Indiana University athletic director Glass stepping down

Fred Glass
Fred Glass (File photo)

Indiana University Athletic Director Fred Glass plans to retire at the end of the academic year, the university announced Monday.

Glass, who has led the athletic department since 2009, said “it’s time” to step down and spend more time with his family. His successor will be chosen by IU President Michael McRobbie.

“It’s an all-in, all-consuming role, and I’ve loved it, but I’m ready to step back and do something that keeps me closer to home with more time with my granddaughters and the rest of my family,” Glass, 60, said in written remarks.

Before he was hired by IU, Glass was an Indianapolis-based attorney who was heavily involved in city and state political circles.

At IU, he made multiple key hires, including head coaches for football and men’s basketball. IU said he has played a role in elevating the women’s basketball, swimming and diving, men’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, and baseball programs.

Since his hiring, 23 teams and 195 individuals have won conference championships, one national team championship and 28 individual national titles. There have been 24 conference coaches of the year and five national coaches of the year during his tenure, as well.

Almost all the school’s athletic facilities, including Assembly Hall and Memorial Stadium, underwent upgrades under Glass.

His salary for the 2020 fiscal year is $572,262.

A committee chaired by Bill Stephan, vice president for government relations and economic engagement at IU, will be announced “very soon,” McRobbie said.

Glass is 1981 graduate of IU Bloomington, and in 1984 received his law degree from IU’s McKinney School of Law.

He was chosen as then-Gov. Evan Bayh’s chief of staff in 1989, later pivoting to become one of Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson’s key personnel.

He also was an adviser for other Democratic office holders, including Lt. Gov. Kathy Davis and County Assessor Greg Bowes. He served as president of the Capital Improvement Board of Managers from 2000-2008.

Glass notified McRobbie recently of his decision.

Glass became a familiar face around campus, lobbying students to attend football games and seated just behind the scorer’s table at basketball games.

But his reputation was built through a combination of difficult decisions that have led to unmitigated successes.

His tenure may be best remembered for the re-emergence of the men’s basketball team following rules violations that embarrassed the university. The Hoosiers made their first statement with a last-second upset over No. 1 Kentucky in 2011, then returned to the No. 1 spot in 2012 and won two Big Ten championships under former coach Tom Crean.

When Crean couldn’t sustain that success, Glass fired his coach and hired Archie Miller, who has the Hoosiers positioned to crack the Top 25 once again.

Under Indiana native Teri Moren, the women’s basketball team has seen unprecedented success. The Hoosiers have reached the postseason each of the past four seasons, winning the WNIT title in 2017-18, and last week ascended to No. 12—an all-time best.

Another Indiana native, Tom Allen, has led the Hoosiers to their first eight-win season in football since 1993, their third January bowl game and their first postseason trip to Florida following years of struggles. Glass hired Allen in December 2016 when Kevin Wilson resigned after being scrutinized for his treatment of players.

“His legacy will be one of strong and competitive athletics programs and teams that play be the rules, a pervasive commitment to compliance and integrity, a commitment to excellent academic performance, record fundraising and magnificent new or renovated facilities,” McRobbie said in a statement. “He is also widely respected as one of the best athletic directors in the Big Ten.”

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