Your Best and Worst USU ADs

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Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by NavyBlue » June 12th, 2019, 7:16 am

I got to thinking about the quality of Athletic Directors at USU since I have been an Aggie fan (1994). Just wanting to get some thoughts on who other posters thought were the best and worst USU ADs.

Best: Scott Barnes if I am not mistaken guided us to both WAC and MWC membership numerous facility improvements, and hired Gary Andersen to improve the football program.

Worst: Rance Pugmire, if he hadn't rolled his Dodge Durango we might be in the Big Sky Conference today. From the interviews I heard with him, he thought we belonged there.

Your thoughts?
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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by WAAggie » June 12th, 2019, 8:53 am

Barnes good stuff was seriously clouded with his fail at stews replacement.


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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by LKGates » June 12th, 2019, 9:27 am

I won't pick a worst AD, but my choice for best, right now, is Buzz Williams. Buzz did everything he could to get us into the old WAC. When the WAC said we were kept out because of inadequate facilities, he built new facilities. New Romney Stadium and the Spectrum were built during his tenure. We complain about them now, but at the time they were built, they were two of the best venues in the western US. He brought in good coaches, and he wasn't afraid to schedule challenging opponents. I think eventually, John Hartwell may take the number one spot, but he hasn't been here long enough to qualify yet. Scott Barnes did a really good job, but loses major points for the lazy, halfhearted effort at replacing Stew. He was on his way out the door, and he just didn't care.
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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by USU78 » June 12th, 2019, 10:37 am

LKGates wrote:
June 12th, 2019, 9:27 am
I won't pick a worst AD, but my choice for best, right now, is Buzz Williams. Buzz did everything he could to get us into the old WAC. When the WAC said we were kept out because of inadequate facilities, he built new facilities. New Romney Stadium and the Spectrum were built during his tenure. We complain about them now, but at the time they were built, they were two of the best venues in the western US. He brought in good coaches, and he wasn't afraid to schedule challenging opponents. I think eventually, John Hartwell may take the number one spot, but he hasn't been here long enough to qualify yet. Scott Barnes did a really good job, but loses major points for the lazy, halfhearted effort at replacing Stew. He was on his way out the door, and he just didn't care.
Agree in spades. I also agree that the worst was Rance, yet I still like the guy personally. He was just out of his depth. He was a lazy hire just as Duryea was a lazy hire ... and as Pella was a lazy hire ... and as Arslanian was a lazy hire.
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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by oleblu111 » June 12th, 2019, 11:54 am

Keep in mind that the success of any A.D. is mostly do to the president.

Buss William did build both the spectrum and Romney, both were done without raising any money they just used student monies, as a result you got a football stadium with wood bleachers, cramped seating, no lights, terrible drainage, no restrooms on the east side, and half the prime seating going to the student body.

The spectrum was built on a side hill with easy access for students, but terrible for paying customers, very cramped seating. IMHO it is not and was not as good as YBU's, Utah's or gasp Weber state.

When a A.D has a president like sir Stan then things happen. Stan was the one that got Maverik to do the naming of the stadium remodel.
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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by GUS » June 12th, 2019, 1:07 pm

Although he's an Aggie through and through, I wasn't impressed with Rod Tueller's work as AD. I think that was a lazy hire.
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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by NavyBlue » June 12th, 2019, 1:38 pm

Wasn't Rod Tueller who agreed to the 3 for 1s we were doing with BYU in the late 80's early 90's.

Then it went to 2 for 1s for a while....horrible.

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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by dyedblue » June 12th, 2019, 2:06 pm

GUS wrote:Although he's an Aggie through and through, I wasn't impressed with Rod Tueller's work as AD. I think that was a lazy hire.
Wowie


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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by mcaggie1 » June 13th, 2019, 11:22 am

Let us be real. Where would we be without Jim Laub?

It’s a lot easier to be an AD with financial support.
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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by BigBlueDart » June 13th, 2019, 11:50 am

mcaggie1 wrote:
June 13th, 2019, 11:22 am
Let us be real. Where would we be without Jim Laub?

It’s a lot easier to be an AD with financial support.
He is our Warren Buffett.
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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by mcaggie1 » June 13th, 2019, 3:50 pm

BigBlueDart wrote:
June 13th, 2019, 11:50 am
mcaggie1 wrote:
June 13th, 2019, 11:22 am
Let us be real. Where would we be without Jim Laub?

