Maturi: Mission accomplished?

Andrew Cummins

When Notre Dame’s athletic director left for the same post at Duke May 31, Notre Dame alumnus and University Athletics Director Joel Maturi was immediately rumored by some media to be a possible replacement. Notre Dame hasn’t announced a list of possible candidates and Maturi said he’s content at the University. However, speculation about Maturi’s future and the fact that his contract expires in 2010 raises the question: what has Maturi accomplished at the University and what does he have to say about his tenure?

Since arriving to a newly merged athletics department in July 2002, Maturi has been charged with cleaning up after men’s and women’s basketball scandals, improving student-athletes’ performance in the classroom and balancing a departmental budget that officials foresaw heading toward the red. The following is a breakdown of Maturi’s performance in those areas and others, along with a listing of major events during his time thus far at the University.

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During the Maturi era…

2002
» July Maturi hired as first athletics director of merged athletics department

2003
» February Men’s and women’s golf and men¡¦s gymnastics teams saved from program elimination thanks to fundraising effort

2005
» March TCF Bank named lead sponsor of new football stadium
» May Men’s tennis head coach David Geatz and assistant coach Adam Cohen suspended after NCAA found six secondary violations against the program

2006
» January Minnesota football head coach Glen Mason signed a four-year contract extension to keep him at the University until 2010
» May Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed a bill approving an on-campus stadium plan
» September Maturi signed a contract extension through 2009-10
» December Men’s basketball head coach Dan Monson resigned; received $1.1 million buyout
» December Minnesota football head coach Glen Mason fired; received $2.2 million buyout

2007
» January Tim Brewster hired as head football coach
» March Tubby Smith hired as men’s basketball head coach
» July Four football players dismissed from team after being linked to sexual assault investigation
» October Former University men’s basketball assistant coach Jimmy Williams filed suit against the University, Maturi and the Board of Regents

2008
» April Brad Frost named women’s hockey head coach
» June Grassroots fundraising campaign launched for football stadium