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Waddell accepts new position at Arkansas

20 May 2013 By Jonathan Munshaw, Editor-in-Chief 38 Comments

Update: Towson released a statement around 6 p.m. on Monday announcing Waddell’s departure.

“In a relatively short amount of time, Mike Waddell began an impressive transformation of Towson University’s NCAA Division I Intercollegiate athletics program,” University President Maravene Loeschke said in the statement.

Waddell will officially step down from his position on June 4, according the statement, and an interim director of athletics has not been announced.

However, the statement said a search for a new permanent AD will begin immediately.

Original story: 

Towson University Director of Athletics Mike Waddell has accepted a new position at the University of Arkansas as the Senior Associate Director of Athletics, according to the Arkansas Athletic Department.

Waddell leaves Towson after serving as Director of Athletics for just under three years.

“I am excited to join the Arkansas Razorback Family and to work with the outstanding student-athletes, coaches, administration and staff at the University of Arkansas,” Waddell said in a statement to Arkansas. “The opportunity to work with a program that has a rich, long-standing tradition and for an athletics director in Jeff Long who has proven to be one of the most innovative and proactive in all of college athletics is something that I am eager to engage.”

Waddell could not be reached for comment as of Monday evening.

“Michael is a tremendous addition to our administrative team and will provide Razorback Athletics an informed perspective to help our program capitalize on the valuable exposure opportunities we will have moving forward,” Arkansas Director of Athletics Jeff Long said in a release on Monday.

Despite bringing Towson six Colonial Athletic Association Championships in his tenure, Waddell had recently come under fire when it was announced the school would be cutting the men’s soccer and baseball programs.

While an agreement was reached with Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley to keeping funding the baseball team for an extra season, men’s soccer was still cut.

The Towerlight will update this story as more information becomes available.


  • NK said:

    Cuts soccer & baseball… then runs for it.

  • tu fan said:


  • Towson fan said:

    They said a search for a replacement will take place. Who could ever replace Mike. A man who cut 2 major sports programs. Overspent and lied. He cant count accurately how many people are on the girls track team. Then he left the first chance he got for something better. How could they ever replace him. Does that mean they have to hire a weasel ?

  • TU FAN said:

    Lets play a game.Can anyone list something Good Waddell did. Leaving doesn’t count as an answer.

  • Real TU Fan said:

    Hiring Pat Skerry and seeing basketball go from 1-31 to 18-13 seems like a pretty good hire. Waddell did a great job at Towson. Also, Baseball did not get cut, only Soccer.

  • Vince Talbert said:

    Very disappointing. Mike is a real talent! He willbe hard to replace. It’s too bad we couldn’t figure out how to leverage him better. A great loss for Towson!

    Mike did a great job of hiring coaches and marketing the program. This is a pivotal time for Towson to grow our athletics program, we can ill afford a set back!

  • sports fan said:

    he will not be hard to replace, there was a reason he was renting for 2 and a half years…..this was his plan, go to a larger school, anyone who knows the facts will support this.

    for anyone to think he bleed black and gold they are fooling themselves. This man was given a great opportunity with the new arena being built (a lot of hard work went into this and Mr. waddell had no sweat in this project, for anyone to write that he oversaw this project needs to get their facts straight.

    Wish i was a fly on the wall during the interview process when ask ” why would you recommend being the only school in Div 1 to cut both Baseball and Soccer”? i bet you a dollar to a donut he lied with his reply.

    Mr. Waddell blew a great opportunity.

  • Here it comes said:

    Waddell was the biggest A$$ ever to walk on the campus. GOOD BYE DOUCHE BAG!!

  • TU '89 Alumni said:

    Waddell is an opportunistic lying jackass. In less than 3 years he turned a 434k athletic dept. surplus, into a 1.3 Million dollar Deficit. Cutting Towson’s venerable 90 year old Soccer and Baseball programs to transfer their miniscule 3% of the total budget to football, men’s basketball and lacrosse that already consume most of the AD budget(forcing baseball to “self-fund” in the future is a death sentence). As predicted he used Towson as a stepping stone to a new job with “how Loe can you go” Loeschke as his compliant, naive, smiling cheerleader along the way. This news only further reinforces the long-term damage to Towson’s reputation with the alumni and community at large, no matter how many of Loeschke’s lackeys continue their feeble efforts at damage control.

  • jojoj said:

    Hopefully Maravene will follow in his footsteps…..

  • TU FAN said:

    He cut baseball. The Governor and comptroller saved it. Lets not let the wad off the hook. Baseball is year to year and cant offer any new scholarships. How would the football and basketball team do with that. so lets not say Mike the Wad will be missed. He cant leave soon enough.

  • Observer said:

    Just as an observation … you guys really should go DII or DIII. You can’t serve two masters at your level – either put the dough into football and men and women’s basketball and get the admissions applications and university reputation up from the resultant marketing benefits, or worry about your Olympic sports to the detriment of the ones that draw positive regional and national attention.

    It looks to me like the reason the legislature got involved in Towson’s dropped sports as opposed to Maryland’s is that that’s how Towson is viewed – NOT DI.

