What you’re witnessing on Victory Parkway is a metamorphosis. In a span of just over a decade, we’ve witnessed Xavier transform from a humble Atlantic 10 competitor to a nationally recognized brand. Former Athletic Director, Mike Bobinski, was instrumental in getting Xavier to the Big East. He’s since departed for 100 yard pastures at Georgia Tech where he’ll unite with former UD Coach Brian Gregory. Meanwhile, Xavier has selected Greg Christopher, the athletic director at Bowling Green.
If you were expecting a major splash, you may be a bit underwhelmed. Keeping Christopher’s former occupation with the Falcons of Bowling Green in context, the basketball team made the 2009 NIT (they also won the MAC that year for the first time in a decade) and the 2012 CIT under his watch.
Bowling Green last made the NCAA field in 1968. So there’s that.
In a recent release, Christopher offered the following:
“I am honored to be joining Xavier Nation,” said Christopher. “The institution’s values and tradition of excellence in both academics and athletics make this a tremendous opportunity. I am thankful for the Xavier administration, especially (President) Fr. Mike Graham and (Vice President) John Kucia, Mike (Bobinski) and the coaches and staff, who have created a strong foundation. This is a distinctive time in Xavier’s history and I am committed to building on its excellence by leading Xavier Athletics with integrity and passion.”
He sounds like he has the part down. The verbiage drips Jesuit. But what does his track record do for you? Let’s review his credentials, encompassing all sports:
- Women’s basketball team became the first MAC team to advance to the Sweet 16 in 2006-07. Women’s basketball also made the 2013 WNIT, which ran the total to nine consecutive national postseason appearances
- BGSU’s women’s volleyball team won the 2012 MAC Tournament championship
- The baseball team won three consecutive MAC East Division titles
- A press release stated that student-athletes with a GPA of 3.0 or above increased in each of the last five years, through the Falcon Leadership Academy
- Helped athletic department raise $28 million+ during the university’s recent fundraising campaign
Bowling Green seems to have prospered under his watch. Context folks, we’re talking about a program with maybe a fraction of the funding he’ll have on Victory Parkway. But the jump he’ll be making, from a somewhat obscure program in the MAC to the premiere brand of basketball in Division 1 college basketball, will be one mirrored only by Evel Knievel.
For what it’s worth, Bobinski hailed from the MAC too. He did alright.