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Thread: The "So Long, Chris Hill" and "Who's the New Athletic Director?" Thread, 2018

  1. #91
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisrenrut View Post
    Funny typo, given the recent demi-god discussion.
    I think that's the second or third time he's made that "mistake".

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by U-Ute View Post
    I think that's the second or third time he's made that "mistake".
    Let’s continue giving him the benefit of the doubt. We know he would do the same for any of us.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  3. #93
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    He does lack administrative experience, but I don't think that's the main skill an AD needs.
    At least not our new AD. We are pretty set on a lot of issues. We need someone who can raise money.

  4. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    Antagonizign LAUte is just a side benefit. I think Utah fans need to give the succesful coaches and players more credit in general. I hate to see Hill be this black hole who sucks recognition. I think Hill really made a mess out of the Majerus departure. It’s very sad. I’ll never forgive him for that. And he tried to fire Kyle and replace him with Gary Anderson. Really unforgivable. So far as I can tell, this all was about a his ego. I can’t explain such conduct otherwise.
    You can't even be somewhat objective or rational when it comes to Majerus and that is what fuels your hatred of Hill. He actually handled the Majerus thing real well. Majerus' time was up here.

    Majerus is our Bobby Knight. He's our Adolph Rupp. But that's not good enough for you.

    You've been in Seattle too long. You've totally lost touch with the University of Utah.

  5. #95
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    He does lack administrative experience, but I don't think that's the main skill an AD needs.

    I can tell what will likely happen. Season tickets prices in football are going to sky rocket. Our renewal rate is over 90%. Hill was old school. He didn't care--the demigod liked that. The new AD is going to notice that the renewal rate is much higher than most schools and crunch the numbers. He or she will raise prices to the point of pain and push that number down to a more average renewal rate (that will price out my Dad). The next AD will also hire a search firm for our next big hire--he won't do it old school like demigod Hill. He'll need to CYA (and also develop a relationship with the search firm he hires so that they will help him when he needs or decides to get a new job). Finally, there will likely be a lot less aversion to debt. We will get much more of it.

    Let's just say I am damn confident in these predictions. Most of us (besides Seattle) will miss the good old days with Demigod Hill.
    Last edited by Two Utes; 03-28-2018 at 05:03 PM.

  6. #96
    I know it's the goal and dream of all lawyers to become GMs/ADs. Let Drew take a position in the new AD's office, and get someone with fundraising experience.

    The USC model is the last thing we want to follow. Seattle's mantra for an AD is "do no harm," and USC is the prime example of a program harmed by a succession of poor AD decisions.

  7. #97
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    I know it's the goal and dream of all lawyers to become GMs/ADs.
    Not mine. I want to be emperor of the world.

    The USC model is the last thing we want to follow. Seattle's mantra for an AD is "do no harm," and USC is the prime example of a program harmed by a succession of poor AD decisions.
    Why does everyone keep making this argument? All I am saying is that bringing in someone with prior ties to a school’s athletic programs is a good idea, and that honoring tradition that way is one thing USC does well. If I were saying we should emulate USC in any other way regarding its athletics administration then you should have all taken me out back and shot me by now. But I’m not saying that.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  8. #98
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Jon Wilner:


    Utah AD Chris Hill retires: The Pac-12 should put him to work


    A significant corner-office development unfolded earlier this week when Chris Hill announced his retirement after three decades in charge of Utah athletics.

    It was a heck of a three decades.

    Hill’s accomplishments include brilliant football hires (Ron McBride, Urban Meyer and Kyle Whittingham) — most ADs are lucky to get one right — ushering the Utes into the Pac-12, and several smart basketball moves.


    All of it played out against a backdrop of fiscal responsibility and without major NCAA scandal.


    Consistent success in high-profile athletic ventures at a school like Utah, which is a multi-hour flight from the nearest recruiting hotbed, is exceedingly difficult and requires an effective multi-tiered operation.


    (You must hire the right coaches, but it’s not only about the right coaches. The support systems and revenue streams must be in place, as well.)


    Hill also takes into retirement a vast amount of institutional knowledge, not only about Utah specifically but collegiate athletics in general.


