This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

Manuel named AD at UB

Associate AD at Michigan to lead athletics program

Published: July 28, 2005

Assistant Vice President

Looking to the University of Michigan and the Big Ten for new leadership for its intercollegiate athletics program, UB has named Warde J. Manuel, an associate athletic director who oversees the football and men's basketball programs at Michigan, as the new director of its Division of Athletics.



Manuel, who will report to President John B. Simpson and be part of his senior leadership team, will join UB on Aug. 29.

A Michigan alumnus whose degrees include an MBA from its Ross School of Business awarded this April, Manuel earned letters as a defensive tackle playing football under legendary coach Bo Schembechler, the winningest football coach in Michigan history.

His appointment, announced Friday by Simpson, comes just eight weeks after former NCAA President Gene Corrigan issued a report commissioned by Simpson that identified the hiring of an athletics director as a key factor to UB's athletic teams being successful in the Mid-American Conference (MAC).

"We have selected a director of athletics who is thoroughly steeped in the world of intercollegiate sports at the highest level, and one who knows the critical importance of balancing athletic and academic excellence," Simpson said at a press conference announcing Manuel's appointment.

"In searching for the ideal candidate for this role, we sought to identify a leader who is fully committed to fulfilling UB's institutional mission of excellence—and one who understands at a fundamental level exactly what it will take to achieve this mission," he added. "Clearly, UB has found just such a leader in Warde Manuel."

Manuel said Simpson's "commitment to the combination of academic and athletic excellence" was the major factor in his accepting the position at UB.

"I am looking forward to establishing Buffalo as a very competitive university within the MAC and nationally," he said. "It is a tremendous institution with the capability to reach great heights both within and outside of the Mid-American Conference. I look forward to working with President Simpson and the many talented people within the Division of Athletics, at the university and in the greater Buffalo community."

Corrigan was among those praising Manuel and his appointment. In his report to Simpson, issued on June 1, Corrigan noted the need for UB to hire a successor to Bob Arkeilpane, who resigned in 2003, as soon as possible.

"I can't imagine a better opportunity or a better fit for UB at this time," Corrigan said, predicting that Manuel "will bring a vision from the outside that will be very beneficial to UB in every way."

UB's national search was conducted by a committee led by Nils Olsen, dean of the UB Law School, who is chair of the university's Intercollegiate Athletics Board, and John N. Walsh III, vice chair of the board of trustees of the UB Foundation and a former member of the UB Council. Chairman and chief executive officer of the Walsh Insurance Group, Walsh previously served as chair of the Yale University Council Athletics Committee.

The committee worked with national athletics consultant Bill Carr of Carr Sports Associates Inc. Manuel was one of four finalists invited to campus for interviews the week of July 14, following preliminary interviews with 12 candidates from a field of more than 40 applicants.

Manuel has 14 years of collegiate administrative experience with progressively greater levels of responsibility and leadership. He is one of Michigan's seven associate athletic directors. The University of Michigan Athletic Department has more than 700 student-athletes, 25 sports and operates on a budget of $58 million. The sports that Manuel oversees have operating budgets of $15 million and generate $45 million in revenue.

Manuel is the athletic department's lead manager for fund raising. He led the fund-raising campaign for a $12 million Student-Athlete Academic Center that raised $14.5 million in gifts and pledges. He also has participated in fund-raising efforts that have led to more than $19 million in facility renovations during the past four years.

A native of New Orleans, Manuel earned a bachelor's degree from Michigan in 1990, a master's degree in social work in 1993 and an MBA this past April. He is working to complete doctoral work in social work and psychology. He has taught sports marketing and collegiate athletics as an adjunct faculty member with Wayne State University's College of Education.

Manuel was coordinator of the University of Michigan's Wade H. McCree Jr. Incentive Scholars Program from June 1990 to August 1993. The program is a partnership with the President's Council of State Universities and Detroit Public Schools that helps students prepare for higher education at public universities in Michigan.

He subsequently worked briefly as an academic advisor with the Georgia Institute of Technology Athletic Association before being named assistant athletic director of academic affairs.

Manuel returned to Michigan in June 1996 as an executive staff assistant in the Athletic Department. In February 1998, he was named an assistant athletic director with responsibilities for overseeing operational facets of the university's athletic program. He was named an associate athletic director in September 2000.