Wisconsin-Milwaukee hires former OSU AD Geiger
MILWAUKEE (AP) Hoping to secure some stability at the top of its athletic department, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee hired former Ohio State athletic director Andy Geiger on Thursday.
Geiger, who oversaw winning programs and major construction projects but also weathered scandals during his time at Ohio State, takes over a program that has gone through two full-time athletic directors since 2009.
"We believe Andy Geiger possesses the leadership qualities to bring stability and continuity to UWM Athletics during this transitional phase," chancellor Michael R. Lovell said in a statement. "During his extremely distinguished career, Andy has gained an unparalleled breadth of experiences that will allow him to fully support our coaches and to significantly enhance the collegiate experiences of our athletic department's greatest asset: UWM's student-athletes. His administrative and facilities-development expertise will also be immensely helpful as UWM embarks on a campus-wide strategic planning process."
Former Green Bay Packers linebacker George Koonce was the school's athletic director from 2009-2010. He was followed by Rick Costello, who stepped down earlier this year.
"The opportunity to be part of the leadership team at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is ideal for me," Geiger said in a statement. "I am ready to apply the experience of 35 years as a Division I athletic director to the student-athletes, coaches and staff at UWM. I look forward eagerly to being part of the UWM community."
The 73-year-old Geiger said the opportunity was especially meaningful because he'll be working "just a few blocks from where my father was born and raised."
Geiger was the athletic director at Ohio State from 1994 to 2005. He also was the athletic director at Maryland, Stanford, Pennsylvania and Brown.
Geiger oversaw several major construction projects at Ohio State, including the construction of the Jerome Schottenstein Center arena and a significant renovation of Ohio Stadium. But the school also weathered high-profile scandals during Geiger's term, including the dismissal of running back Maurice Clarett amid allegations of improper benefits and the firing of basketball coach Jim O'Brien after he admitted giving money to a recruit.
At the time of his retirement, he said in a statement that his work "is no longer fun, and that I don't look forward with enthusiasm to each day. Thus, it is time for me to change directions, and time for Ohio State to seek new leadership."
Geiger said in Thursday's statement that he has "great energy and a deep commitment to serve" Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Updated May 10, 2012