Jump to content

Woolard not going to UNLV? Too bad.


Recommended Posts

I was dissapointed to see that Woolard is not interested in the UNLV job. I was also shocked to see that UNLV would have any interest him.

Steve does more by maintaining billikens.com than Woolard has ever done for Saint Louis University.

Personally, I couldn't be more dissapointed in our athletic program. The basketball program is hovering on the edge of respectability (I can't decide which side it is on) and seems to have peeked with the Claggett/Highmark/Waldman years. Soccer stays strong but I certainly don't give Woolard any credit for that. Baseball? A joke. Tennis? Do we even have a team anymore?

Am I totally off base here or is our AD a stiff?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You have to judge Woolard by where the program is versus where it was when he took over. Just a few thoughts....

Men's hoops - About the same level, however we are building a new arena which was a pipe dream 10 years ago

Men's soccer - Got the best college soccer stadium in the country completed. Highly competitive every year

Womens hoops - At its highest level ever. Competitive in the conference and earned first post-season birth last year.

Volleyball - Finished in the top half of decent conference the past few seasons. Probably at its highest level ever.

Baseball - Was horrible when he took over and is horrible now. However finally play in a pretty decent on-campus facility. The NCAA scholarship limit and SLU's heavy price tag along with weather issues makes it awfully tough to be competitive. The southern teams own our conference.

Women's soccer - Very competitive in the conference. Probably a little disappointing finishes the past few years.

Softball - Improving every year. As with baseball and soccer, now have a very nice on-campus facilty.

I don't know much about tennis, golf, or field hockey but I don't believe we have seen a whole lot of movement either way.

I think Woolard's MAJOR failure is in marketing. The department seems to have little ability to sell its product. The fact that you have to go searching for Billiken gear is appalling. There doesnt seem to be any real effort to change this.

Also, any failure to be proactive in the conference shake-up will be his downfall here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That its been terrble since woolard has been here.

Another knock on him is the youthfulness of his current administrative staff. The turnover in athletics is almost constant and current people in key positions have little to no experience (ie compliance). Lots of turnover. From my point of view, SLU should be seen as more of a school where people with experiecne want to come...right now, its where a lot of people start out (field hockey coach who graduated less than 2 years ago, a new compliance director with no experience in the field, a very young asst ad in charg of external affairs such as marketing).

Just my thoughts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are not totally off-base.

Woolard has not been real effective in building on the men's basketball momentum that was developed in the early 90's. The TV contract is worse now than it was then, the conference situation is worse now that it was then (Doug apparently supported the NASCAR expansion), and his hiring of Romar turned out to be a disaster. Hindsight tells us that Woolard should not have brought in a west coast guy with few local ties and a marginal record at a mid-level D1 program. The hiring of Brad looks better, but only time will tell. Obviously, if a new arena is built under Woolard's guidance, it will improve his record at SLU; however, people in the know may tell you that Shanahan, Tucci, and Biondi--not Woolard--are the real driving force behind the arena.

The soccer program was good before Woolard and is still good. Many have given Woolard credit for the renovation of the soccer field, but most of that stadium was constructed in the leate eighties. The renovation was relatively minor compared to the original construction. In addition, Woolard has failed to obtain the fundraising that was necessary to upgrade the soccer facility into a larger complex that could house an MLS team (this was part of the original plan for upgrading the facility).

Women's basketball and several other minor sports have improved a little under Woolard, but those sports have almost no impact on the national and regional reputation of the university.

Finally, Doug receives an F for marketing the Billiken name and athletic program during his tenure. SLU has an attractive, unique, and catchy mascot that should be marketed in every corner of the city and region. The Billiken name and reputation was at an all-time when Doug took over. Unfortunately, SLU stuff is about as hard to find as Fontbonne and Webster University sutff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Volleyball - last year's women actually earned a 4th seed in the 14 team C-USA conference post-season tournament. Ladies also had a team gpa of 3.30 earning a national volleyball academic award for the second straight year.

