Georgia Tech athletic director accepts Purdue job

August 9, 2016

Georgia Tech University athletic director Mike Bobinski has accepted the same position at Purdue University, school officials announced Tuesday.

Bobinski was hired by Georgia Tech in April 2013.

Before that, he spent 12 years as AD at Xavier University after leading the University of Akron's athletic department from 1994-98.

At Purdue, Bobinski will succeed Morgan Burke, who announced in February he was retiring after 23 years in the position.

Bobinski graduated from the University of Notre Dame, where he played baseball, in 1979. He worked for Walt Disney Co. and two large accounting firms before kicking off his athletic administration career at Notre Dame in 1984.

From 1989 to 1994, he was the associate director of athletics at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Bobinski served as chair of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee for the 2012-13 season.

Bobinski 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.

“Purdue thanks a remarkable search committee, and our Board Chairman Mike Berghoff who led it personally," Purdue President Mitch Daniels said in written comments. "Together, Mike and I have logged many miles and hours looking for the best individual to build on the terrific 23-year record of our nationally admired AD Morgan Burke. His credentials, record, values and intensely competitive desire to win convinced us that Mike Bobinski is that person.”

The hiring comes less than a month before the struggling Boilermakers football program kicks off its fourth season under Darrell Hazell.

Purdue did not disclose terms, but Daniels said Bobinski will receive a multi-year deal with a salary in line with other Power Five conference athletic directors.

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 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.


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