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Navigating And Cultivating Relationships With Eastern Illinois’ Tom Michael

Guest Tom Michael, Eastern Illinois
24:51 min watch


Eastern Illinois Athletic Director Tom Michael sits down with AthleticDirectorU’s Steph Garcia Cichosz at the 2022 NACDA Convention to dive deep into how Michael builds and sustains relationships with his president, peers, coaches and student-athletes. Michael also touches on creating buy-in, leaning on football alumni during the Panthers’ recent coaching search, NIL and more.

The conversation is indexed below for efficient viewing (click the time stamp to jump to a specific question/topic).

  • - How have you developed such a good relationship with your president?
  • - How did your experiences dealing with budget issues in the state of Illinois prepare you for the budget constraints of the pandemic?
  • - What is the secret to cultivating alignment?
  • - How do you empower your staff to buy-in to your strategic vision?
  • - With EIU President David Glassman to retire in 2023, what will be some of your priorities for the next president?
  • - Have you seen CEOs more involved in college athletics given the changes across the industry?
  • - How do you define fit when hiring coaches?
  • - How did you tap into EIU's football alumni during this recent coaching search?
  • - How critical is it for you and your coaches to be aligned on key industry issues like NIL and the transfer portal?
  • - Do you think Illinois' state NIL law allowing institutions to assist in facilitating deals is the right move?
  • - As a member of the DI Football Committee and chair of the Council of ADs for the OVC, how do you handle the gravity of the decisions you help make?
  • - How do you handle criticism from peers, pundits or fans?
  • - How do you cultivate strong relationships with EIU student-athletes?
  • - With your daughter serving as a volunteer assistant after playing at EIU, what would your advice be if she desired to get into coaching?
  • - How would you have engaged NIL as a former student-athlete yourself?