PantherU

Happy Holidays, we got a new AD!

I woke up this morning to a text message from Brandon King, a good friend and fellow Panther who occupies classrooms during the day and the Band That Made Milwaukee Famous during game nights.  The text was simple:

“We got Costello!”

It was a welcome announcement in one of our most trying seasons in recent years.  We regained the Milwaukee Cup, but are off to poor starts in basketball, were bounced by our archrival in the NCAA women’s soccer tournament, and failed to make it in volleyball, our most bankable championship sport.  All of that wouldn’t irk fans if we were fulfilling expectations on the basketball court, but that just hasn’t been the case.  There’s no doubt about it – feelings are glum, and until that text message, they weren’t looking up.

Thankfully, it did come, and I couldn’t be more excited for the future of the athletic department.  As a whole.

With Costello, I know we have the guy that has the credentials and the ideas to not only fix our situation but to also get us going in the direction of waking up the “sleeping giant.”

Personally, I’m excited to see the end of the deficit.  Associate AD Charlie Gross has been cutting down on the deficit, but when matched with fellow financial whiz Costello, I think we’ll see some creative ways to kill that budget deficit.  Of course, the best way is…

…getting that arena built, which I’m confident will happen.  Everywhere Costello has been, he has played an integral part in large building projects, securing large gifts and planning the facilities themselves.

Our facilities situation had to be a major pull for Costello.  I have no doubt that one day, he would like to be an athletic director at a high major institution (I’ve got no problem with anyone using Milwaukee as a stepping stone).  Building facilities, things that last, are the kind of things that get the big schools noticing.

Over the next eight years, more than a few schools will build basketball arenas, and obviously we’re one of them with $25 million already in the pot toward it (the student fee).  The thing that separates us is that we have even more facilities, to the point where Costello can wait.  Maybe he builds a basketball arena here and gets an offer from a low-level BCS school like DePaul, Baylor or Mississippi State.  He can continue to build on his resume here with facilities that also don’t exist and could in the future – basketball practice facilities, the baseball stadium, a home for tennis, and the ultimate feather in the cap, a football program complete with stadium.

I talked to one person who described Costello as an “east coast used car salesman.”  That doesn’t seem like a ringing endorsement, but they meant it as such.  Because our fan base has only known one east coast used car salesman, and times were great when he stalked the sidelines.

If Costello comes into this job with the enthusiasm and drive of another east coaster, than count me among those who can’t wait for his family to arrive on campus in February.

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