Sources: Chris McIntosh to be named Wisconsin athletic director | national


The University of Wisconsin plans to appoint its new athletic director on Wednesday, Chancellor Rebecca Blank revealing her choice to replace retiree Barry Alvarez.

Three sources have indicated that Blank will recommend that the UW System board approve Chris McIntosh as the next UW athletic director. The board of directors, which must approve all athletics contracts with an annual value greater than $ 500,000, will meet at 9 a.m. on Wednesday to finalize the hiring process, according to an agenda sent to members of the media. .

A source said UW is planning an event Wednesday afternoon at the Kohl Center, similar to the one in early April where Alvarez announced he would retire on June 30.

Alvarez made no secret that he wanted McIntosh as his successor. McIntosh, a native of Pewaukee and a former Badgers footballer under Alvarez, has spent the past four years as UW’s assistant athletic director.

Northern Illinois athletic director Sean Frazier, former AD assistant under Alvarez at UW, and Ball State athletic director Beth Goetz, would be other finalists Blank was considering for the job.

Frazier confirmed on Tuesday that he had interviewed but gave no further details.

“I appreciate what Wisconsin has done for me,” Frazier said. “And more importantly, what Barry Alvarez did for me. And you have to print it. What Barry Alvarez and what Wisconsin did for me I could never repay, what they did for me and my family.”

McIntosh, 44, has been working at his alma mater since December 2014 after working in the health and wellness industry. He started as UW’s director of business development, was promoted to Alvarez’s management team just over a year later, and was appointed deputy athletic director in July 2017.

University of Wisconsin Assistant Athletic Director Chris McIntosh discusses Badgers football ticket plans on Thursday, February 18, 2021. Video courtesy of UW Athletics.

When Alvarez officially announced his intention to retire on April 6, he initially said he was “reluctant to beat the bandwagon” for McIntosh, but added that he felt he was in his favor. responsibility “to have someone prepared” to succeed him.

“Chris McIntosh was a player here. He loves Wisconsin. He understands it. It means something to him, ”Alvarez said at the time. “(He’s) very bright, and he’s been exceptional. I gave him a lot of responsibility. He’s been leading a lot of the things we’ve done, as well as managing people and how we’ve handled everything throughout COVID. “

McIntosh held four years as a left tackle from 1996 to 1999. He was captain twice – both seasons ended with the Badgers winning the Big Ten and Rose Bowl titles – and garnering consensus honors All-America as a senior.

McIntosh was selected 22nd overall in the 2000 NFL Draft after starting 50 games for the Badgers. He started 10 games for the Seattle Seahawks as a rookie, but his career was cut short after three seasons due to recurring neck injuries.

McIntosh is just UW’s third athletic director in over 31 years, and he’s got big shoes to fill.

Pat Richter, who was in charge from 1989 to 2004, helped lift UW out of financial ruin and recruited the right people to give the school’s major programs a much needed boost.

He was followed by Alvarez, the man Richter landed in 1990 to resurrect the football program. Alvarez’s 119 wins are the biggest in program history, and he’s led the Badgers to three Big Ten titles and Rose Bowl wins in his 16 seasons.

Alvarez, who was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010, succeeded Richter in 2004 and served in the dual role of coach and athletic director for two seasons.

His tenure as leader of UW has included sustained success in a number of programs, including the two biggest money-makers in the department: Alvarez has moved into the role of athletic director.

Sixteen UW teams produced national titles during Alvarez’s tenure, including six in women’s hockey and five in women’s lightweight rowing, and the Badgers have won more than 70 conference championships since taking over.

The department also prospered financially. The sports department had not operated on a budget deficit with Alvarez as athletic director until the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the 2019-20 campaign. UW is budgeting $ 129 million for fiscal 2022 and total spending crossed the $ 150 million threshold in 2019, placing the Badgers in the top 10 nationally.

UW published the athletic director position on April 7 and Blank also unveiled a nine-member search committee led by athletics board chair Pete Miller that day.

The school also released a comprehensive ‘research prospectus’ that included details on what they were looking for in their next athletic director. Under “primary duties” for the position, he said the role requires someone who “develops and maintains a corporate culture that values ​​diversity and inclusion, including areas such as recruiting, hiring and management. programming ”.

Blank said Alvarez would provide “advice and commentary” during the research process, but only upon request.

The search committee included one of Alvarez’s best friends – Ted Kellner, a businessman from Milwaukee and a major university donor – and two coaches hired by Alvarez, Paul Chryst (football) and Yvette Healy ( softball).

The committee also included three former UW athletes in Alando Tucker (men’s basketball), Madison banker Jeff Mack (football) and Chicago businessman Elzie L. Higginbottom (men’s athletics). Laurel Rice, chair of the UW Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and chair of the UW Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Eden Rane, member of the UW Light Rowing Team, were also part of the group.

The committee has met four times, most recently on May 19, to review the candidates. The final decision rested with Blank.

Blank was asked in April if she was concerned that the selection of a candidate publicly backed by Alvarez would be seen as a final decision.

“As far as I know, for every other athletic director search that has taken place around this university, the process has been this: the chancellor opened his door and announced the candidate,” Blank said. “I have (put) a serious research committee with an excellent chairman. I have already made calls to a number of people in the Big Ten and elsewhere saying, “If you know good people, encourage them to participate in this research.” We do a national search and we will find the best candidate.

Blank made it clear at the time that she understood the importance of finding the right person to replace Alvarez.

“Leadership is important for maintaining the culture, ethics and quality of the programs we have here,” she said. “And if we are wrong, we will not maintain this and it would cost our students, our university, the state dearly.”

– Colten Bartholomew contributed to this story.

Barry Alvarez, 74, will complete his tenure as head of UW’s sports program this summer after a 17-year stint at headquarters in which the department’s budget nearly doubled.

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