I have been accused of having a one track mind. Arkansas State athletics is my passion and I talk way too much about it for some. Not enough for me though, which is why I created this blog to basically talk to myself about the Red Wolves.
Well I have said to friends, and to myself many times, that Arkansas State needs a certain type of Athletics Director. Now this is going to be a little bit blasphemous but it has to be said. The type of AD that ASU needs is a Fr Fra Frank Brr Broy Broyles type. Damn that was hard to say. But in all seriousness, Arkansas State needs an AD that wakes up in the morning with the thought of how can I make this program better today. That is the way Broyles treated his job. Not as something that paid the bills, but a passion for building something special.
Terry Mohajir was announced as Arkansas State's Athletics Director this morning at a 10:30 press conference held in Jonesboro. Mohajir is a former ASU Indian football player. He has a well-rounded resume' of experience in college athletics that has prepared him to be the "Leader of the Pack". You can see his profile here Terry Mohajir - New AD
Mohajir showed tons of emotion during his press conference, getting choked up several times but mostly when talking about his experience 20 years ago this fall when he began his athletics career after football at Arkansas State. It has been 20 years since he wore his Arkansas State Indians uniform and you could see the memories flooding back to him as he addressed the crowd when being announced as the new AD. Of course it was nice to see the same breakdown in emotions when introducing his family as well.
Mohajir spoke of a personal importance of customer service for his administration. That was my number one goal for our new AD. Arkstfan and myself have spoken about this topic tons of times as a priority for the athletic department and it will be interesting to see how Mohajir follows through with his statement that "I have no patience for non-customer service".
Some statements made during the press conference that also were big hits were the comments about "creating a culture of winning" and that we need to "develop an attitude that we will not take a back seat to anybody in the nation, the region or the state". These are important goals and I believe that it is just as important to have a plan on how to get there. Mohajir has been around a number of big time coaches and administrators that I'm sure have mentored him on how to build such a plan. He said the we are in a competitive business and that he wants to know what the coaches goals are so he can help them be successful and that means winning conference championships.
The first step in that plan was on his mind when the former Larry Lacewell recruit spoke about the importance of building budgets for the athletic department and the individual sports. Without going into any type of details, he mentioned that the next 90 days will be an evaluation period when he will do a complete audit and review the data of the department, specifically the Marketing and Promotion plans. Mohajir mentioned that along with customer service the athletic administration will work to make the fan experience a great one, stating that "no one in the country will out work us".
Mohajir said that he "loves being around people and listening and learning. He talked about his time at Florida Atlantic and how they had to work to raise money in an area with many schools and that he would build relationships with Florida Gators, Miami Hurricanes, Florida State Seminoles, and even Rutgers Scarlet Knights (snow birds) and that many of them became supporters and donors to FAU. He said that for A-State to be successful they will need to cultivate current donors, new donors and "old warriors".
Mohajir showed a fun personality and even better an ability to talk about things we all have fond or maybe not so fond memories of. When Chris Hudgison mentioned he was from KAIT, Mohajir asked him about former KAIT weather man Terry Wood and that he had sat with him at Roy's during his time at ASU.
Mohajir is one of our own and has been through the times that we have been through as an ASU fan. It was great to have him talk about how proud he was of our campus and the way that Arkansas State has grown since he was here in the early 90s. He even mentioned that he remembered how ASU lacked resources when he was here and you could feel his passion for wanting to make sure that the student athletes were going to be taken care of during their time at A-State.
Have we found our AD that has the passion for the program?
Will he wake up every day with the burning question of "how can I make ASU athletics better today"? These questions remain to be seen, but I believe A-State has found someone that is going to work hard every day to improve the perception of how our Athletics department treats its fans and the community. Mohajir is an A-State guy. He has seen ASU at its lowest. If he can rally the fans and convince them to buy in with their heart and their money, then he will be on track for getting us to the "Next Level".
David Kenley is a friend and supporter of AStateNation, you can find other blogs of his at http://redwolfnation.blogspot.com/.