jump to example.com

Where does UVA go in its search for a new AD?

It makes sense that the next UVA president will want to hire the new athletics director, so the news involving Craig Littlepage is no surprise.

virginia uvaLittlepage announced Tuesday that he will step down as AD as soon as the school can hire his replacement, at which point he will slide into a new job in the president’s office.

The indications going into the 2017-2018 school year were that Littlepage, 66, was ready to step down at the end of the academic year in the spring, after a 16-year run marked by success overall (76 ACC championships in the past decade, most in the conference, and 13 NCAA team national titles in that span, second-most among ACC schools) and, well, an awful stretch in the most important sport, football, which has put up nine losing seasons in the past 11 years.

Except for football, Littlepage will hand to his successor a finely-tuned machine. Tony Bennett has the men’s basketball program partying like it’s 1981. Brian O’Connor has baseball winning championships and making money. Men’s tennis is practically a dynasty at this point.

The only question marks are football and women’s hoops, but women’s hoops are much closer to getting things turned around under Joanne Boyle than football is in Year 2 under Bronco Mendenhall, a strong hire out of BYU who has either a Herculean task ahead of him, or if you’re familiar with Greek mythology, maybe more a Sissyphean task, doomed to forever rolling the boulder back up the hill, only to have it roll back and hit him, for eternity, or the duration of his five-year contract.

Whoever replaces Littlepage won’t have the usual run of the place that most new ADs have when they assume the reins. You’ve got a men’s basketball coach in Bennett that you basically need to just keep happy for the next 20 years, and otherwise sit back and watch him make history.

Same with O’Connor and baseball. Just stay out of the way.

The Olympic sports are all well-stocked with coaches and well-outfitted in terms of facilities.

Women’s basketball might need your attention, but Boyle might be ready to break through this year, so let’s give her another chance or two.

Facilities, across the board, are among the best in the nation.

The cupboard is pretty well-stocked. The only question mark is football, and even there, you’re talking about a coach in Mendenhall who was an absolute steal of a hire after his 11-year run at BYU, and he’s just in Year 2 at UVA.

The rebuild after the six-year fiasco that was the Mike London era is not an overnight proposition, so the new AD will have to exercise patience that is not the hallmark of the new AD archetype.

I’ve written recently that this rebuild is likely not going to see returns until Year 6, which means when we meet the new person in charge sometime this college sports year, well …

The Cavs are 1-0 on the young season at this writing. I’m still sticking with this being a one- or two-win team. Even if we see three or four or five wins, and we’re being exceedingly generous even entertaining such notions, you’re still not in bowl contention, and you’re nowhere near championship-level, in an athletics department with men’s basketball, baseball, tennis and track and field all at a national-championship level, and several other sports at or near ACC-championship level status on an annual basis.

Football is the sore thumb, and will be the case for at least the next two, three, maybe four years.

Restraint is going to be the order of the day, and the next couple of years, at least, for the new UVA athletics director, who doesn’t need to make a run of splashy hires to define his or her term, and aside from the new football facility project doesn’t even need to do a lot of heavy lifting in terms of facilities.

You’re getting the keys to a near-mint-condition sports car, in essence, and being told that, no, that ping you hear when you rev up the engine, that’s nothing, just let it ride, and let it correct itself.

That can be a hard thing to do for the alphas who tend to populate the universe of top-shelf Power 5 AD candidates.

This won’t be an easy hire, is what I’m saying here.


Street Knowledge with Chris Graham: Libertarian gubernatorial nominee Cliff Hyra

Chris Graham interviews Libertarian gubernatorial nominee Cliff Hyra.

Another new poll gives Northam big lead in Virginia governor race

One Virginia governor race poll released yesterday had Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie tied.

Poll: Trump unpopular in Virginia

President Donald Trump is well under water among Virginia voters, according to new poll results released by the University of Mary Washington.

The Petty Hearts bring Tom Petty tribute to Wayne Theatre on Sept. 22

Tom Petty tribute band The Petty Hearts are coming to the Wayne Theatre on Friday, Sept. 22.

Virginia Chili, Blues n' Brews Festival set for Saturday

The Virginia Chili, Blues n' Brews Festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Saturday in Downtown Waynesboro.

Events Calendar

Upcoming events in the Shenandoah Valley, Central Virginia and statewide from the Augusta Free Press Events Calendar. Don't see your event listed? Email augustafreepress2@gmail.com.

UVA alum Chris Long to donate first six NFL game checks to fund scholarships

The Chris Long Foundation announced today that Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long will donate his first six game checks of the 2017 NFL season to fund two scholarships in his hometown of Charlottesville.

Game Preview: VMI, Chattanooga look to get back on track on Saturday

VMI knew the 2017 football season was going to be a rebuilding year. Chattanooga, coming off a playoff appearance in 2016, had its usual high expectations.

Game Preview: UVA has a chance at Boise State

Vegas and the ESPN Power Index don’t give UVA much of a chance to win at Boise State on Friday night.

Street Knowledge with Chris Graham: First look at UVA-Boise State

Chris Graham and Scott German take a first look at the UVA-Boise State game set for Friday night.

Web Design, Marketing

Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including web design, TV/radio, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation.

Recent Posts
Your One-Stop Media Shop
Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including web design, magazine/brochure, TV/radio, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation.
  • Web Design

    You want a new website, but don’t have the first clue as to how to build one. That’s our job. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design and content development. Get your business online for as little as $1,299.
    Learn more about AFP Web Design services.
  • Graphic Design

    The staff at Augusta Free Press Publishing has been recognized by the Virginia Press Association for excellence in layout and design. Whether you need a fresh business card design, rack card, ad, flyer or full magazine design, we can help with all your graphic-design needs.
    Learn more about AFP Graphic Design services.
  • Marketing

    Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.
    Learn more about AFP Marketing services.