Former Ohio State athletic director Andy Geiger is coming out of retirement.
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee announced Thursday it has hired the former Buckeyes’ athletic director, who retired from his post at OSU in 2005.
“The opportunity to be part of the leadership team at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is ideal for me,” Geiger said in a press release. “I am ready to apply the experience of 35 years as a Division I athletic director to the student-athletes, coaches and staff at UWM. I look forward eagerly to being part of the UWM community.”
Geiger’s hiring comes just 17 days after previous UWM athletic director Rick Costello’s resignation, and he is the school’s third athletic director in the last two years.
“We believe Andy Geiger possesses the leadership qualities to bring stability and continuity to UWM Athletics during this transitional phase,” UWM Chancellor Michael Lovell said in the press release. “During his extremely distinguished career, Andy has gained an unparalleled breadth of experiences that will allow him to fully support our coaches and to significantly enhance the collegiate experiences of our athletic department’s greatest asset: UWM’s student-athletes.”
“His administrative and facilities-development expertise will also be immensely helpful as UWM embarks on a campus-wide strategic planning process.”
During his 11-year tenure at OSU, Geiger oversaw numerous construction projects within the university’s athletic program. In his time as OSU’s athletic director (1994-2005), many university athletic facilities including the Jerome Schottenstein Center, Bill Davis Stadium, Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium and the Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatics Pavilion were built.
Geiger was also responsible for the 1999-2001 renovations on Ohio Stadium that expanded its seating capacity to 101,568.
Lovell said in Geiger’s introductory press conference that UWM wants to expand and improve it’s athletic facilities and it was a “very easy decision” to hire Geiger.
“I wanted somebody to come on board within the athletic department that had clear experience in doing strategic planning for athletics,” Lovell said. “Coming in and helping us make the decisions we need to make to make our (athletic) programs as great as they can be given the resources that we have on our campus.”
Geiger retired in 2005 when the OSU athletic department came under scrutiny because of various NCAA violations committed by its athletic programs, most notably the allegations surrounding former Buckeyes running back Maurice Clarett and the violations committed by former OSU basketball coach Jim O’Brien, who was fired in 2004.
At the time of his retirement in 2005, Geiger said the problems surrounding OSU’s athletic program weighed on him and were factors in his decision to retire.
“The body blows that come with OSU athletics have been tiring,” Geiger was quoted as saying in a January 2005 USA Today article. “I wish there weren’t clouds swirling around over our different programs, but I made this decision (to retire) because of an accumulation of things.”
In addition to the 11 years he spent as OSU athletic director, Geiger served as athletic director at Brown University (1971-1975), the University of Pennsylvania (1975-1979), Stanford University (1979-1990) and the University of Maryland (1990-1994).
Geiger, 73, graduated from Syracuse University in 1961 and said in the press conference that he’s glad to be back home, involved with college athletics again.
“From 1957 until 2006 I spent all but 11 months of my life connected with a college campus in one way or another,” Geiger said. “I cannot tell you how good it feels and how excited I am to be back on a college campus, working on behalf of student-athletes maximizing their opportunities and trying to make sure they have as good an experience and as quality start in life as I did as a student-athlete at Syracuse University.”
Geiger remained at OSU as a consultant through June 2006 to fulfill the length of his contract in its entirety.