    Also, you have to meet two of three prongs of Title IX compliance. I know Waddell had been an extensive part of the figuring on this stuff at his last two stops. No one WANTS to cut sports and it’s disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

    If I’m ever at war I want Waddell on my side. I think this is Towson’s loss, although many of you can’t see the forest for the trees on this one. Big picture, people.

  • Paper Tiger said:

    Anyone can squeeze out a few more wins if you completely blow the budget. The test of a real leader is sticking around to clean up the mess you made and the hole you put yourself in. There’s no way someone as inept and disloyal as Waddell could do that, so he split as fast as is swinely possible to be with the other Hogs. And Loeschke, of course, could not spot this character flaw and still can’t. She just let the Hog play her and Towson like a fiddle. Sad times ahead for Towson with this “leadership.”

  • concerned staff said:

    I did not comment before when a Senior Associate Athletic Director was released unceremonously last fall by Mike Waddell with approval from the upper administration,but it sure would be nice to have Nance Reed’s integrity and experience right now to help run things during this uncertain time.

  • Frustrated said:

    Don’t slam the door on the way out, you coward!! After ruining the men’s intercollegiate athletic program (except for football and basketball) and running up a huge deficit, you throw the student athletes and the naive president who ruined her reputation by supporting you under the bus. And for what – “senior associate athletic director for communications”?

    Apparently ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’ doesn’t apply to you! And in another high-class move, this announcement is made the day after final exams in the hope that nobody is paying attention. You’re an embarrassment as a role model – good riddance!

  • Frustrated said:

    To Observer who said “If I’m ever at war I want Waddell on my side” – your loyalty is admirable, but once the enemy started shooting back Waddell would more than likely go AWOL! He’s Towson University’s version of Sarah Palin!

    Plus, Towson’s academic mission and a full range of extracurricular programs are most important – not a pipe-dream of TV coverage by blowing the budget on two intercollegiate sports.

  • sports fan said:

    Mr Waddell really knows how to smoke and mirror things……the following was written in the Arkansas Paper
    “131 student-athletes achieve a 3.5 GPA or higher and while engaging the Greater Baltimore Community with more than 10,000 hours of service. Waddell also positioned Towson as one of the country’s most progressive programs in the areas of marketing, communications and corporate sponsorships, including soon to be naming rights for Towson’s new 5,200-seat venue which will open next month and a new multi-year footwear and apparel agreement with Baltimore-based Under Armour.”

    First the GPA’s (he forgot to mention he propossed to get rid of two mens sports that held high GPS’s)
    Second- Marketing the program, he forgot to mention the damage control he needed to do for the football program as well as the bad PR., he forgot to mention the hired a consultant group to deal with the press because of the bad PR.
    Third- Corporate Sponsorship, forgot to mention he hired people who did not deliver, all those corporate sponsorships must have got a great deal (corporate sponsorships are suppose to bring money into the program, not be a result of losing programs)
    and Finally Fourth- the 5,200 – seat venue, should i say more, this guy wants to take the credit for this, if you were from out of town and read this you would think he is a reall go getter PLEASE!!! ANOTHER SMOKE AND MIRROR SELL, WHERE IS THE INTEGRITY…..

  • sports fan said:

    Mr Observer, what war would you want Waddell in, War’s are messy, War is ugly, War is about people who fight not RUN, hate to be you in that bunker…….

  • Observer said:

    Sports fan, you’re just proving my point. Towson needs to make a decision about their athletic programs – who do you want to be? If it’s to sponsor all the sports programs, then heck, why not even ADD more teams, but so you can pay the bills, don’t give scholarships! There’s nothing magical about the sports you have now, and there certainly are other sports that are worthy. Forget about Division I sports – just go DII or DIII and be happy with that identity. There’s nothing wrong with it! And then hire administrators that will maintain that status quo and never have to make hard decisions that absolutely and necessarily go along with trying for something bigger for a school like Towson!

    But if you want your athletic programs to work as an asset for you in marketing for admissions as well as heightened public awareness, you need someone who aims really high and aims for those goals specifically. The problem with Waddell was he wasn’t a good fit for the status quo people at Towson. He was specifically brought in to shake things up and take Towson to the next level. Then he got shot down and probably undermined when people didn’t like his decisions to get that job done.

    Now if that’s not what people really want, so be it, but don’t hire another go-getter as AD – and don’t try to compete at the DI level. It’s too expensive to do if you’re not committed to getting the most out of it, PR-wise, and I’m sorry if this offends you but that’s in football and basketball. That’s the DI game – it is what it is. So if you don’t like that game, play another one and go DII or DIII, perfectly acceptable options. That’s all I’m saying.

  • Observe This said:

    You have to mean real DI football, not what they currently play. This was, is, and will always be a losing proposition and don’t tell me it is for the PR at that other level. The money spent will never translate. Nobody cares about it. Maryland wasn’t able to fill their stadium in the ACC so they bolted for greener pastures. That is at the real DI level for football. Basketball, yes, but don’t try selling that PR garbage for football at that level. Maybe in Montana or North Dakota. Observe this: an average of 8,000 spectators per game and that is inflated. Since I had to do the inflating.

