Wanted for the University of Minnesota athletic department: A tough-minded individual who is fair and honest in his dealings with people, has a love for all sports at the college level, yet an understanding that difficult financial decisions face the program.
Found: The ideal candidate -- Joel Maturi.
We are quite frankly overjoyed with the choice of Maturi, a Chisholm native, as the new University of Minnesota athletic director.
And we say so not solely out of parochial pride, although we readily confess to feeling that way about Maturi -- and for very good reason.
The U of M is fortunate at this time of crisis for the athletic program -- with both basketball teams on NCAA probation, men's and women's golf and men's gymnastics threatened with elimination and financial woes plaguing the university's athletics -- to be able to hire someone with the experience, stature and candor of Maturi.
He is the ideal person to step into a position that has been merged to oversee all men's and women's sports.
Maturi returns to his home state after serving most recently as athletic director at Miami of Ohio. Prior to that he worked in key positions in the athletic departments at the University of Wisconsin and Denver University. He has had to deal with budget issues at all three stops and also the elimination of some teams. But he did so with such integrity that even those adversely affected sing his praises.
... That is quite a testimonial for the new U of M athletic director.
--The Mesabi Daily News
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