The Wolverine

June-July 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 35 of 139

BY JOHN BORTON I f athletic departments were automobiles, Michigan Direc- tor of Athletics Warde Man- uel didn't exactly get handed an AMC Gremlin. He's well aware. Manuel, the for- mer U-M football player who hopes he's on his last job, can look around and see plenty to like. He has one of the best and most spotlighted foot- ball coaches in the nation electrify- ing the program and the media. He oversees perhaps the most ethical men's basketball coach in the nation, one that has still reached a national championship game and an Elite Eight at Michigan, along with NCAA Tournament berths in five of the last six years. He can wander over to Alumni Field and chat up the head softball coach, who sports more wins than anyone in the history of the sport. From that vantage point, Manuel can gaze over at the stadium where he used to play and see what $226 mil- lion can accomplish in terms of trans- formation. He can drive up and down State Street and nearby locales, survey- ing the massive facilities effort that remains ongoing. He can also rest easier that, for at least the next 11 years, Nike will be paying anywhere from $127 million to $173 million for the Wolverines to wear the swoosh. All of that and stable finances the past several years are enough to make any AD break out into a grin. Manuel does that easily, but he's also determined to build upon what's been done and enhance it while se- curing the gains Michigan has made. "It was amazing to drive around campus a couple of times on visits here and to see the growth in the university and the growth in athletic facilities," Manuel acknowledged. "People would come back and tell me how much the university has grown. In our history, we have been very progressive in what we've done with the university, not only in fa- cilities but in staff, in faculty and the different programs we've been able to develop. "I was awestruck, to a certain de- gree, to drive around places that when I left did not have any build- GETTING UP TO SPEED AD Warde Manuel Is Preparing For Future Success

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