    That knowledge would be invaluable over the next half-decade as the Pac-12 prepares for the pivot point in 2023-24.


    That’s when the conference will renegotiate its Tier One contracts and navigate potential realignment within the Power Five.


    Hill has seen it all, from every angle, three times over.


    The conference should view him not as an outgoing AD but as a future resource, available for counsel on matters involving not only football and basketball but media rights and campus relations.


    Commissioner Larry Scott whiffed badly in 2010-11 by not leaning on the athletic directors before and during the negotiations with Fox and ESPN — which included the contract parameters for the football schedule — and the creation of the Pac-12 Networks.

    It shouldn’t make the mistake again. The ADs, and/or former ADs, would bring needed insight — not only to that process but also to a litany of decisions between now and 2023.

    (What about Hill as a permanent member of the football competition committee?)

    That’s all another way of saying the Pac-12 shouldn’t send its best wishes to Hill.


    It should put him on retainer.

    https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/03/30/utah-ad-chris-hill-retires-the-pac-12-should-put-him-to-work/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=pac-12&utm_medium=email

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  9. #99
    I'd love to have Hill on their committees. He was a great AD and he'd do a great job there as well. The planning and foresight of Hill and the entire University to have themselves ready when the PAC-12 came calling, just amazing.

  10. #100
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    Picked a perfect week to go on vacation. Watched the NIT games from my hotel room in Laughlin, and the Hill news broke while I was in the Grand Canyon. Whereas you schleps wasted a bunch of time going back and forth on those issues, I get to take care of them (mostly) in one take.

    I'm probably thought of as a Hill critic, largely for how I felt about Swimgate (he should've been fired then -- there's no debate he would've been fired had it happened today, and I even today I have a small feeling of uneasiness that Winslow wasn't that far removed from Larry Nassar-like creepiness and slime). Hill is a great AD. But on that matter, I wasn't going to be an apologist for him. I already did my part to deify him (he was 9/100 in my book -- ahead of Mac, Kyle and Weddle. In hindsight, he should've been top 30. If Hill saw it, he was probably as embarrassed then as I am now).

    But when you get down to it, that's the only lasting black mark on his resume. I'm not really even looking down on Hill for the Giacoletti and Boylen hires. This is where SU hits the nail square. Hill didn't come down with a case of stupid for those hires that he luckily managed to avoid with Majerus, Mac, Kyle, etc. Because to say Giac and Boylen were disastrous hires, unless you too are in the top 1 percent of your profession, is just a dumb thing to say. They had disastrous results, sure. Those things can happen. But a disastrous hire is someone who gets you on probation, has a substance abuse problem or is someone you have to fire after Year 1.

    Hill ran a tight ship and he had a keen eye for what worked in coaches (being a former one himself and having worked --and played? -- for a great one in Bill Foster), it was clearly his greatest asset. Over time, his tenure and accomplishments gave him the street cred within his leagues to be a respected voice. By most any degree, he will be missed. To say he got Utah in the Pac-12, however, is like saying George H.W. Bush won the Cold War. The steps for that feat were put in place by many people more than just Chris Hill.

    More about his tenure at Utah. He made three unqualified slam-dunk hires (Larry might prove to be a 4th), but the Whittingham hire was the single-greatest, most clutch thing he ever did as an AD. This was a battle more important than any game we had played in to that point. Not only could we not BYU raid our coaching staff and potentially regain the upper hand on us on the field and in state prestige, we needed a coaching staff in Tempe for the Fiesta Bowl. We simply could not take that stage not knowing who our coach was going to be the following season. I think Hill knew this, and he pulled out all the stops he could to make it happen.

    Chris Hill was kind enough to sit down for an interview with me for my book. He gave me some good tidbits, and all but personally saw to it that I was able to get into the Monfort Family Hall of Champions so that I could write that chapter. But in no fewer than three instances in that interview, Hill showed me he is totally clueless when it comes to self-promotion. And when I say self-promotion, I'm largely talking about the University.

    The biggest miracle to happen to Utah athletics during Chris Hill's tenure wasn't making the Final Four or winning the Sugar Bowl. It was allowing a fan-led movement to get the roof on Nelson Fieldhouse painted black with red Utah painted on top of it. Hill is insular, and the athletic department is insular as a result. Mind you, this is someone who once cancelled Fan Fest. From my perspective, Hill was only interested in alumni contributions that had money attached to it.

