ND ready with new AD?

The University of Notre Dame appears ready to announce John B. "Jack" Swarbrick as the school's new athletic director. Swarbrick, 54, played lacrosse and graduated from Notre Dame in 1976. Swarbrick graduated magna cum laude before earning his law degree from Stanford University in 1980.

The announcement of Swarbrick as Kevin White's replacement is expected to take place at a press conference scheduled for 12:30 tomorrow.

It was obvious that Notre Dame preferred to hire someone who had an understanding of the university as Swarbrick seems to have beaten out other former Notre Dame graduates. Mid-American Conference Commissioner Rick Chryst and Southern Methodist athletic director Steve Orsini, who removed his name as a candidate late last week, were among the other serious candidates.

Swarbrick is an attorney and partner with the law firm Baker & Daniels LLP and has represented athletes, sports owners and athletic organizations. Swarbrick was previously a serious candidate for both the NCAA presidency and commissioner of the Big 12.

Notre Dame will be his first athletic director job, but the Bloomington, Ind. native has plenty of experience as a lawyer dealing with sports-related issues and was directly involved with the relocation of NCAA headquarters to Indianapolis.

He has advised various sanctioning bodies of Olympic sports, including USA Gymnastics and USRowing. Swarbrick had a decorated run as chairman of the Indiana Sports Corporation (1992-2001). As chairman of the ISC, he helped broker a deal that guarantees that the city will host a men's basketball Final Four at least seven times over a 35-year span. The deal also includes a provison that the city would receive either the women's Final Four, men's and women's early-round tournament games, or the NCAA Convention during the years when the men's Final Four is not in town.

This agreement was considered a major reason why the new $675 million dollar Lucas Oil Stadium project became a reality. With the new stadium in the works, Swarbrick helped Indianapolis land the 2012 Super Bowl as vice president of the bid committee.

In 2002, he was a finalist in the search for a new NCAA president, which eventually went to former Indiana University athletic director Myles Brand. It appears that the interview process for the NCAA top job fueled his desire to lead an athletic organization and he finished runner-up for the job as commissioner of the Big 12 in September of last year, which eventually went to Dan Beebe.

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