“Dave called me early in the morning to let me know,” Beilein said. “I was very disappointed. But he seemed to be in a good spot. … I know he felt strongly this was the best thing for the University of Michigan athletic department.”
Shortly after Brandon’s resignation was announced, U-M president Mark Schlissel introduced Jim Hackett as Michigan’s interim athletic director. Beilein said Hackett left him a voicemail on Friday shortly after being introduced, and has since met with the new A.D.
“We spoke the next day in person,” Beilein said. “I really feel he is going to be a guy who is going to be a great interim [athletic director] that is really going to help us get through all of this, so that we can move forward.”
Is Hackett the leader the Michigan athletic department needs right now?
“Well I think Dave was such a strong leader for us all,” Beilein said. “And then all of sudden that dynamic changed overnight. So sow as we go forward, there got to be somebody that is in charge of this athletic department. Because there is major decisions made every day. And some of them are major, and you might think they are minor because they don’t appear to be at the time. So there’s got to be someone we can all turn to.
“Jim [Hackett’s] personality right away seems to be a perfect fit for what we are looking for to gap and when hire our next A.D.”
Whoever the next A.D. is at Michigan, Beilein says current U-M coaches should be involved in the decision making process.
“I think whether it is me or someone else, I think it would be a wise decision to include coaches,” Beilein said. “… Most places I’ve had two athletic directors, even though I was only there five years. We’ve seen this. And I think that it would be very wise to have input from the coaches. I have no doubt that president Schlissel and Jim [Hackett] will go in that direction.”
And Beilein wouldn’t mind being on that search committee.
“If I am asked, I would be very happy to be involved,” Beilein said. “But I would have to be asked first.”