    There are plenty of examples where alumni wanted to be involved, only to be given a cold shoulder. Disclaimer: I was given said cold shoulder outright on one instance; the other was a lot less subtle (If I really wanted to press my luck, I could push on another matter and get another cold shoulder -- I haven't really dedicated myself to going that far again.). If you wanna say that clouds my objectivity on the matter, that's your right. Disclaimer No. 2: This is a culture that is not unique to Utah -- everyone has the heebie-jeebies over fan/alumni involvement after mid-2000s USC. Another reason to hate everything the NCAA stands for, quite frankly.

    Hill wasn't perfect, but he deserves his spot in the Crimson Club Hall of Fame, it's not even really up for debate and while my grade of B+ might seem low to some, consider that his B+ is a grade spread out over 30 years. No school has an AD(s) that grade out that well for that long, and the ADs that would get a lifetime B are rare. Hill will be missed, but there are 50 ADs in the country that are capable of keeping Utah on the right path. What I'm hopeful for is an AD who can elevate the program from regional oddity to being a part of the national mindset.

  11. #101
    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalPat View Post
    Picked a perfect week to go on vacation. Watched the NIT games from my hotel room in Laughlin, and the Hill news broke while I was in the Grand Canyon. Whereas you schleps wasted a bunch of time going back and forth on those issues, I get to take care of them (mostly) in one take.

    I'm probably thought of as a Hill critic, largely for how I felt about Swimgate (he should've been fired then -- there's no debate he would've been fired had it happened today, and I even today I have a small feeling of uneasiness that Winslow wasn't that far removed from Larry Nassar-like creepiness and slime). Hill is a great AD. But on that matter, I wasn't going to be an apologist for him. I already did my part to deify him (he was 9/100 in my book -- ahead of Mac, Kyle and Weddle. In hindsight, he should've been top 30. If Hill saw it, he was probably as embarrassed then as I am now).

    But when you get down to it, that's the only lasting black mark on his resume. I'm not really even looking down on Hill for the Giacoletti and Boylen hires. This is where SU hits the nail square. Hill didn't come down with a case of stupid for those hires that he luckily managed to avoid with Majerus, Mac, Kyle, etc. Because to say Giac and Boylen were disastrous hires, unless you too are in the top 1 percent of your profession, is just a dumb thing to say. They had disastrous results, sure. Those things can happen. But a disastrous hire is someone who gets you on probation, has a substance abuse problem or is someone you have to fire after Year 1.

    Hill ran a tight ship and he had a keen eye for what worked in coaches (being a former one himself and having worked --and played? -- for a great one in Bill Foster), it was clearly his greatest asset. Over time, his tenure and accomplishments gave him the street cred within his leagues to be a respected voice. By most any degree, he will be missed. To say he got Utah in the Pac-12, however, is like saying George H.W. Bush won the Cold War. The steps for that feat were put in place by many people more than just Chris Hill.

    More about his tenure at Utah. He made three unqualified slam-dunk hires (Larry might prove to be a 4th), but the Whittingham hire was the single-greatest, most clutch thing he ever did as an AD. This was a battle more important than any game we had played in to that point. Not only could we not BYU raid our coaching staff and potentially regain the upper hand on us on the field and in state prestige, we needed a coaching staff in Tempe for the Fiesta Bowl. We simply could not take that stage not knowing who our coach was going to be the following season. I think Hill knew this, and he pulled out all the stops he could to make it happen.

    Chris Hill was kind enough to sit down for an interview with me for my book. He gave me some good tidbits, and all but personally saw to it that I was able to get into the Monfort Family Hall of Champions so that I could write that chapter. But in no fewer than three instances in that interview, Hill showed me he is totally clueless when it comes to self-promotion. And when I say self-promotion, I'm largely talking about the University.

    The biggest miracle to happen to Utah athletics during Chris Hill's tenure wasn't making the Final Four or winning the Sugar Bowl. It was allowing a fan-led movement to get the roof on Nelson Fieldhouse painted black with red Utah painted on top of it. Hill is insular, and the athletic department is insular as a result. Mind you, this is someone who once cancelled Fan Fest. From my perspective, Hill was only interested in alumni contributions that had money attached to it.

