You can go ahead and disregard those last few statements I’ve made where I said there wouldn’t be any sort of news coming out of Muncie of a sizable nature considering its the offseason. Bombshell alert per BSU press release…
Athletic director Tom Collins announced today that he plans to leave Ball State at the end of his current contract, which ends on June 30, 2012.
“I’ve truly enjoyed working with our coaches, staff and student-athletes over the past six years,” said Collins. “As a team, we’ve accomplished a great deal while overcoming some challenges. I’m proud of what we’ve been able to achieve.
“I’m looking forward to returning to the Southwest, where my wife, Kathy, and I can be closer to our children. There are opportunities there that I want to explore, and I think this is the right time to do so.”
President Jo Ann Gora thanked Collins for his service to Ball State and his willingness to assist in the transition to a new athletic director. “Tom has been committed to Ball State athletics since his arrival,” said Gora. “I appreciate his hard work and service to the university. In his time here, we have had significant competitive successes, from back-to-back bowl appearances to NCAA appearances by softball, women’s volleyball, and of course women’s basketball’s dramatic victory over Tennessee in 2009. This fall, we packed Lucas Oil Stadium to see our football team beat IU for the second consecutive time.
“Tom has had a positive impact throughout our athletics program. He was highly involved in the completion of the Scheumann Stadium project, including the successful sale of all the new suites and club level seats. His fundraising efforts led to the creation of the Briner Sports Complex, which includes dramatic new facilities for several of our women’s teams. On a national scale, Ball State has been recognized for its gender equity plans, and Tom has served on both the MAC finance subcommittee and the NCAA Division I Amateurism Cabinet.
“I am particularly pleased with Tom’s commitment to maintaining an equal emphasis on both academic success and athletic success when setting expectations for our coaches and student-athletes.”
Gora plans to form a search committee and begin a national search immediately, anticipating that the position will be posted soon. “Given the strength of the department currently, I believe this will be a very attractive opportunity. Tom has bolstered our compliance efforts and staff. We have a very strong complement of coaches on board. I’m confident we will attract a competitive pool of candidates.”
Soooo… that happened. This blog has had an interesting relationship with Tom Collins, and while there are things I can say without question he hasn’t handled fantastically well, he did hire Billy Taylor and Pete Lembo. Granted, he also hired Stan Parrish, so there’s that. More on this as it comes, but we do wish Collins well as he transitions out of Muncie. Looks like President Gora has quite the task in front of her… hiring an AD that the fans won’t be ready to drag through the streets the minute something goes wrong.
Filed under: Ball State