Baseball - this team struggles every year. C-USA is a strong baseball conference. Four warm weather C-USA baseball teams made the NCAA post-season tournament this year. Cold/wet Spring weather a major problem to go along with SLU's high cost tuition for those (most)receiving partial scholarships. SLU's baseball team won the C-USA academic award this year, so I assume most players are smart enough to get some sort of academic aid. DePaul and Marquette don't even bother with baseball.

Tennis/Golf - a new on-campus tennis facility has recently been constructed. A new women's golf team will play in two years. The golf coach has already been hired.

I have never seen a lack of Billiken gear to meet my needs. Everything I needed was located at the campus bookstore or at the Savvis.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since I have Charter Cable I don't have a problem with our TV contract (last year had 14 games on Charter including 9 road games). Plus Charter covers a couple of soccer, volleyball and Jilliken games as well.

C-USA, with all its flaws, is still the most competitive all-round conference that SLU has played in during my days as a SLU fan.

Romar's record is still 51-44 with one NCAA appearance in three years. It would have been interesting to see Hollins playing in a SLU uniform, how Romar would have replaced Edwin and Pulley, and how well Romar would have recruited this year's local high school talent. But, we will never know!

Re the SLU mascot, I'll give you it is unique. Not sure what SLU "stuff" you are looking for that isn't carried on campus or at the Savvis.

A point no one has mentioned in this thread is the fact that SLU's athletes have won the C-USA annual academic award eight consecutive years. I can only assume that Woolard ocassionally emphasizes academics to his coaches.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hehe, I think Roy is on vacation. I am sure he would give us his opinion on this especially the billiken gear.

I think the problem is selection. How someone can't go into a store like champs or Famous and be able to find a Billiken hat and shirt.

But there have been some problems with the selection. Not enough blue stuff and too much grey or something like that. And the web site not being in stock for extended periods of time.

I don't care too much about the selection (I am fine with what I got). Also, I honestly can't blame the local stores too much. Interest in Billiken basketball declined after Spoon left. My biggest concern is attendance. I would like to get us back to being about 10,000 EVERY GAME. Not just when a big name comes to town.

I am satisfied with Woolard. There are things that have been done that I disagree with. I think our games should be on Fox Midwest and not charter as long as there are as many on. Also the whole KMOX deal should be a little better. But currently I can listen or see almost every billiken game I want if I live in St. Louis. But non charter members are somewhat left out in the cold for many road games.

Things could be better, but they could also be A LOT WORSE.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

>Since I have Charter Cable I don't have a problem with our

>TV contract (last year had 14 games on Charter including 9

>road games). Plus Charter covers a couple of soccer,

>volleyball and Jilliken games as well.

Our TV contract covers less than half the homes in the area, and you can rarely catch a Billiken game at a sports bar because most of them carry dishes, not charter. The production quality it terrible. I work with a number of companies that go to great lengths to ensure that every promotional/sponsorship contract they enter into requires their image to be presented in a first class manner. Woolard doesn't appear to require this in his contracts, and it hurts the program's reputation locally. On a Saturday afternoon in February it is embarassing to flip from an Illinois or Mizzou broadcast to a SLU broadcast; it is like flipping from a Stephen Spielberg movie to a movie produced by college students. Telecasts of the non-basketball SLU sports don't excite me very much.

>C-USA, with all its flaws, is still the most competitive

>all-round conference that SLU has played in during my days

>as a SLU fan.

The Great Midwest was a much better conference. It was focused on basketball, and a much greater percentage of the schools shared a common philosophical and geographical interest with SLU. What benefit have schools like Southern Miss, TCU, and South Florida brought us?

>Re the SLU mascot, I'll give you it is unique. Not sure what

>SLU "stuff" you are looking for that isn't carried on campus

>or at the Savvis.

I walk into Champs or any similar store at the local malls, and I can buy a plethora of items touting Mizzou, Notre Dame, and even Duke and North Carolina. I am lucky if I ever find a Billiken item. Two weeks ago I was in Cincinatti--every tourist store in the city had a large selection of Muskaterr and Bearcat items.