    There are plenty of examples where alumni wanted to be involved, only to be given a cold shoulder. Disclaimer: I was given said cold shoulder outright on one instance; the other was a lot less subtle (If I really wanted to press my luck, I could push on another matter and get another cold shoulder -- I haven't really dedicated myself to going that far again.). If you wanna say that clouds my objectivity on the matter, that's your right. Disclaimer No. 2: This is a culture that is not unique to Utah -- everyone has the heebie-jeebies over fan/alumni involvement after mid-2000s USC. Another reason to hate everything the NCAA stands for, quite frankly.

    Hill wasn't perfect, but he deserves his spot in the Crimson Club Hall of Fame, it's not even really up for debate and while my grade of B+ might seem low to some, consider that his B+ is a grade spread out over 30 years. No school has an AD(s) that grade out that well for that long, and the ADs that would get a lifetime B are rare. Hill will be missed, but there are 50 ADs in the country that are capable of keeping Utah on the right path. What I'm hopeful for is an AD who can elevate the program from regional oddity to being a part of the national mindset.
    I agree very much with Pat that Hill’s greatest hire and his finest hour was getting Whittingham out of BYU’s clutches. Ironically, I think he was ambivalent about the hire. But he head enough sense to know that considering we were about to play the most important game in program history, with a decimated coaching staff, and BYU had to be deprived of Meyer’s stellar DC, he had no choice but to do what it took to keep Whit. And he succeeded in doing so. Had that not happened, there probably wouldn’t have been any 2008.
    One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

    --Albert Einstein

    The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.

    --Richard Dawkins

    Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    --Philo

  12. #102
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    I agree very much with Pat that Hill’s greatest hire and his finest hour was getting Whittingham out of BYU’s clutches. Ironically, I think he was ambivalent about the hire. But he head enough sense to know that considering we were about to play the most important game in program history, with a decimated coaching staff, and BYU had to be deprived of Meyer’s stellar DC, he had no choice but to do what it took to keep Whit. And he succeeded in doing so. Had that not happened, there probably wouldn’t have been any 2008.
    You’ve come a long way from your earlier extreme outlier position. I’m impressed.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  13. #103
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    You’ve come a long way from your earlier extreme outlier position. I’m impressed.
    No I haven’t. I’ve only ever argued against your excessive praise.
    One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

    --Albert Einstein

    The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.

    --Richard Dawkins

    Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    --Philo

  14. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    I agree very much with Pat that Hill’s greatest hire and his finest hour was getting Whittingham out of BYU’s clutches. Ironically, I think he was ambivalent about the hire. But he head enough sense to know that considering we were about to play the most important game in program history, with a decimated coaching staff, and BYU had to be deprived of Meyer’s stellar DC, he had no choice but to do what it took to keep Whit. And he succeeded in doing so. Had that not happened, there probably wouldn’t have been any 2008.
    Honestly, I don't think Hill had a backup plan on this. Who has the foresight to worry about your next girlfriend when you're dating a supermodel?

    Hill will never be forthright about this (or the chaos leading up to the Pac-12 invite), which goes along with his lack of self-promotion. He makes Swiss bankers look like blabbermouths. It's beyond annoying.

  15. #105
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    No I haven’t. I’ve only ever argued against your excessive praise.
    Can you give some examples of such praise on my part, o moderate one?

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  16. #106
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Here are a few notes about what I remember about Chris Hill, based in part on what he's told me. Bolded items are major milestones.

    1. He's presided over 25% of the U’s history of intercollegiate athletics (starting in 1892 with the first football team). If you want to count only the television era (defined here as from 1966-forward) that figure goes up to 60%. For that reason alone he's an important figure in the U's athletics history.

    2. When he got the AD job one of the first things he told me was that RES seatingdrove him nuts. For example, at home games against BYU half or more of the good seats would have BYU fans in them. He decided that whoever got those seats would have to pay Crimson Club dues for them, and he made that happen If There are many fewer BYU fans in those seats now. I think this was one of his first official acts as AD. Not momentous, but an harbinger of other changes to come.

