Eating lunch with my co-workers the day before the college football season starts, this was the last thing I expected. But then my phone buzzed- a text from thefinch, informing me of Danny Morrison's departure from TCU. It seemed pretty unbelievable, but when I got back to the office I saw that it was true. The timing sure seems strange, but when a job running the NFL franchise closest to someone's home comes open abruptly, as happened yesterday with the Panthers, you can't blame them when they take it. Morrison is a good guy and did a great job at TCU, I feel no ill will towards him and wish him the best of luck in Charlotte.
Morrison spoke with the media at the Justin Center earlier this afternoon:
"Peggy and I have been blessed to be a part of both the TCU and Fort Worth community for the last four years. The energy and momentum from the people here have made this a very special place. Chancellor Boschini, the student-athletes, coaches, trustees, administration, faculty, staff and students have all made TCU a fun and inviting place to work. We will miss it."
This ends his four years at the helm of TCU Athletics, which were a continuation of the great work that Eric Hyman did before him. Obviously the football team's success takes center stage when talking about his accomplishments in Fort Worth, but almost every other program at TCU improved under his watch, as did the athletic facilities and especially the fund-raising efforts of the department.
Obviously, though, the work here is not yet done. The men's basketball program is still struggling. The massive facilites upgrade that the school has undergone in the last decade, while extensive, is not complete (read: Amon G. Carter Stadium). TCU still struggles to enhance the public image of the athletic department, and need to make it a priority to make Joe Q. Public aware that TCU is the relavent, legitimate athletic power that they already are and will continue to be.
What does TCU do now? Well, as shortnkerley's pointed out, if we were delusional aggy fans, we'd probably come up with a ridiculous list of candidates to replace him that would clearly illustrate how inflated our view of our place in the world is. That list might include Nolan Ryan, Jerry Buss, Paul Tagliabue, Tex Schramm back from the dead or Don King, although I'm pretty sure that King is serving in some kind of Cabinet Post under President Obama.
In reality, there's a good chance the next AD at TCU will be someone you've never heard of, just as was the case when Morrison was hired. Chancellor Boschini inherited Chancellor Ferrari's emphasis on building a great athletic department and Morrison inherited Hyman's vision for accomplishing that, so rest assured that the next AD will be someone who understands what is being built at TCU and who will recognize the importance of continuity in building on the momentum the department has right now. While we'll miss Morrison for sure, I have no doubt that his replacement won't miss a beat in building on his work. This is pure speculation, but I would guess that either Davis Babb or Jack Hesselbrock, both longtime Associate ADs at TCU, will be named the Interim AD while a national search is conducted to find a permanent replacement.