  • Observer said:

    Again, so go Division II or III. No shame in it. Be who you are and be great at whatever that is. There just seems to be a disconnect in what they’re aiming for and what they actually are willing to do.

  • Observe This said:

    There are successful Division I programs that have chosen to not dump their money into the unsustainable world of I-AA Football (FCS). They did not have to choose Div. II or III and were able to be true to who they are while still maintaining a comprehensive Division I athletics program.

  • Fact said:

    Moving down, even if it’s possible, would be horrendous. If you’re a fan of the sport cuts, you’d love the scholarship cuts. And we’d instantly have some of the best facilities in D2. Towson had a D2 mentality for so many years, then we suddenly started winning. I have my opinions about Waddell’s tenure, but Towson is *really* a D1, the same way JMU, Delaware, NDSU and the like are in FCS. The fact that they don’t invest in football the same way an FBS school like Maryland or Navy does doesn’t mean they aren’t.

  • 1983 Alum said:

    Wow, seems to the Pressbox’s Simon Habtemariam, Waddel could do no wrong – http://www.pressboxonline.com/story/10340/Towson-AD-Mike-Waddell-Leaving-For-Arkansas.

    Look out Arkansas, disaster is coming.

  • Common Sense said:

    First of all, how about you forget these “accurate” numbers you have and look at some new ones for a chance. Waddell was the lowest paid AD in the CAA

  • Common Sense said:

    Let’s take a look at a new number instead of all the “accurate” numbers you all provide. Waddell was the lowest paid AD yet obviously was best AD in the conference. I was here before and now after his tenure and he transformed the school. All you have to do is look around. He’s changed Towson in 2 ways. If you look around campus, he provided a brand. The graphics around Unitas, his idea. The graphics in the fieldhouse’s staircase, also his idea. He provided the little things that provide athletes with that extra push to be great. After implementing a brand he made hires that got the brand out there. He hired Skerry, and Nadelen. He also rejuvenated the football team and continued excellence in Women’s Lax. All the teams won. Then you saw the commercials and posters everywhere. I could see kids at my son’s school and kids at schools he played in various sports all wear Towson apparel. He provided a brand and program with great potential but the people who disagreed, who also had bias, flushed that down the toilet. There you go, Towson. If you want to prove it to yourself, ask any player other than a baseball player at Towson how Waddell treated them, staff too.

  • Monty Python said:

    Chasing the Holy Grail is a fantasy that Towson will never reach without greater amounts of money invested. In your search you will, however, need to continue to spend and spend. Remember, student fees were not going up next year…check again…

  • The Judge said:

    People inside the university and outside the university know that it is not as difficult as you would think to win a few championships while bankrupting the department and going into debt. There is a good number to start with. Wonder if the new oversight to athletics spending is also going South or will that position even be necessary?

  • priorTUfan said:

    Hey Common Sense…You are Mike Waddell aren’t you!
    It’s not a question.

  • Grad said:

    What is the over/under that this pathetic “President” will hire someone with no clue how to run a D1 athletics program???

  • Paper Tiger said:

    That’s great that Coach Gottlieb no longer has to work for a boss that wanted to get rid of him and his team. Here’s hoping the new AD cares about all his student athletes and not just his “chosen ones.”

  • tu fan said:

    By the way all of you naysayers who have bashed the baseball team. We are playing for a chance to win the CAA championship. No thanks to Mike Waddell. He did not show up for senior day to honor the seniors baseball players, but I am sure he was at every other Senior Day and he has not tweeted once regarding the baseball team and their achievements this year. SOME ATHLETIC DIRECTOR. We are the only NCAA Division 1 team with no batting cage yet somehow through all the adversity that these kids have gone through this year, they have defied the odds and shown to everyone what class really is. Too bad we don’t have an athletic director or President with as much class. Thank you Mike Gottlieb for your leadership this year. For someone that has had his job on the line like you and was giving his pink slip months ago, you have behaved like a true gentlemen and led this group of boys for at chance at a CAA title. This would be a truly amazing accomplishment for a truly amazing group of individuals. Congratulations.

  • Good Riddance said:

    I wonder how long it will take the Waddell social media juggernaut to claim that he had something to do with the seventh CAA championship during his tenure which baseball won yesterday. They did it all by themselves – the players and the coaches.

  • Tiger33 said:

    For a look inside the mind of Towson’s President see this document – a few pages in she brags about cutting sports.


  • Tiger33 said:

    Here is another link from the days at Mansfield


  • sports fan said:

    Observer, i’m a football guy, i think with good managment you can have the best of both worlds. This AD did not know how to manage a budget. In today’s world it is not easy. with your mindset there would be college’s that would have only 2 men’s sports, football and basketball. Anyone could do that, let’s search for a AD that can manage through tough issues like this.

  • TU FAN said:

    hey common sense. you cant talk numbers and Waddell in same sentence. he lied about the numbers. For some reason he could not count those 60 missing indoor track girls. go help him pack

  • baseball fan said:

    Hey common sense don’t be mad that you will now have to pay to get into football games. Your free ticket is gone

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