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If UCI doesn't capitalize on the Big Names at the LA Galaxy and the newcomers LAFC, then they would easily fall behind, more players are also going toward the pro-league route instead of school.Going into the academy and bypassing high school and the NCAA could change the landscape of collegiate soccer.BeefEater2 wrote: I guess I will throw in a few comments here. The first thing is that I wish I understood better the politics and motivations related to this move. I could think of about ten different reasons for this but it would all be pure speculation on my part.
Secondly, I thought Izzi's overall results were pretty good. The standard for critiquing an a.d. is based on winning, hiring, firing, fundraising, and building. You guys covered these points pretty thoroughly and I agree with the consensus. The worst decision Izzi made was to over-extend Gillespie and it took him a long time to find a competent leader for WBB. But, other than that, I think Izzi passed the test. There have been reasonably good results in fundraising and capital improvements, so that's why I give him an overall positive appraisal.
Now, going forward, I think there are two critical qualities needed for this particular job. One is that the a.d. has to be able to understand the academic culture of UCI and work successfully with the administration. If the chancellor isn't particularly interested in athletics, that means that a.d. has to be able persuade him. At the same time, the a.d. can have some influence over which student athletes can be admitted, so he has to work with the coaches on that as well. The other important quality is that there needs to be a continued emphasis on pushing the flagship sports (basketball, in particular) not just because of popularity, but also because the visibility of the flagship sports promotes more fundraising which can benefit the entire department.
As far as my personal desires, I would like to see a couple things happen in the near future. I totally agree with E21 that UCI needs to get with times and provide live streaming for baseball and soccer. Most of all, I want to see us get a spiffy new soccer stadium (which maybe can also serve T&F). A new stadium could be a great boost for both soccer programs. We've already had great success with the limited facilities at UCI, so I believe an upgrade could push soccer to an even higher level. Plus, it seems like soccer is steadily gaining popularity among Californians as a spectator sport. So, it makes some sense to work with the trends.