    2. Fired Jim Fassel because the football team was "not competitive" anymore and that was unlikely to change.

    3. Hired Ron McBride. We know what happened next. -- a new era for Utah football began.

    4. Fired Lynn Archibald, nice guy, couldn't move the program.

    5. Traveled to the Final Four that year, tracked down Rick Majerus, and hired him. We know what happened next.

    6. When football under Ron McBride plateaued, hired urban Meyer and the football program took another a major step forward.

    7. When Meyer left after 2 years, hired Whittingham. (Someone speculated that Hill was ambivalent about this hire. He was anything but ambivalent. He worked hard to pull Whitt back from BYU's offer. It's a great story.)

    8. Hired Giacolletti and Boylen, which plunged Utah basketball into a period of mediocrity (except for one Sweet 16 that was because of Bogut.) Volumes have been written on message boards about these hires. They ended up disastrously. We could argue endlessly about how much he was at fault for those hires, but in the end he's accountable for them.

    9. Utah joins the PAC-12. Chris rode the tiger during a wild period of realignment and Utah ended up in a terrific place. He's since overseen facilities upgrades that left us with world class football and basketball practice facilities.

    10. Hired Krystkowiak. This appears to have been a very solid and might -- might! --turn out to be a great one. Too early to say.

    11. Swimgate. This should not have happened and he was ultimately responsible. There was an outside investigation and a report. He kept his job. I’ll leave it at that.

    I guess some might argue that any AD would have taken the bolded actions. Go ahead, but to accept that argument requires a credulity leap that the great majority of people who have been paying attention over the years are not willing to make. He was a big part of making Utah athletics history during a pivotal period, and making our programs what they are. I don't think the U will ever see a repeat performance.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  17. #107
    I don’t think you can argue that any AD would have taken the bolder actions because most don’t.

    There red are hundreds of AD’s in college sports. Very few have accomplished as much as he has. It’s very noteworthy and commendable.

    He is a great AD and Utah will be hard pressed to find another that is as good as he was.

  18. #108
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Here are a few notes about what I remember about Chris Hill, based in part on what he's told me. Bolded items are major milestones.

    1. He's presided over 25% of the U’s history of intercollegiate athletics (starting in 1892 with the first football team). If you want to count only the television era (defined here as from 1966-forward) that figure goes up to 60%. For that reason alone he's an important figure in the U's athletics history.

    2. When he got the AD job one of the first things he told me was that RES seatingdrove him nuts. For example, at home games against BYU half or more of the good seats would have BYU fans in them. He decided that whoever got those seats would have to pay Crimson Club dues for them, and he made that happen If There are many fewer BYU fans in those seats now. I think this was one of his first official acts as AD. Not momentous, but an harbinger of other changes to come.

    2. Fired Jim Fassel because the football team was "not competitive" anymore and that was unlikely to change.

    3. Hired Ron McBride. We know what happened next. -- a new era for Utah football began.

    4. Fired Lynn Archibald, nice guy, couldn't move the program.

    5. Traveled to the Final Four that year, tracked down Rick Majerus, and hired him. We know what happened next.

    6. When football under Ron McBride plateaued, hired urban Meyer and the football program took another a major step forward.

    7. When Meyer left after 2 years, hired Whittingham. (Someone speculated that Hill was ambivalent about this hire. He was anything but ambivalent. He worked hard to pull Whitt back from BYU's offer. It's a great story.)

    8. Hired Giacolletti and Boylen, which plunged Utah basketball into a period of mediocrity (except for one Sweet 16 that was because of Bogut.) Volumes have been written on message boards about these hires. They ended up disastrously. We could argue endlessly about how much he was at fault for those hires, but in the end he's accountable for them.

    9. Utah joins the PAC-12. Chris rode the tiger during a wild period of realignment and Utah ended up in a terrific place. He's since overseen facilities upgrades that left us with world class football and basketball practice facilities.

    10. Hired Krystkowiak. This appears to have been a very solid and might -- might! --turn out to be a great one. Too early to say.

    11. Swimgate. This should not have happened and he was ultimately responsible. There was an outside investigation and a report. He kept his job. I’ll leave it at that.

