Some felt that the Athletic Department at the University of Colorado needed a new direction, a new attitude and someone who could help take the Buff Sports programs to a new and exciting level.
The Administration of the University went with someone they knew. Someone who has been part of this athletic program during a time of winning and successes on all levels.
They turned to Rick George, the former assistant coach under Coach Bill McCartney, and a person they believe will help unify and bring together a fractured fan base.
BuffPlayBook.com got the opportunity to sit down Wednesday morning with Colorado's Athletic Director to get some answers to a variety of questions in an exclusive interview.
It was easy to see that George had returned home to a place that he loves and cares about and in his own words, something he is very "passionate" about.
This will be a two part series with discussions about the Buff's future in the PAC 12, his support for the current Head Football Coach Mike MacIntyre and much, much more. We started off today's interview by asking George about the excitement associated with his new job.
BuffPlayBook.com Question: First of all how excited are you about being here at Colorado?
Rick George's Answer: More excited 16 days into it than when I took the job. I think CU is a special place and an under performing asset in a great market and we are going to get it performing at the highest level that we can.
BPB: A lot of fans are wondering why now? Why you would make a move back to College Athletics when you had a very successful job with the Texas Rangers?
George There are a couple of things. One it took me a while to get to that point. One of the things my dad told me before he passed away last October (we got the chance to talk to each other a lot while he was in the hospital) that I needed to do something that I was passionate about. That brought me to the decision, and it boiled down to just that, what am I passionate about. What I'm passionate about is student athletes. I'm passionate about CU and I'm passionate about this university and Boulder. I fell in love with the school, the people, and the area during my first stay there. So when we got to that point, my wife and I, it was really an easy decision. She was there for me from Day 1. It was really about the opportunity for me to do something I was really passionate about. Then became a very easy decision for me to make.
BPB: For every big plan there has to be a little plan. What is your big plan for the University of Colorado Athletic's Department and what is your little plan to help make the big plan work?
George:A number of things. To have a 30,60 and 90 day plan. During those 30-60-90 days I'm really going to focus on understanding what our environment is and understanding the landscape here. Before you know where you are going to go you have to know who you are. I need to form those opinions so I'm in that process where I'm evaluating everything, looking at the structure of our organization. I know we have some situations we need to correct, we have some fund raising issues that we need to address, facility issues that we need to address, but as I look at that, what we really need is a long term strategic plan and that takes time, but that's coming. That is something we will start in next 60 days, already have been here for 16 days, so we will start that process. We hope to complete a long term strategic plan for the AD by April 1st. That way it will be a lot easier for us to make decisions and we will all know where we want to go, where we involve multiple constituents in that process, and we will do something that people can buy into and get behind and support
BPB: How has your first 16 days on the job been? Describe to the fan base what they have consisted of.
George: 16 hour days at least. Get up early and go hard late and finish your thinking notes at night. I love every minute of it and I'm not tired. I'm more energized today than I was 16 days ago. People I talk to think my big thrust is going to be about corroboration and unity. Finding out what people have to say and structuring the department and the organization that fits CU and the University and fits what our constituents think it needs to be. Unify all of our different constituents so we are going down one direction and one path.
BPB: How has the response been from the donors, boosters, and the fans so far since your arrival back to Boulder?
George: I think it has been fantastic. One of the things they are asking me is that they want to see what my plan is and what my vision is. That's kind of the chicken and the egg concept. I want to give them that. I know where we want to go; it's real simple where we want to go. There are three things we want to accomplish. We want to make sure our student athletes have a great full experience while they are on campus. That means we provide them the academic support they need--they are thriving in the classroom, they are integrating socially on the campus, and they are really integrating into this university. That's the first and foremost objective. Second thing, we want to compete for championships in all of our sports. That completes the experience. We want to compete and win championships in all sports. Third we want to run a first class athletic department. We want to do what we say we are going to do and we want to clearly define goals and objectives on the direction where we are going and we want to get people to buy into it and go down the path with us.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this two part exclusive interview.
Here are some of the issues that will be covered further:
How he feels about Colorado being in the PAC 12.
His thoughts on the Direct TV and Pac 12 controversy.
Does he feel he will be able to raise the 50 million dollars in funds before a certain deadline and where is he starting with this task?
His vision for Colorado Athletics and any other teams in the near future.
His thoughts and support of Coach Mike MacIntyre.
The relationship with the Academic departments and the Athletic departments and much, much more.