It’s a lot easier to be an AD with financial support.
He is our Warren Buffett.
Is that anything like Chuckarama?
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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by cdaAg » June 13th, 2019, 10:45 pm

Worst for me is a tossup between Rance and Tueller. Chuck Bell did hire Dave Arslanian in a Barnes-esque move just prior to departure if I remember correctly. Best has been a progression from The Colonel to Barnes to Hartwell. Each built upon what the predecessor set in motion.
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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by LKGates » June 14th, 2019, 9:14 pm

BigBlueDart wrote:
June 13th, 2019, 11:50 am
mcaggie1 wrote:
June 13th, 2019, 11:22 am
Let us be real. Where would we be without Jim Laub?

It’s a lot easier to be an AD with financial support.
He is our Warren Buffett.
Our Phil Knight.


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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by aggies22 » June 15th, 2019, 10:36 am

LKGates wrote:
June 14th, 2019, 9:14 pm
BigBlueDart wrote:
June 13th, 2019, 11:50 am
mcaggie1 wrote:
June 13th, 2019, 11:22 am
Let us be real. Where would we be without Jim Laub?

It’s a lot easier to be an AD with financial support.
He is our Warren Buffett.
Our Phil Knight.
It could be worse. He could be our Suge Knight like UNLV.



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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by garyismyhomeboy » June 15th, 2019, 6:12 pm

I enjoyed Randy Spetman.



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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by Aggie formerly in Hawaii » June 18th, 2019, 1:30 pm

WAAggie wrote:
June 12th, 2019, 8:53 am
Barnes good stuff was seriously clouded with his fail at stews replacement.


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Barnes made two good football hires and deserves credit for having the football program turn from zero to hero on his watch. However how he left with an obvious bad basketball hire as he had his bags packed and was on his way to the airport left a bad taste in my mouth that was there until Craig Smith came along.



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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by Aglicious » June 18th, 2019, 3:22 pm

Yes, Barnes deserves blame for either striking out on his own targets or being lazy about Morrill's replacement but in the end, the hire of TD is on Morrill, the local media, and former players that pushed the Duryea hire on Barnes. He was most certainly not the candidate of choice by Barnes.

Still, the astounding magnitude of athletic growth, program changing events, and facility upgrades that happened under Barnes is hard to beat.
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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by Aggieup2 » June 24th, 2019, 9:29 pm

Best so far:: Specman, Barns, Hartwell

Worst: Anderson(didn't Dale Brown), hired Pella and helped him be retained for a 3rd year.



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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by Full » June 24th, 2019, 10:17 pm

Aglicious wrote:Yes, Barnes deserves blame for either striking out on his own targets or being lazy about Morrill's replacement but in the end, the hire of TD is on Morrill, the local media, and former players that pushed the Duryea hire on Barnes. He was most certainly not the candidate of choice by Barnes.

Still, the astounding magnitude of athletic growth, program changing events, and facility upgrades that happened under Barnes is hard to beat.
I think Barnes passes on Duryea and takes another round of interviews if he didn’t have one four out the door. It has been suggested he wasn’t able to get his preferred guy, but I blame most of that on a lazy hire by someone who at that point didn’t have any motivation to put in the work.

Barnes was a good salesmen and was able to sell a vision of Aggie Athletics that others had laid a foundation for. He was a great hire for the time he was here, but I do think he was looking for the next opportunity and wasn’t always concerned with the long term.



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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by NVAggie » June 25th, 2019, 7:27 am

I feel like Barnes buckled to former players and Stew on the Duryea hire. He couldn't secure Connors, so he made the easy hire and took his cut of the "search" money and left town. I would love to have a little Barnes sprinkled with a little Hartwell. We need the fiscal responsibility of Hartwell and the salesman of Barnes.
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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by dyedblue » June 25th, 2019, 7:35 am

NVAggie wrote:I feel like Barnes buckled to former players and Stew on the Duryea hire. He couldn't secure Connors, so he made the easy hire and took his cut of the "search" money and left town. I would love to have a little Barnes sprinkled with a little Hartwell. We need the fiscal responsibility of Hartwell and the salesman of Barnes.
And Hartwell didn't find like a tent on the GA hire?


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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by NVAggie » June 25th, 2019, 7:48 am

Hartwell also folded like a tent, but to the big donors, especially Laub. It could work out fine, but I always like to maintain a bit of skepticism. I guess we will see if the big donors are better than former players at hiring.

I will say this, not many were excited about the Duryea hire. Most of Aggie Nation is excited about Gary coming back.



