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Cards Athletic Director Bill Scholl Hired by Marquette

Bill SchollRemember how awesome it was the last couple of years to have a competent Director of Athletics that deep down you knew was capable of doing the right thing at the right time and trusting completely? Put that feeling on pause because Bill Scholl and Ball State announced today that he is taking his talents to Milwaukee as the new Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Marquette.

To the BSU release on the matter…

Ball State Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Bill Scholl has been named Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Marquette University, effective mid-October. Marquette announced his hiring Tuesday morning, Sept. 9.

“This was a very difficult decision to make because of the momentum Ball State’s athletics department has right now and the great people I have had the pleasure to meet and work with at Ball State and in Muncie,” Scholl said. “My wife, Julie, and I have thoroughly enjoyed our time here and will take great memories with us.

“All of our programs are in position to experience and sustain success in the very near future. A major reason Ball State athletics will excel moving forward is due to the exciting, new leadership of President Paul Ferguson. Despite having worked together for just one month, I am convinced he has the vision and great expectations for our athletic programs and will do all he can to provide the resources needed to continue the growth of Ball State athletics. The friendship we have formed was a major factor in making this decision so difficult.”

Scholl took over as athletics director at Ball State on April 30, 2012, and helped lead the Cardinals to new heights almost immediately. Ten total postseason appearances were made by eight different Ball State athletic programs in the last two years, and 13 teams placed either first or second in the Mid-American Conference during his tenure. Highlights of the postseason trips include back-to-back bowl game appearances by the football team for only the second time in school history and the women’s basketball team rebounded from nine wins the season before Scholl’s arrival to earn consecutive Women’s NIT appearances.

Ball State has had 19 specialty award winners from the MAC or Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association during Scholl’s tenure, including six league coaches of the year and five league players of the year. The Cardinals boasted four All-Americans in each of Scholl’s two years and the eight combined All-Americans represented the most in a two-year period at Ball State since the 1990s.

Scholl has hired seven head coaches, four of whom have already led their respective programs to first- or second-place finishes in the MAC, including league titles for baseball and softball. He has also helped lead the Cardinal Commitment capital campaign to raise funds to build and enhance facilities for the football program, men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, and golf teams plus baseball and softball programs.

“I regret to see Bill and Julie leave Ball State so early in our time together, but I understand his motivation to seek the Marquette experience,” President Paul Ferguson said. “In my brief time here, the significant impact that Bill had on the athletics department, the university and the community was clearly demonstrated. I will personally miss his integrity and commitment to excellence. We all wish Bill well at Marquette. We will begin a nationwide search for a new athletics director and will find someone who will continue to lead our department forward. Thanks to the current state of our athletics department and the future of the MAC, I am quite confident the talent pool for this position will be deep.”

“I want to thank Ball State University for giving me the opportunity to become an athletics director,” Scholl said. “I will forever be indebted to the leadership of Ball State. I also would be remiss to not thank the incredible student-athletes at Ball State. How they represent this great university, not only in competition but in the classroom and the community, is nothing short of outstanding. Thank you for making my time here so enjoyable.”

QUOTES FROM BALL STATE HEAD COACHES ON BILL SCHOLL
Pete Lembo, Head Football Coach
“Bill Scholl is a great man who made a tremendous impact on our department’s culture, image on campus and fundraising efforts. I will be forever grateful for the great working relationship that we had the last two years. I wish him well in this new opportunity.”

Brady Sallee, Head Women’s Basketball Coach
“I’m thrilled for Bill and his family. This opportunity at Marquette is a great fit for him and I know he will knock their socks off up in Milwaukee! When you’ve been in the business as long as I have, you learn how important great leadership is. Bill personifies exactly that. There is no doubt we will miss him greatly, but he has impacted our department deeply and set us all up for a tremendous amount of success. I wish him nothing but the best. Personally, I will always be thankful that he brought me to Ball State. My family and I are blessed to be Cardinals!”

James Whitford, Head Men’s Basketball Coach
“It was a great pleasure working with Bill over the past 16 months. He brought an energy and passion to work every day, and always had the best interest of his student athletes and coaches at heart. Bill is one of the best athletic directors in the country. He will be missed.”

Is this a bad thing? Well, it’s certainly not a good thing, as Scholl has captained the BSU athletics ship to a pretty good spot over the last two years. But whether or not this is a terrible thing is completely contingent on who the next hire is. Newly appointed president Paul Ferguson now has his first major hiring decision so let’s cross our fingers that New Bill Scholl (NBS) is a lot like Old Bill Scholl (OBS) and not at all like Old Tom Collins (OTC). Assuming that the reason for the departure is the simplest one: presumably more money at a more prestigious institution better prepared to compete at a championship level then I have no reason to think that the next AD will revert back to the incompetence that haunted the department in administrations past and take nothing serious away from the fact that an AD departed a program two years after being hired here.

Best of luck to Scholl and his family and he as he and his staff were always exceptionally helpful to the Pylon. I can only hope the next AD is as skilled and helpful as he was and champions the department to continued success on a similar sort of trajectory.

OTP will have some thoughts on possible candidates soon, but the OTPcast just got a whole lot more interesting tonight.

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