At Michigan, sources tell us the University's internal goal is to have hired a new athletic director "by the Ohio State game" (November 29th). Interim athletic director Jim Hackett, while empowered to make strategic decisions, would prefer to have the new athletic director make the decision on Brady Hoke's future with the program is what we are told.
We are told that a number of sitting athletic directors have made their interest in the job clear and that Michigan also plans to reach out (likely through unofficial "representatives") to some considered some of the best in the business to gauge their interest.
A number of outlets have noted UConn athletic director Warde Manuel's interest in the position. Many Michigan fans on twitter seem to be clamoring for Boston College athletic director Brad Bates.
A few days ago, ESPN reported that Northwestern AD Jim Phillips has been targeted as a potential replacement as well.
We told you last week that Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione was the name we were hearing from sources in the industry. Sources tell us Castiglione, if offered the job, is likely to accept it. [To save the inevitable, "Would he bring Stoops?" questions, our belief, based upon conversations with those who know him far better than we do, is that he would not.]
We addressed the potential of Jeff Long being the choice a few weeks ago. That, let's just say, would be a sticky situation for everyone involved.
Local reports have mentioned that Central Michigan's AD Dave Heeke is also a potential candidate.
From all of the names being mentioned thus far, it does appear Michigan is heading down the path of hiring an experienced athletic administrator. Hopefully they hire a dynamic one who can help get Michigan athletics back on the right path.