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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by Aglicious » June 26th, 2019, 3:46 pm

NVAggie wrote:
June 25th, 2019, 7:27 am
I feel like Barnes buckled to former players and Stew on the Duryea hire. He couldn't secure Connors, so he made the easy hire and took his cut of the "search" money and left town. I would love to have a little Barnes sprinkled with a little Hartwell. We need the fiscal responsibility of Hartwell and the salesman of Barnes.
I could also go for a combo of Barnes and Spetman. On one hand you have the PR guy that really gets out and promotes your brand with the understanding of what needs to be done to compete with peer institutes and on the other you have a guy that is perhaps a little frugal and conservative but works his tail off even if it means doing the little stuff himself.



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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by Aggie formerly in Hawaii » June 27th, 2019, 6:21 pm

dyedblue wrote:
June 25th, 2019, 7:35 am
NVAggie wrote:I feel like Barnes buckled to former players and Stew on the Duryea hire. He couldn't secure Connors, so he made the easy hire and took his cut of the "search" money and left town. I would love to have a little Barnes sprinkled with a little Hartwell. We need the fiscal responsibility of Hartwell and the salesman of Barnes.
And Hartwell didn't find like a tent on the GA hire?


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I was vocal in that we shouldn't have gone back to the well with GA, but he did do great things at USU last time as we all know. The last time he left USU he left us as conference champs and a top 20 team.


There really wasn't much logic in hiring Duryea. The program had been down for 4 years when he took over. Stew obviously wasn't going to get fired, but it was getting to the point where many ADs would have politely asked him to shake up the coaching staff, not promote them.



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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by Aggie formerly in Hawaii » June 27th, 2019, 6:24 pm

Full wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 10:17 pm
Aglicious wrote:Yes, Barnes deserves blame for either striking out on his own targets or being lazy about Morrill's replacement but in the end, the hire of TD is on Morrill, the local media, and former players that pushed the Duryea hire on Barnes. He was most certainly not the candidate of choice by Barnes.

Still, the astounding magnitude of athletic growth, program changing events, and facility upgrades that happened under Barnes is hard to beat.
I think Barnes passes on Duryea and takes another round of interviews if he didn’t have one four out the door. It has been suggested he wasn’t able to get his preferred guy, but I blame most of that on a lazy hire by someone who at that point didn’t have any motivation to put in the work.

Barnes was a good salesmen and was able to sell a vision of Aggie Athletics that others had laid a foundation for. He was a great hire for the time he was here, but I do think he was looking for the next opportunity and wasn’t always concerned with the long term.
Yeah I agree with this and Barnes shouldn't be given a pass for the bad hire. Because he was leaving the future of Aggie basketball didn't mean anything to him, but it obviously continued to mean something to the University, the players, the students and of course us alumni and other fans. He made an obvious mistake and that will be part of his legacy along with the many good things he did. Legacies are complicated. There are very few that are all bad or all good.



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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by troutputz » June 28th, 2019, 1:40 pm

LK. I guess it’s a matter of perspective, and how much you agree with your old POP! My dad thought BUZZ dropped the ball on Ladells leaving USU! I was 15 at the time. Pop felt that BuZz ruiened Aggie basketball with the hire of T.L. Plain. The nickname Too Late Plain stuck! Most people in my Pops circle felt that Buzz should have hired Dale Brown Ladells assistant who helped get, Shaler Halimon, Nate Williams, Marv Roberts, etc., etc. well we all know the Brown still is considered LSU,s best coach ever! TL Plain had some good recruits but he didn’t know how to coach! He tried to implement a Kentucky slow down in a fast paced Aggie fast break! FAns hated it and we just PLAIN lost! So because of what my Pop taught me, BuZZ has been the worst AD because of hiring the wrong coaches!

Now with the Hiring of Amy Crosbie for the Women. Looks like Hartwell is getting his Ducks lined up when he moves on. It will be Bovee and Crosbie.
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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by sam tingey » July 1st, 2019, 6:46 am

I hope Hartwell gets another good mens tennis coach.
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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by StanfordAggie » July 2nd, 2019, 10:02 am

I will continue to get flak for it, but I still feel like this board is too hard on Barnes. Supposedly he would have signed Ben Howland if he hadn't gotten a job offer from Mississippi State. It wasn't his fault that Ben Howland got a better job offer at the last minute, nor was it his fault that he was only given enough money to offer Tommy Connor an embarrassingly low salary. Arguably he should have kept looking after Connor turned him down rather than just going the easy route and hiring Duryea, but I can understand why he didn't. Stew had announced his retirement in the middle of the season. It looked really bad that we still didn't have a coach long after the season ended and several candidates had turned us down. Nobody wants to be a school's second (or third or fourth or fifth) choice. And if people kept turning us down, it would start to look like it was a job nobody wanted. So I can certainly understand why he turned to Duryea given the circumstance. And on paper Duryea did not look like a terrible candidate. One could certainly do worse than the long-time top assistant for an extremely successful coach. Hindsight is 20/20, and I certainly wish Barnes had done something different knowing what I know now. But I don't think it's fair to say that Barnes made a lazy hire because he had one foot out the door.



