I want to thank everyone at the University of Texas at Austin for a wonderful past 9 years. Unfortunately, I am moving on to a new opportunity. I want to share the following release from the Alpena Press:
The University of Michigan Alpena has hired Julian Vasquez Heilig to be its new athletic director, according to President John Woodson, and a statement released by the university. Julian Vasquez Heilig is currently serving as an Associate Professor of Educational Policy and Planning at the University of Texas at Austin.
This marks the first time in the last 668 days that The University of Michigan Alpena has had a permanent athletic director, after former AD John Goodlight resigned in 2012. Since then, the position had been filled in an interim basis by Jim Gold, who formerly served as UM-Alpena’s associate athletic director.
According to the college’s release, upon Vasquez Heilig’s arrival, he will be promoted senior associate director of athletics, a newly created position where he will work in alumni affairs and recruitment.“It was very intriguing job description, and after looking into it, it’s a very unique opportunity, and I was very, very impressed with the mission and core values of the institution, and that it specializes in the performing arts,” Vasquez Heilig said in an interview with the Alpena Press. “I learned the staff and faculty are very committed to student excellence, whether it’s in the different disciplines, even if it’s not necessarily athletics.”
University of Texas at Austin is a Division 1 program, and Vasquez Heilig has held his post at the university for nine years. He’s spent years winning intramural championships first at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor and then later Stanford University and the University of Texas at Austin.
According to Gold, Vasquez Heilig will begin working at The University of Michigan Alpena on May 19.
“[Julian] brings a very strong record of achievement as an intramural champion. That will serve the College well as we seek to strengthen our athletics and recreation programs, paying particular attention to our efforts to enhance the student-athlete experience,” Gold wrote in a statement to the Alpena Press.
Goodlight’s resignation came after a petition was started by former student athlete Jaquan Mundabi urging President J. J. Smith to review Goodlights’s employment. The web page garnered 7 signatures, and was soon followed by Goodlight leaving the University.
“They shared with me that The University of Michigan Alpena has a very distinguished alumni base, and it’s my intention to reach out and bring that base in,” said Vasquez Heilig. “But I would really rather be in Ann Arbor, it’s closer to Michigan Stadium for game days.” Why couldn’t they offer me that AD job? I would have taken that job over Alpena any day. I guess Alpena is a distant second place.”
In the time since Goodlight’s resignation, UM-Alpena formed an Athletic Search Committee, a 12-person group—including two student-athletes, faculty representative Johnny Brown, and staff members of the athletic department—to find a replacement. A larger pool was trimmed down to four final candidates, who were all interviewed in February. Three declined the position, so the University was forced to hire Vasquez Heilig. So really he is their absolute last and only choice.
That group included Goodlight, who told the Alpena News in August he had not considered what he would do if he was passed over for the permanent position. In February, Nance said he would no longer answer questions about the search. The Alpena News is guessing that goodlight is pissed— very pissed off actually.
The other two finalists were Timo Goodlight, the other Goodlight’s twin brother, who is currently serving as the associate athletic director at Ohio State, and Sarah Player, currently the associate vice president for student affairs at Michigan State, and also is a member of is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators. Once it was know what Universities those two were coming from, they were crossed off the list immediately.
The search committee to find a new director was formed after findings were made by a separate committee, the Athletics Working Group, formed by the President after Goodlight resigned to help identify deficiencies in the department. Gold chaired that group, as well as the search committee, and currently oversees the athletic department. He says he has particularly enjoyed the AD’s lavish office, parking spot, and en-suite amenities.
“I appreciate the leadership of the President, and my thanks to the UM-Alpena alum for this opportunity,” said Vasquez Heilig. “I’m extremely energized, optimistic, and looking forward to moving UM-Alpena athletics forward. I will utilize all the principles of teamwork learned in my intramural sports career here at UM-Alpena. I would rather be in Ann Arbor, but Alpena will do for now. Wait, what’s the name of the mascot?”
It’s been a good run. Thank you UT-Austin.
p.s. I have recently acquired a bridge in New York City that is also for sale today only… April 1, 2014
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