Atlanta columnist blasts new Purdue athletic director Mike Bobinski
It appeared that Mike Bobinski was welcomed to Purdue with open arms.
The Boilermakers announced the hiring of the former Georgia Tech athletic director on Tuesday, and by most accounts, it was considered a successful hire. Purdue landed an AD with Power Five experience who had success at multiple non-Power Five stops (Akron and Xavier) as well.
But not everyone was singing Bobinski’s praises on Tuesday.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Jeff Schultz wrote a column that strongly criticized Bobinski’s actions at Georgia Tech.
According to Schultz, a major issue within the athletic department was the lack of spending Bobinski wanted to do. From not pulling the trigger on new facilities to sending the Georgia Tech football program on an eight-hour flight to Dublin in a non-commericial plane that resembled “a tin can” according to one source, Bobinski apparently had his fair share of battles in his three years in Atlanta.
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Schultz also wrote that Bobinski and Johnson had a blowup last week over the plane issue, which led to the athletic department caving in and switching to a normal airline.
Besides the “dysfunctional relationship” he had with Johnson, Schultz said that Bobinski was known around the Georgia Tech athletic department as “Sasquatch” because they never saw him.
Here’s an excerpt of the column:
Morale in the Edge Athletics Center reportedly is at an all-time low. Tech president Bud Peterson and whatever search committee he hires had better realize that because they screwed up the last time they hired an AD.
Tech’s athletic department has been like a rudderless ship, with a revolving door of employees, many leaving voluntarily. Multiple senior staff positions, like those in facilities and operations and the sports information department, have turned over more than once under Bobinski.
Good employees left or were fired. Poor replacements were hired and fired or, worse, held positions and made decisions like those involving the Ireland trip.
From one athletic department donor: “The culture has changed. It became more of a me-first place as opposed to the student-athletes coming first, or as opposed to, ‘We’re all in this together.’ If a guy like Bill Curry had been hired, when you think about his personality and his leadership style, that’s what’s missing right now. An inspirational leader.”
Schultz wrote that Georgia Tech was happy to see Bobinski leave for Purdue. The Boilermakers, on the other hand, feel that they landed a guy plenty capable of filling Burke’s shoes.
Only time will tell if Bobinski, who won’t officially take over until Burke retires in June 2017, was the right hire. Purdue can only hope that Schultz’s column wasn’t a precursor for what lies ahead.