Warde Manuel to become AD for Michigan Wolverines

ByDan Murphy ESPN logo
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

UConn athletic director Warde Manuel is expected to accept the same post at Michigan, his alma mater, sources confirmed to ESPN's Andy Katz on Wednesday.

Another source told Katz that an official announcement is expected Thursday.

"He loves his alma mater, as most of us do, so it's really a great honor and it is one of the best jobs in college athletics, without question," UConn president Susan Herbst told The Associated Press following a Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday, which Manuel also attended.

Manuel, who has been the athletic director at UConn since 2012 and held the same title at Buffalo for seven years before that, has been at the top of a list of candidates to take over the Wolverines' athletic department since November, when acting AD Jim Hackett announced he had no intention of taking the job on a permanent basis.

During his tenure, Manuel hired men's basketball coach Kevin Ollie, who guided UConn to the 2014 national championship, and football coach Bob Diaco, who took the Huskies to the St. Petersburg Bowl in his second season.

Manuel declined to comment about the potential job, but did talk about his four years in Storrs, which includes six national championships, including dual titles for the men's and women's basketball teams in 2014.

"I'm very proud of all that they have accomplished," Manuel told The Associated Press. "I think that UConn is going to be successful for many, many decades."

Manuel, a 1990 Michigan graduate who played football under legendary coach Bo Schembechler and later worked as an associate athletic director at the university, will step in for Hackett, who took the job on an interim basis 15 months ago. In that time, Hackett brought football coach Jim Harbaugh to Ann Arbor, signed a contract extension for men's basketball coach John Beilein and brokered a nine-figure apparel deal with Nike.

At UConn, Manuel also elevated the school's men's hockey program, gaining them an invitation into the nation's premier conference, Hockey East, and hiring former Boston College assistant Mike Cavanaugh as coach.

But UConn was considered a loser in the conference realignment battles as Manuel was not able to secure an invitation to one of the Power Five conferences, leaving most UConn teams mired in the much lower revenue-producing American Athletic Conference after the breakup of the old Big East.

Manuel was in the fourth year of a five-year contract with UConn, with a base salary of $450,000 a year and academic and athletic performance incentives that allowed him to earn up to $100,000 more each year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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