UConn athletic director Warde Manuel might not be on the short list of candidates to become the next Virginia Tech AD (we know this because Manuel issued a statement earlier this week saying as much) but it's not hard for UConn basketball coach Geno Auriemma to understand why Manuel might be in demand.
“First, it’s his background," Auriemma said, via the Hartford Courant's John Altavilla. "At a place like Michigan means that he worked at a university where things are generally perceived to be done the way they’re supposed to be done. It’s a fantastic state university, the highest levels of academics, the highest level of athletics. So now you go to Buffalo which was a horrible situation when he got there and now all of a sudden it’s a great situation.
“Now he’s here, and he’s guiding us through the change in conference, hiring a basketball coach, football coach, building a new practice facility and raising money. People notice. When you do things like that and have that kind of history, people notice. He’s made a lot of great friends in the business and that goes a long way."
Specifically, Manuel played college football at Michigan under Bo Schembechler, and arrived in Storrs from the University of Buffalo, where he served as AD for six years. In 2012, Manuel signed a five-year contract with UConn that pays him $450,000 annually.
And for now, UConn and the American Athletic Conference remain Manuel's home.
"I am very happy as the Director of Athletics at UConn and look forward to continuing to work with President Herbst, my coaches, staff, student-athletes, donors and fans to enjoy a high level of continued success in athletics at UConn," he said Wednesday.