By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
UCLA has had a legacy of having pioneers like Jackie Robinson, Arthur Ash, and Kenny Washington.
This week they have added another as Martin Jarmond was named the new Athletic Director. He’s the first African American in the schools 101 years of athletics.
Jarmond previously was the youngest AD in the Power Six Conferences while holding the same position at Boston College of the ACC at the age of 37. He was also the first African American to hold the same post there.
Jarmond worked as an administrator in the Big Ten Conference at Michigan State and Ohio State. His interviews for the UCLA job were limited to on-line video chats. He must have made a great impression not being able to appear in person.
He played basketball at UNC Wilmington where he was a two-time captain and led the Seahawks to NCAA and NIT tournaments. He later earned his business and masters degrees in sports administration at Ohio State.
He became assistant AD for development at Michigan State for six years before heading to Ohio State in 2009. He became head administrator for football and Men’s basketball for the Buckeyes and did their scheduling. He served on the Rose Bowl advisory committee and the College Football National Championship advisory group.
When he first arrived at Boston College he put together a plan with goals like the football become a top 25 team, develop a fan council and the big one raise 150 million dollars athletics only funds. When you implement ideas like these you’re sure to raise eye-brows.
”You have to learn to communicate with a large variety of people,” Jarmond told Sports Business Journal. “and many of those conversations are going to be very different. In one setting you might be selling a vision to a donor and another you might be talking to someone who is critical on twitter.”
Jarmond was on his way to getting it done when the Bruins came calling. He got the council. He hired former Ohio State defensive coordinator and former NFL coach Jeff Hafley that set a buzz around Eagle fans. Also they reached 108 million mark on the fundraising front.
He’s replacing Dan Guerrero who’s retiring in June after 18 years. Under his watch the Bruins had 32 titles but none in the top money making sports of football and basketball. The Bruins are 7-17 under Chip Kelly and Basketball was 19-12 under first year coach Nick Cronin.
The Bruins may have the right man for the program. I am sure he will put together a plan to get the job done.