According to widespread reports, Baylor's newest athletic director, who will step in for the departed Ian McCaw, will be none other than Mack Rhoades, the former AD for Houston until 2015 and current AD for Missouri.
BREAKING: Mack Rhoades will leave #Mizzou to be the next Athletic Director at #Baylor: https://t.co/OQcrEcxAoS— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) July 13, 2016
The first thing people will probably mention about Rhoades is that he appears to be stepping out of the frying pan at Missouri, considering their upheaval over the last year, and into the fire at Baylor, considering our own. The second thing will be that Rhoades is the same guy that, while at Houston, hired Tom Herman, one of the brightest up-and-coming coaches in CFB. Does it mean anything for Baylor's potential pursuit of Mr. Herman? Probably not, since money tends to matter more than anything else and there could be as many as two other major in-state jobs available around the same time we're looking for our new coach. But if that's the guy you think Baylor needs (Herman, I mean), it certainly doesn't hurt.
I'll have to admit that beyond what I just said, I don't know much about Mr. Rhoades or his tenures at Houston and Missouri, so I'll have to direct you to his bio page at Mizzou for more information, including the following:
At the University of Houston, Rhoades rejuvenated the athletics program across the board, including enhancements in the student athlete experience, academics, facilities, fundraising and competitiveness. During the 2013-14 academic year, 10 of the 17 sports programs competed in NCAA postseason competition. The football team participated in bowl games four times in a six-year span, including the 2011 season when the Cougars were ranked as high as No. 6 in the BCS standings and competed in two consecutive bowl games in 2013 and 2014. In almost every academic measurement, including GPA and APR, Houston reached record levels; Rhoades created the Cougar Pride Leadership Academy to provide life-long leadership skills for student-athletes.
During his tenure, Houston raised nearly $100 million and built $160 million worth of new facilities, including a new on-campus football stadium and a men's and women's basketball development center. Rhoades also negotiated a new multi-media rights deal for the athletics program as well as one of the top five facility naming rights deals at the collegiate level.
It appears from his bio that Rhoades, an alumnus of Arizona, got his start as an AD at Akron in 2006 before moving to Houston in 2009 and then on to Mizzou in 2015. Now he'll come back to Texas, apparently, to take over at Baylor.
Without having more information about Rhoades himself, which we'll try to gather in the next few days, it's hard to cast immediate judgment about this hire. He's simultaneously the guy that cleaned up the mess at Houston by hiring Tom Herman and the guy that helped create it by extending Tony Levin. As with most things, there's obviously good and bad. Still, he's got a P5 pedigree, if only for one year, and appears to have done a good job at Houston in the aggregate, so I'm happy.
Please note that this is not confirmed by the school yet, but considering how widespread the reports are about it, I think we can be reasonably sure it's going to happen. We'll keep you posted going forward, as always.