>A point no one has mentioned in this thread is the fact that

>SLU's athletes have won the C-USA annual academic award

>eight consecutive years. I can only assume that Woolard

>ocassionally emphasizes academics to his coaches.

The academic honors are nice, but success on the basketball court (that doesn't require cheating) will benefit the university a lot more than a bunch of honor student swimmers and golfers. Also, Woolard let several men's basketball players flunk out of the university under his watch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Men's basketball is easily the most high profile and important sport in the department. The men's basketball coach, the academic advisor, the tutor, and the scholarshipped athletes all ultimately report to the AD. If over 15% of the scholarship players in the highest profile sport are flunking out, the AD is partially to blame.

The bottom line is that Debbie Yow positioned Woolard to do something special with this program during the last eight years and, for a number of reasons, Woolard has been very average. The arena project has legs with or without Doug. I'm not convinced that this program wouldn't benefit from change at the top.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're exactly right about our telecasts, they're not great. And the fact that we're on Charter doesn't help matters any. Last year, I went to Humphrey's to watch the DePaul game and have some lunch only to be told that they were unable to show the game since they only have a satellite. Humphrey's, of all places, can't show Billiken games on TV!! How wrong is that?

By the way, it would be cool to get a huge group together to watch road games if there are any sports bars that carry them. If there are, I'm sure they would be happy to have dozens of SLU fans eating and drinking at their establishment.

With regards to our merchandise and marketing, we could assign an MBA class to come up with a marketing plan that would trump any efforts that we currently have. Hell, give me a weekend and I'll write a plan up myself. While it may be possible to purchase merchandise at the bookstore or at the Savvis, most of it is not fashionable. I would guess that a lot of the merchandise at the bookstore can be found at Barnes and Noble bookstores on other college campuses, but with other college names on them; the merchandise selection does not appear to be personalized for us. How else would you explain the presence of red and orange Billiken gear? The merchandise available on slubillikens.com does appear to be pretty decent, so maybe things are changing. We definitely could use some more outlets though. Near my office in Creve Coeur, Mizzou has its own merchandise outlet in a strip mall which is a fantastic idea. It probably wouldn't work for us, but the marketing minds at Mizzou appear to be a hell of a lot more creative than ours (if we actually have any).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i'm not going to respond to each post on each issue. just back from driving all night and i am still a little wired up and using reading the board as a wind down before heading off to zzzzzz land for a few.

i think you have to look at the whole athletic department to judge doug's effectiveness. maybe the basketball team has nudged backwards production wise since claggett/h days, but they are still extremely competitive (consecutive 4th and 5th place finishes) in one of the still up and coming conferences in the country. as was pointed out above, a number of the other sports have gotten better and the overall facilities continue to go from night to day change wise.

i have long been a critic of the marketing as well. way too many missed opportunitites imo. especially the billiken wear. i continue to say that there should ONLY be one choice for slu wear at any bookstore or outlet. billiken blue. go to cincy's bookstore you wont find orange or lime green shirts and jackets. but as recently as a month ago, our bookstore had zero billiken blue wear and i couldnt even find a freakin window decal. luckly billiken rich had two buried in his vault he shared with slu72 and me.

now i would like to point out that when i visited west pine last month to personally pay for my season tix and renew my billiken club membership, i was introduced to kosha irby, the newly hired director of sales and marketing. ok. i say give kosha a chance. at least the department is expanding.

i dont know where to find it, but i think it would be interesting to know what he "athletic" staff was in size when doug took over. we constantly hear he is a micro manager and wont let anyone do their jobs. yet i just counted positions at the slubillikens.com web site and it appears there are currently 57 athletic department spots right now. i know that there were not any mike linn's or terry elmore's or kosha irby's or multiple assistant ad's when doug first moved in. my point is, the staff continues to grow, so i dont think doug is skimping on staff. and why hire all of these people if doug is doing all the work as is constantly insinuated?

imo, this subject is another fine example of the typical impatience us billiken fans have. and i am included in that group as much as anyone else.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...