Thursday is set to mark a new chapter in University of Cincinnati athletics. As Athletic Director Bob Goin is set to head off into retirement, talk of who would replace the man responsible of taking Bearcat athletics to the next level started to heat up. With rumors of the Xavier connection and of other possible candidates reached a fever pitch until late Wednesday when it's believed Mike Thomas and the university reached agreement on the Akron Athletic Director becoming the Bearcats next head man.
What does Thomas bring to UC?
A Colorado State graduate (1983), Thomas became Akron Athletic Director after serving seven years as an associate director of athletics at the University of Virginia. His duties at Virginia included the direction of eight varsity sports programs and oversight of all game operations and athletics facilities.
Thomas played a key role in Virginia's $86 million football stadium expansion while also supervising several capital projects during his tenure.
Thomas received his bachelor's degree in business administration from Colorado State University in 1983 and his master's degree in athletics administration from Western Illinois University in 1986.
Thomas and his wife have four children and accepted the Akron Athletic Directors position in the fall of 2000.
As one of the most productive Division I administrators, Thomas has overseen many upgrades in Zips athletics. Included in these upgrades are the following.
June 2001: Creation of the Zips' Sports Radio Network.
March 2002: Bringing the licensing and merchandising for the UA campus under the guidance of the department of athletics.
September 2002: Completion of Lee Jackson Track and Field renovation project.
October 2002: Completion of Rhodes Arena enhancement project with more than $1.2 million of capital improvements.
April 2004: TEAM AKRON corporate patron program eclipses $600,000 level of support for 2003-04 term - a new level of achievement for UA Athletics.
August 2004: Completion of $18.6 million field house and indoor golf training facility and $1.8 million dollar Lee Jackson Field Athletics Outdoor Practice Complex
March 2005: First-year head men's basketball coach Keith Dambrot leads team to the most wins (19) since 1989 season
August 2005: Awarded the General Robert R. Neyland Outstanding Athletic Director Award by the All-American Football Foundation.
While many of the upgrades at Cincinnati are near completion, their will be many areas Director Thomas will play key roles in.
It's expected Thomas will be official named the new director at a press conference at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday morning. Bearcat Insider will be on hand to cover the press conference.