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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by 2004AG » July 2nd, 2019, 11:19 am

StanfordAggie wrote:I will continue to get flak for it, but I still feel like this board is too hard on Barnes. Supposedly he would have signed Ben Howland if he hadn't gotten a job offer from Mississippi State. It wasn't his fault that Ben Howland got a better job offer at the last minute, nor was it his fault that he was only given enough money to offer Tommy Connor an embarrassingly low salary. Arguably he should have kept looking after Connor turned him down rather than just going the easy route and hiring Duryea, but I can understand why he didn't. Stew had announced his retirement in the middle of the season. It looked really bad that we still didn't have a coach long after the season ended and several candidates had turned us down. Nobody wants to be a school's second (or third or fourth or fifth) choice. And if people kept turning us down, it would start to look like it was a job nobody wanted. So I can certainly understand why he turned to Duryea given the circumstance. And on paper Duryea did not look like a terrible candidate. One could certainly do worse than the long-time top assistant for an extremely successful coach. Hindsight is 20/20, and I certainly wish Barnes had done something different knowing what I know now. But I don't think it's fair to say that Barnes made a lazy hire because he had one foot out the door.
A lot of fake news there Stanford.

1- Connors did not turn down the job. Barnes didn’t offer it to him. It was Barnes’s who didn’t think it was a good fit. But hey, maybe if you repeat that lie long enough, eventually it will be true.

2- It was 20/20 in that moment when he was hired. Not just in hindsight. About 95% of the people on here knew it was a horrible hire and the other 5% wanted to “wait and see”. It was really obvious Duryea was gonna suck except for Scott Barnes and usufan5477. Stew sucked the last 3-4 years before he retired so hiring a long time assistant from a declining program didn’t make any sense. So Barnes absolutely was lazy and had one foot out the door.


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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by Aggie in Boise » July 3rd, 2019, 8:53 am

NVAggie wrote:
June 25th, 2019, 7:48 am
Hartwell also folded like a tent, but to the big donors, especially Laub. It could work out fine, but I always like to maintain a bit of skepticism. I guess we will see if the big donors are better than former players at hiring.

I will say this, not many were excited about the Duryea hire. Most of Aggie Nation is excited about Gary coming back.
At a recent road trip event President Cockett said that when coaches leave for bigger programs the fan base usually becomes a bit disheartened (for example, when Gary left for Wisconsin). However, when Matt Wells left for Texas Tech that wasn't the case. President Cockett said she felt sorry for Coach Wells because as soon as he announced that he was leaving the reaction was "Can we have Gary back now?"



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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by NVAggie » July 3rd, 2019, 9:53 am

Wells gets all the credit for last year. That was his team, and he made it happen.
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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by Aggie in Boise » July 3rd, 2019, 11:59 am

NVAggie wrote:
July 3rd, 2019, 9:53 am
Wells gets all the credit for last year. That was his team, and he made it happen.
Agreed!



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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by StanfordAggie » July 5th, 2019, 3:54 am

2004AG wrote:
July 2nd, 2019, 11:19 am
A lot of fake news there Stanford.

1- Connors did not turn down the job. Barnes didn’t offer it to him. It was Barnes’s who didn’t think it was a good fit. But hey, maybe if you repeat that lie long enough, eventually it will be true.

2- It was 20/20 in that moment when he was hired. Not just in hindsight. About 95% of the people on here knew it was a horrible hire and the other 5% wanted to “wait and see”. It was really obvious Duryea was gonna suck except for Scott Barnes and usufan5477. Stew sucked the last 3-4 years before he retired so hiring a long time assistant from a declining program didn’t make any sense. So Barnes absolutely was lazy and had one foot out the door.


