Maggard Will Be Right Fit For Louisiana – From the Bird’s Nest
It's difficult to make judgments on the first day when a new, public hire is made.
Dr. Bryan Maggard hasn't worked an official day on the job yet as the new Director of Intercollegiate Athletics for the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns. To say he'll get the school to the promised land of athletics, into a higher profile league and get a new football stadium built macht haste would not be fair.
Expectations are always high and everyone feels good when these hires are made, whether they be administrators or coaches.
Yesterday, Dr. Maggard addressed those who were at the Press Conference at the Alumni Center. Those in attendance included members of the search committee, the athletic staff, most of the head coaches, some student-athletes and university officials and employees as well as members of the media. His comments were mostly general, but to the point.
The vision of the University matters. Academics matter. The student-athlete matters. Family matters (he teared up when looking at his wife and children). And, he didn't say it, but the other message was clear.
Doing things with class, doing things the right way, matter. A lot.
In my conversation with Dr. Maggard yesterday afternoon on Bird's Eye View, we spoke of some specifics: football scheduling (the Cajuns are on many P5 "do not schedule" lists), future conference affiliation (you have to be asked to the dance, but in the meantime, get the dress ready), perception of the program (outsiders think more of the program than insiders...and that's normal), facilities (that football stadium is a big priority), staff (work hard, work smart) and raising the budget to a figure that helps get that dress ready.
There was no "AD speak" with Maggard.
I joked on Twitter yesterday that Maggard won the press conference, but could he win the interview? Well, he did.
Time will tell if this is the man to get the Cajuns' program to the place fans want it to be, employees want it to be, coaches want it to be and Dr. Savoie wants it to be.
But there is one conclusion I was able to draw after seeing him in front of people and talking with him, both on the air and for a few moments one-on-one. And, of this, I am certain.
The Cajuns have hired a good man to lead their athletics department.
The battle is already half won.