Finding Right AD Has To Be Priority For CSU

CSU Rams

Go ahead and wonder who will be the next football coach at Colorado State. Come up with so many candidates even if it is unrealistic. Dream about a coach that will take CSU to great heights.

It’s what comes to mind from a fan perspective when a head coach is fired or has departed from a team.

It should be about who is in charge of the athletic department that should concern CSU fans moving forward. It’s a good bet the football players and recruits are thinking that way.

Before Colorado State can hire a football coach, an athletic director has to be hired. And no, CSU interim director John Morris can’t be the guy. Not when he hasn’t done enough to convince CSU President Tony Frank to take out the interim athletic director title.

They need an athletic director that will have the same vision and philosophy as the football coach. They need both guys to agree on everything for the football program to have success. That’s why an AD has to be hired first. That would be a way for him to hire his own guy in running the football program.

Then-CSU AD Jack Graham and former Colorado State coach Jim McElwain worked so well together. They had the right idea on how everything should work. Graham was so focused on doing everything he can to make the football program successful. He gave everything what the coach need.

Say what you want about Graham when it comes to being a self-promoter, but know this. He knew how to run a program. He knew how to make Colorado State vibrant in athletics. He has resurrected good program for basketball and football. That was why he was popular with CSU alums, boosters, fans and coaches.

Colorado State needs to find that guy before they can move forward.

They are going to have to find an athletic director that can somehow finish the deal of building a new football stadium. They need to have that guy that can pull all the stops to get them in the Big 12.

If CSU is going to want to attract a big name, they need an athletic director that can get it done.

Sorry, but it’s hard to believe Morris or anyone currently working in the CSU athletic department that can get it done.

Colorado State will always be a stepping stone for prospective coaches that want to coach in a high-profile university. That’s okay. It’s on the AD to have the right instincts of choosing an up-and-coming coach or finding the right retread in keeping the program afloat. It takes a smart AD to do that. The great programs always have the AD that serve as an extension and buffer to the head coach, which is what Graham’s job description was at CSU.

The sooner Colorado State finds an athletic director, the better off the university will be. He can get a head start of finding the right guy for the football program.

Make no mistake. Football makes the athletics go in any university. The sport provides revenue for other programs to do well in the university. Colorado State is no different than other universities.

Colorado State desperately needs the new football stadium to have their programs be successful for years to come. For CSU to be relevant in college sports, they need a new football stadium and a successful coach.

That’s why it’s imperative to get the right athletic director that can get the right football coach. It has to be a package deal.

CSU President Tony Frank has to be committed of finding that guy. He can’t be sold about his current employers that man the athletic department. He is going to have to find a way to work with the new AD after he and Graham had issues that basically made a mess of anything to the point it cost the AD his job.

There’s no question even if Graham stayed, McElwain was all but gone. He had every intention to coach a Power 5 conference school once he had success at CSU.

Still, Graham could have sold a hot coaching candidate like Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi to coach Colorado State. He won’t have that opportunity.

As for the right AD, who knows who’s out there? That’s where Frank is being paid the big bucks to figure it out.

Maybe Sonny Lubick could handle the job for short-term while he grooms someone in the athletic department. That wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

Either way, CSU has to find the next Graham before they can find the next McElwain.

Contact or Follow Leslie Monteiro: @LightRodWriter

Leslie Monteiro

Leslie Monteiro

Leslie is a contributor for Lightning Rod Sports. He covered high school sports in Bergen County out in North Jersey, and has written op-ed columns on sports such as Bleacher Report and NY Sports Digest.

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