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We've been over this a million times. Nobody knows for sure what happened with Connor other than Barnes and Connor. But the idea that Barnes courted Connor for weeks and then suddenly decided not to offer him the job because it wasn't a "good fit" seems ridiculous to me. If he thought it wasn't a "good fit," why did it take him a month or two to figure that out? That's something you decide after a telephone screener. The story I heard, which makes far more sense, is that it was about money. Barnes gave Connor a lowball offer. Utah gave him a counteroffer that paid him almost as much as Barnes was offering. He asked for more money and Barnes said no. Maybe Barnes tried to spin it to boosters by saying it was not a "good fit" rather than saying "We were too cheap to offer Connor a competitive salary so we had to go with Duryea." But I simply do not believe that Barnes spend almost two months courting Connor and then decided it was not a "good fit."

As for Duryea, yeah, pretty much nobody was excited about that hire. But saying it was a bad hire assumes that there was someone better who wanted the job at the salary USU was offering. And I'm not sure who the Barnes critics think we should have hired for $300k per year who would have done a better job than Duryea. (And if you really think Stew "sucked," then I think maybe your expectations for USU basketball aren't very realistic. I think Stew was an amazing coach and we were incredibly lucky to have him for as long as we did even if he did have a few down seasons toward the end of his career.)



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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by 2004AG » July 5th, 2019, 9:33 am

StanfordAggie wrote:
2004AG wrote:
July 2nd, 2019, 11:19 am
A lot of fake news there Stanford.

1- Connors did not turn down the job. Barnes didn’t offer it to him. It was Barnes’s who didn’t think it was a good fit. But hey, maybe if you repeat that lie long enough, eventually it will be true.

2- It was 20/20 in that moment when he was hired. Not just in hindsight. About 95% of the people on here knew it was a horrible hire and the other 5% wanted to “wait and see”. It was really obvious Duryea was gonna suck except for Scott Barnes and usufan5477. Stew sucked the last 3-4 years before he retired so hiring a long time assistant from a declining program didn’t make any sense. So Barnes absolutely was lazy and had one foot out the door.


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We've been over this a million times. Nobody knows for sure what happened with Connor other than Barnes and Connor. But the idea that Barnes courted Connor for weeks and then suddenly decided not to offer him the job because it wasn't a "good fit" seems ridiculous to me. If he thought it wasn't a "good fit," why did it take him a month or two to figure that out? That's something you decide after a telephone screener. The story I heard, which makes far more sense, is that it was about money. Barnes gave Connor a lowball offer. Utah gave him a counteroffer that paid him almost as much as Barnes was offering. He asked for more money and Barnes said no. Maybe Barnes tried to spin it to boosters by saying it was not a "good fit" rather than saying "We were too cheap to offer Connor a competitive salary so we had to go with Duryea." But I simply do not believe that Barnes spend almost two months courting Connor and then decided it was not a "good fit."

As for Duryea, yeah, pretty much nobody was excited about that hire. But saying it was a bad hire assumes that there was someone better who wanted the job at the salary USU was offering. And I'm not sure who the Barnes critics think we should have hired for $300k per year who would have done a better job than Duryea. (And if you really think Stew "sucked," then I think maybe your expectations for USU basketball aren't very realistic. I think Stew was an amazing coach and we were incredibly lucky to have him for as long as we did even if he did have a few down seasons toward the end of his career.)
1- well it was straight from Barnes mouth, so I don’t know what to tell you. My version is direct from Barnes and yours it some made up story you invented in your head.

2- it’s like you are being purposefully obtuse. I never said Stew sucked. I love Stew. I said his last 3-4 years Stew sucked. Stew was burnt out the last 3-4 years. The numbers back me up, not you.

But in a couple months you’ll repeat this same lie and we can rehash it again.


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Re: Your Best and Worst USU ADs

Post by StanfordAggie » July 5th, 2019, 11:12 am

2004AG wrote:
July 5th, 2019, 9:33 am
1- well it was straight from Barnes mouth, so I don’t know what to tell you. My version is direct from Barnes and yours it some made up story you invented in your head.

2- it’s like you are being purposefully obtuse. I never said Stew sucked. I love Stew. I said his last 3-4 years Stew sucked. Stew was burnt out the last 3-4 years. The numbers back me up, not you.

But in a couple months you’ll repeat this same lie and we can rehash it again.


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Once again, what is Barnes supposed to say? "Tommy Connor turned us down because we couldn't offer him enough money and he didn't think he could win here. So we had to go to our third choice candidate. I hope he doesn't suck too much." Of course the AD is going to spin it as not a "good fit" rather than saying that he turned us down. I repeat my question: If Barnes really believed that Connor was not a "good fit," then why did he spend two months trying to convince him to take the job?



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