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John U. Bacon discusses future of UM athletics

Nov 6, 2014

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

As virtually anyone who follows college sports knows by now, Dave Brandon is now the former Athletic Director at the University of Michigan.

Retired Steelcase executive Jim Hackett is the interim AD as the University searches for Brandon's permanent replacement.

When it comes to hires like these, the phrase "Michigan Man"comes up again and again.

Dave Brandon played for Bo. He seemed to fit the template of a "Michigan Man."

Michigan Radio's sports commentator John U. Bacon gives us his insight into what that phrase means.

You can hear our conversation with Bacon below:


Bacon says the concept of the “Michigan Man” has been redefined many times in the last 10 years. Being a "Michigan Man," Bacon says, is not the only reason U of M should hire someone.

He says the three greatest coaches in Michigan football history - Fielding Yost, Fitz Crisler, and Bo Schembechler - never went to or played at Michigan. They became "Michigan Men," he says.

Bacon says the question of a permanent AD at Michigan is up in the air, saying he doesn’t believe Hackett knows the timeframe on his tenure as interim, or who the candidates might be.

There are several candidates Bacon believes would make a good AD.

Here are 5 choices according to Bacon:

  1. Brad Bates, the current AD at Boston College. Prior to BC, Bates spent 10 years as AD at Miami of Ohio.
  2. Warde Manuel, current AD at Connecticut.
  3. Jeff Long, current AD at Arkansas and former administrator at Michigan.
  4. Joe Parker, current deputy AD at Texas Tech.
  5. And as a "wild card," Diane Dietz, former women’s basketball star for Michigan and current Big Ten Communications officer.