VP/athletic director named to NCAA Division I Basketball Committee

August 24, 2018 | Athletics, News, Alumni
By Paul Helgren

University of Toledo Vice President and Director of Athletics Mike O’Brien has been appointed to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced on Friday.

O’Brien replaces Ohio University Athletic Director Jim Schaus, who just finished his third year on the committee and is resigning to spend more time on campus. O’Brien will serve the remaining two years on Schaus’ original five-year appointment, which began in 2015.


The 10-member NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Committee is responsible for selecting, seeding and bracketing the field for the NCAA Tournament. School and conference administrators are nominated by their conference, serve five-year terms, and represent a cross-section of the Division I membership.

“I am deeply honored to be appointed to represent The University of Toledo and the Mid-American Conference as a member of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee,” O’Brien said. “I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to join the tremendous group of people who serve on this very important committee. I especially want to thank the NCAA’s senior vice president for basketball, Dan Gavitt, for this opportunity. I began my career in athletics as a basketball coach, so it is very exciting and gratifying for me to be a part of the committee that selects the field for one of the greatest sporting events in the world, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.”

“We’re pleased to welcome Mike O’Brien to the men’s basketball committee,” Gavitt said. “Mike is highly respected by his peers as an athletic director with a long tenure at Toledo and a deep history of NCAA committee service. Having started his career as a college assistant basketball coach, Mike has great passion and feel for the game.”

O’Brien is in his 17th year as the athletic director at the University. During his tenure, he has helped shape the UT Athletics program into one of the very best in the Mid-American Conference. His tenure has seen unprecedented athletic and academic achievements of UT’s student-athletes, as well as numerous ambitious capital projects that have elevated the University’s status as one of the top mid-major athletic programs in the country.

Under O’Brien’s watch, the Rockets have won or shared 33 league titles in nine different sports, including championships in football and women’s soccer last season. The Rockets have won the Jacoby Trophy as the MAC’s top women’s athletic program twice in O’Brien’s reign, in 2011-12 and 2017-18.

In the classroom, UT has produced overall department grade point averages above a 3.2 in each of the past seven semesters, and above a 3.1 in the past 19 consecutive semesters. Rocket student-athletes had a combined GPA of 3.266 in 2017-18, including a school record 3.290 in the 2017 fall semester. UT women’s athletes won the MAC’s Faculty Athletic Representatives Award for the highest combined GPA in 2017-18. UT has won the Mid-American Conference Institutional Academic Achievement Award, presented annually to the school with the highest grade point average, in four of the last six years. In 2011-12, UT won the Cartwright Award, given annually to the MAC athletic program with the highest degree of excellence in academics, athletics and citizenship.

Capital projects secured during O’Brien’s tenure include the Charles A. Sullivan Athletic Complex construction and Savage Arena renovation project (2008); Fetterman Training Center construction (2010); Glass Bowl and Larimer Athletic Complex renovations (2016); as well as updates to soccer (2004), tennis (2006), and track and field (2010).

O’Brien received national recognition for his accomplishments from the National Association of College Directors of Athletics at its convention in June 2012 when he was named the Football Bowl Subdivision Northeast Region Athletic Director of the Year. O’Brien, who has the second-longest tenure among MAC athletic directors, previously served on the NCAA Division I Council from 2015 to 2018, where he worked on the Competition Oversight Committee. He also chairs the MAC Football Coaches Committee and was the conference’s athletic director representative to the College Football Playoff Committee (formerly the Bowl Championship Series). He also has served as the chair of the Mid-American Conference Athletic Director’s Committee and was a member of the NCAA Division I Football Issues Committee.

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