UConn athletic director Warde Manuel issued a statement Wednesday afternoon refuting reports that linked him to the soon-to-be vacant Virginia Tech AD job. It had been reported on TheKeyPlay.com, via radio Roanoke radio host Greg Roberts, that Manuel was among the six finalists.
“I am not a candidate, have not been interviewed nor have I been contacted by Virginia Tech about its Director of Athletics position despite some recent media reports,” Manuel said in a statement released by UConn. “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. I wish Virginia Tech all the best in their search to replace, one of the legends in our business, Jim Weaver.”
Manuel, 45, is quickly rising through the administrative ranks. He began as an associate AD at Michigan, his alma mater, and quickly righted the ship at Buffalo as athletic director from 2005-2012. He’s been at UConn since March 2012, making several crucial hires and moves: He got UConn hockey into the Hockey East, hired former BC assistant Mike Cavanaugh as the program’s coach, and, of course, plucked Bob Diaco from Notre Dame to lead the UConn football program.
With Manuel, Diaco and Kevin Ollie, UConn has a core of up-and-comers — average age 42 — in its three most high-profile athletic department jobs.
That’s a good thing, but mornings like this are part of the deal. You don’t get to have young, rising coaches without those coaches being sought after and linked to other jobs. There is inevitably going to be outside interest, and sometimes there may be mutual interest.
Fortunately for UConn fans, that doesn’t appear to be the case with this Virginia Tech vacancy.