The Detroit News is reporting that Michigan Athletic Director Bill “Dolla Billz” Martin is hanging up the checkbook effective September 4, 2010. Martin made his plan known to University president Mary Sue Coleman in a letter today, and will inform staff members at a meeting at Keen Arena.
I’m not quite sure what I make of this just yet, other than I’m curious to see what direction Michigan decides to go in with their next AD. For all of the good that Martin did (Stadium renovations, practice facility for hoops) there were moments that left you scratching your head (i.e. Les Miles and the infamous sailing trip). All of that aside, Martin was a financial maestro and had the University’s bottom line singing a beautiful tune.
Coleman has already said she will lead the search for Martin’s successor, which could be in place before Martin’s announced retirement date of September 4.
“He has agreed to remain as athletic director until his successor is on board, at which point he will serve as a special advisor to me until retiring from the University in September.”
You can bet the discussion will obviously start heating up shortly on who should replace Martin, and one name that will probably pop up is that of former Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr. Carr is still highly thought of by many members of the Michigan community in high-ranking positions, but it’s hard to imagine that he will be the first choice of Coleman given his lack of financial experience, as well as his “shaky at best” relationship with current football coach Rich Rodriguez.
We’ll see how it all plays out, but for now we should all take a step back and thank Martin for his contributions to the University, which cannot be argued.
Bon Voyage, Bill.