The associate athletic directors at LSU and Florida, Dan Radakovich and Greg McGarity, were on AU interim president Dr. Ed Richardson and Hal Baird's short list of finalists for the job along with former Auburn player and NBC executive Scott Etheridge.
"It is flattering to be selected for this position," Jacobs says. "I know Dan and Greg very well because we are peers. Those are class guys."
Jacobs, who has 24 years of experience in various capacities at Auburn as a student, athlete, coach and administrator, says the Southeastern Conference has a lot of strong administrators. He hopes that he will be one of the top ones in his new position as the 14th athletic director in Auburn history when he takes over from David Housel on Jan. 4th.
Jacobs says that he believes that he will be ready to tackle the assignment immediately because of his background. "I understand Auburn folks because I am one of them," he says. "It is a great opportunity."
In announcing Jacobs as the new athletic director, Richardson made it crystal clear that he expects no micro-managing of athletics from members of the university's board of trustees, a group that has a long history of significant involvement in athletic matters at AU.
"It is going to be clear because of what Dr. Richardson is doing and what he said today," Jacobs notes. "We are going to operate within the chain of command," Jacobs says. "I am going to report to the president. If I don't do that, he is going to make a change with me. Everybody who works for me, is going to report to me and that is how it is going to be."
When asked at his press conference if he would be strong enough to run the athletic department without being pressured by board of trustees members, Jacobs responded by stating, "I say that actions speak louder than words. It has been talked about for a long time. I am tired of talking about it. We will just see."
Commenting on his goals as athletic director, Jacobs says, "Our overall goal--what we want to do is be the pre-eminent athletic department in this nation. I have always set my goals so that they are so high if we fall a little bit short we are always going to be above average. I want to get my leadership team in place and start building a relationship with these coaches because I have been on the road for three years. That is the entire reason we are here to support these student athletes. Administratively, we are here to work for those student-athletes and those coaches."
Jacobs, who has been an administrator since being named assistant athletic director in 1991, notes that he has remembered advice he got from former San Francisco '49ers football coach Bill Walsh 17 years ago about the way to move up in the ranks as a coach or administrator.
"In 1987 I was at a coaching clinic and Coach Walsh from the '49ers spoke and he said the way that you become a head coach is that if you are a wide receivers coach, you become the best wide receivers coach you can be and then maybe you will have a chance to become an offensive coordinator. If you become the best offensive coordinator you can, maybe you will have a chance to be the head coach. My whole deal, from my days as a walk-on from what I learned there, I am just going to do the best that I can at what I am currently doing and then I will know that have a chance to move up at some point and be prepared for it--equipped for it formally and with practical experiences, which is the case here. My goal has always been just to work hard, contribute, learn and enrich my life and my family's life."