|New AD Mike Waddell Looks Forward To One Towson|
By Krystina Lucido
Mike Waddell was introduced as Towson University’s new director of athletics this morning on the York Road campus. The enthusiastic, and humble, Waddell thanked numerous well-knowns in the college athletics community for their help before launching into his 120-page “One Towson” plan for the University’s future.
"It means to me not only the department of athletics, but also our world-class business and education program, the arts, every one of our 21,000-plus students, 1,500 full- and part-time faculty, our alumni worldwide. One Towson," Waddell said.
"We are united by that black and gold that we wear and the fact that we are all One Towson."
Oct. 26 is Waddell's official start date but he has been "Thinking Outside" for awhile now.
"I go to bed at night and get up in the morning thinking about ways to move an athletics department forward," the 41-year-old said. "It's a great privilege to be able to work in college athletics, to be able to shape the lives of young people, to be able to work with great coaches who have vision every day. That's a real gift that I appreciate."
Waddell has been the senior associate director of athletics for external relations at the University of Cincinnati for the last five years, primarily responsible for areas such as marketing/fan development, and ticket sales/customer service among others. He was charged with Cincinnati's bowl planning, including back-to-back BCS bowls in 2009 and 2010.
His marketing strategies lead to increases in fan attendance and hits on GoBEARCATS.com, the school's athletics Web site.
Before Cincinnati, Waddell was associate athletic director for external relations at the University of Akron, inventing the "Fear The Roo" campaign; director of marketing and broadcasting at the United States Military Academy at West Point, creating the Army Sports Radio Network; and director of athletic external operations at Appalachian State, where he also made strides in marketing efforts that have become part of the school's tradition.
What Waddell plans to do at Towson is build the brand of athletics without sacrificing the high educational precedent the university has set. A community presence is important to him and the feeling of excitement a person gets when they are around a team is something Waddell feels cannot be replicated unless you see it. One of his main goals is to form One Towson where all departments support each other and all in the Towson community both in the city and outside of it are drawn together.
"We have to be an externally-driven force," Waddell said of Towson moving forward. "We've done a good job of that. We could always do better. You have to find new ways of communicating with people in this day and age whether it be social media, traditional media. Thinking outside but definitely, without question, going to the people."
With a B.S. in sports management from Guilford College and his robust experience in collegiate marketing, Towson is in good hands to build a brand and form a community the school, its alumni and affiliates can be proud of.
"We have a definitive vision for ourselves," University president Dr. Bob Caret said. "We know where we're going as an institution, and athletics is at the core of that vision.
"We need a leader to help bring that vision to life, to help us grow into that institution that is the second-largest public in the state and well-known in that role. We're here today to announce that new leader."
Posted Sept. 29, 2010