    I guess some might argue that any AD would have taken the bolded actions. Go ahead, but to accept that argument requires a credulity leap that the great majority of people who have been paying attention over the years are not willing to make. He was a big part of making Utah athletics history during a pivotal period, and making our programs what they are. I don't think the U will ever see a repeat performance.

    One thing is overlooked about the Pac 12 thing is Hill's request to go straight into the Pac 12 one year early regardless of what money Utah got. Remember, Scott wanted him to come a year later, because the Pac 12 had no money to offer Utah as the new TV deal would not kick in until the next year. Hill knew that leaving BYU behind would cause all sorts of problems with the knuckleheads at the legislature who might pass some sort of legislation blocking the move. He told Scott we're coming. He took whatever money was there from the newly formed championship game that first year. Brilliant move by a guy who knows how politics work in Utah.

    But, I also agree with SoCal Pat on the cold shoulder issue. The U wants money from its fans. Period--end of story. Those who give a lot of it, are superfans regardless of how they follow the Utes. Those who don't, regardless of how much they care about the Utes, are irrelevant. That's somewhat shortsighted because while I may not give much now (because I'm trying to pay for and educate a bunch of kids), I likely would have done it later.

    Now I'm not so sure. Utah gets to define who are their superfans. They have that right. And I have my right to decide where to donate money.
    Last edited by Two Utes; 04-02-2018 at 08:45 AM.

  19. #109
    A bunch of big money donors are pushing hard for Jim Olson, the President of Vivint Smart Home Arena, to get the job. Here's a little info on Olson from when he got that job:

    http://www.lhm.com/olson-named-presi...rt-home-arena/

  20. #110
    Quote Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
    A bunch of big money donors are pushing hard for Jim Olson, the President of Vivint Smart Home Arena, to get the job. Here's a little info on Olson from when he got that job:

    http://www.lhm.com/olson-named-presi...rt-home-arena/
    My wife worked with Jim Olsen in connection with the renovations to the Jazz arena, and liked him quite a bit. He is impressive.

  21. #111
    Quote Originally Posted by concerned View Post
    My wife worked with Jim Olsen in connection with the renovations to the Jazz arena, and liked him quite a bit. He is impressive.

    I played little league baseball with Jim. Know him well. He would be terrific. He's a tireless worker and a great marketer.

  22. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
    A bunch of big money donors are pushing hard for Jim Olson, the President of Vivint Smart Home Arena, to get the job. Here's a little info on Olson from when he got that job:

    http://www.lhm.com/olson-named-presi...rt-home-arena/
    The resume definitely sparkles. I'd be concerned that he has zero experience in college athletics, but his current workload suggests he could have a positive impact immediately. I still think the job is Brennan's. He had to have been given a guarantee of some sort for turning down the Montana State job.

  23. #113
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Two Utes View Post
    One thing is overlooked about the Pac 12 thing is Hill's request to go straight into the Pac 12 one year early regardless of what money Utah got. Remember, Scott wanted him to come a year later, because the Pac 12 had no money to offer Utah as the new TV deal would not kick in until the next year. Hill knew that leaving BYU behind would cause all sorts of problems with the knuckleheads at the legislature who might pass some sort of legislation blocking the move. He told Scott we're coming. He took whatever money was there from the newly formed championship game that first year. Brilliant move by a guy who knows how politics work in Utah.
    Good point. Scott was (justifiably) very worried about what the Legislature might do and Chris used that opening to get us into the PAC-12 early.

    But, I also agree with SoCal Pat on the cold shoulder issue. The U wants money from its fans. Period--end of story. Those who give a lot of it, are superfans regardless of how they follow the Utes. Those who don't, regardless of how much they care about the Utes, are irrelevant. That's somewhat shortsighted because while I may not give much now (because I'm trying to pay for and educate a bunch of kids), I likely would have done it later.

    Now I'm not so sure. Utah gets to define who are their superfans. They have that right. And I have my right to decide where to donate money.
    I forgot to mention that one area where the next AD has to do much better is in fund-raising and fan/booster relations. I've got stories about this. It has been a significant failing during Chris's tenure.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  24. #114
    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalPat View Post
    The resume definitely sparkles. I'd be concerned that he has zero experience in college athletics, but his current workload suggests he could have a positive impact immediately. I still think the job is Brennan's. He had to have been given a guarantee of some sort for turning down the Montana State job.
    I also know Kyle. He would be an excellent hire as well.

