This week's focus is on Derek Morel.
Before I go any further here is his bio from Pittsburghpanthers.com,
"Derek Morel joined the University of Pittsburgh Athletic Department as senior associate athletic director for external affairs in August of 2006.
In this capacity, Morel will focus on Pitt's athletic fundraising efforts and supervise all external functions of the department. He arrives at Pittsburgh after serving the past 2½-years as an assistant vice president with International Sports Properties (ISP), Inc., a national leader in collegiate sports marketing.
Morel, a native of New Orleans, served as general manager for ISP Sports at the University of Georgia this past year and Tulane University in 2004-05. As general manager for Georgia Sports Properties, he was responsible for the sale and management of the University of Georgia Athletic Association's multi-media rights.
Prior to ISP, Morel was the associate athletic director for external relations at St. Bonaventure University from 1997-2003. His responsibilities included solicitation of corporate sponsorships, fundraising, marketing, licensing and community relations. Morel additionally had administrative responsibilities with men's basketball, including game scheduling.
During his tenure, the Bonaventure Athletic Fund experienced a 150% increase in membership and 50% growth in gifts. The athletic department also benefited from a 150% increase in sponsorship revenue during that time.
Morel organized and developed the Varsity "B" Club for former varsity letterwinners and also initiated the "Bona Pride II" campaign that focused on facility renovations for athletics. In the area of licensing he was responsible for the development and launch of St. Bonaventure's new athletics trademarks in 1999.
From 1994-97 Morel was an assistant athletic director for development at Northwestern State University in Louisiana. In this capacity he administered all development efforts for the athletic department and also served as the executive director of the Northwestern Athletic Association. Morel additionally implemented a corporate sponsorship program and assisted with men's basketball and football scheduling. He also was the head men's golf coach for three seasons.
Morel is a 1992 graduate of the Louisiana State University with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He earned his master's in sports administration and facility management from Ohio University in 1993."
Now with that out of the way, let me make this plain and clear. Derek Morel should be our new athletics director. He has the experience to earn the job. He has dealt with tough times (at St. Bonaventure) that he knows how to deal with adversity. He has shown success in implementing programs to bring the alumni and students together.
All of these are qualities that the new Pitt athletics director must possess. In addition to this, Derek is one of the nicest, most genuine men I have ever met. I believe the university would do well to seriously consider Derek as a candidate for the AD job. I am also surprised that he was not named interim a.d. but if he gets the job in the end, then I think Pitt has made the right move.