Glass' position as a partner with Baker & Daniels as well as his experience as president of the Capital Improvement Board and stint as Gov. Evan Bayh's chief of staff convinced him Glass was the right person. He also lauded Glass' proven track record as a "fundraiser and consensus builder."
McRobbie added that he was swayed by endorsements from legendary former collegiate coach and athletic administrator C.M. Newton and Gerald L. Bepko, chancellor emeritus at IUPUI.
"I was greatly impressed with Fred Glass," McRobbie said. "He knows first hand the greatness of Indiana University's students, faculty and staff."
Glass said it didn't take a great deal of convincing for him to leave Baker & Daniels, where he has practiced for 15 years, for IU. He said he met with Greenspan and all the coaches this morning before the news conference, and expects a "seamless" transition.
"The opportunity to serve as the athletic director of IU is the most exciting ... thing I've ever done in my professional life," said Glass, who has been a member of the IU Alumni Association for 25 years and served on the board of the school's College of Arts and Sciences the last six years.
Glass said he plans to focus on three things as athletic director: "Comprehensive compliance, academic achievement and excellence in athletics."
"Part of the reason I took this job is because I like challenges, and I don't think there will be a shortage of those," Glass said. "I'm accepting this job because I love big, tough jobs.
"I feel like I sort of accidentally, during my whole professional career, was groomed for this job."
Despite naming comprehensive compliance as his No. 1 priority, Glass said that doesn't mean he won't expect the school's sports programs to be winners.
"I expect excellence in all the programs," Glass said. "We're going to recruit aggressively and appropriately. But we're going to follow the rules."
Last year, the NCAA found that coaches within the men's basketball program made numerous impermissible phone calls to recruits. Later, the NCAA charged that Greenspan and his staff failed to monitor the basketball coaches in question.
Sanctions on those findings are expected to be handed down before year end.
For more on IU's new athletic director, go to IBJ's sports business blog, The Score.