  25. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I forgot to mention that one area where the next AD has to do much better is in fund-raising and fan/booster relations. I've got stories about this. It has been a significant failing during Chris's tenure.
    Sigh. I think a lot of us have stories. It's both reassuring and depressing, to varying degrees ...

    Here's one of the three instances I mentioned above. Some background: When I wrote the book, I hadn't lived in Utah for nearly 15 years. You could count on one hand the number of home football and basketball games I had been to in that time. The deeper knowledge I had of Utah sports came exclusively from Utefans, and that's simply not enough. My "100 Things" couldn't deal with just games, athletes and administrators -- that would be dull. There had to be stories that just weren't known or talked about much. Don't alumni represent the lifeblood of a university? Who better to shed some light on those people than the AD?

    Hill's response to my inquiry about such "behind the scenes people"? He speaks glowingly of Liz Abel. Really? It took a lot for me to keep myself from rolling my eyes at that response. Hill couldn't think past his own office space for an answer. He either couldn't/didn't understand my question, or he really doesn't know about such people. When Steve Smith retired and rattled off the name of a family who had helped him while he was at Utah (I believe Steve Odom told me a similar story from his Utah days), I knew Hill's excuse was the latter -- he's largely out of touch with the fans and alumni who contribute in meaningful ways to the athletic program that go beyond dollars and cents.

  26. #116
    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalPat View Post
    He had to have been given a guarantee of some sort for turning down the Montana State job.
    Don't we have a new president, though? She doesn't have to honor an implicit promise made by her predecessor does she?

    Anyway, sounds like Brennan is a reasonable choice.

    I'm not sure how much the Pac-12 listens to its ADs, but a college athletics outsider like Olsen might be able to create positive change for the conference. The problem with lifers is that they tend to have a hard time getting past "but that's how we've always done it."

  27. #117
    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalPat View Post
    Sigh. I think a lot of us have stories.
    No one can hold a leadership position for more than a year without unintentionally pissing some people off. To hold a position for 31 years? I'm sure plenty of alumni, donors, etc have felt wronged by Hill over the years.

  28. #118
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalPat View Post
    Sigh. I think a lot of us have stories. It's both reassuring and depressing, to varying degrees ...

    Here's one of the three instances I mentioned above. Some background: When I wrote the book, I hadn't lived in Utah for nearly 15 years. You could count on one hand the number of home football and basketball games I had been to in that time. The deeper knowledge I had of Utah sports came exclusively from Utefans, and that's simply not enough. My "100 Things" couldn't deal with just games, athletes and administrators -- that would be dull. There had to be stories that just weren't known or talked about much. Don't alumni represent the lifeblood of a university? Who better to shed some light on those people than the AD?

    Hill's response to my inquiry about such "behind the scenes people"? He speaks glowingly of Liz Abel. Really? It took a lot for me to keep myself from rolling my eyes at that response. Hill couldn't think past his own office space for an answer. He either couldn't/didn't understand my question, or he really doesn't know about such people. When Steve Smith retired and rattled off the name of a family who had helped him while he was at Utah (I believe Steve Odom told me a similar story from his Utah days), I knew Hill's excuse was the latter -- he's largely out of touch with the fans and alumni who contribute in meaningful ways to the athletic program that go beyond dollars and cents.
    Nobody is perfect, of course. Chris is quite cautious and conservative by nature. I think he was a little afraid of boosters generally. I think that has played out in many missed opportunities for expanding the support base of athletics. I am sure, or at least I hope, that the next athletic director will have a different approach.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  29. #119
    https://www.deseretnews.com/article/...hris-Hill.html

    This is a good read about Kyle Brennan. He appears to be well liked around the University.

  30. #120
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snafu View Post
    https://www.deseretnews.com/article/...hris-Hill.html

    This is a good read about Kyle Brennan. He appears to be well liked around the University.
    You know what they say about backup QB's and popularity.

    He hasn't been in the seat to piss people off yet.

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