Marquette Wire

PODCAST: Deputy athletic director Hardin talks about his move to Drake

Deputy+athletics+director+Brian+Hardin+%28right%29+poses+with+volleyball+coach+Ryan+Theis%2C+women%27s+soccer+coach+Markus+Roeders+and+women%27s+basketball+coach+Carolyn+Kieger.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Marquette+Athletics.%29
Deputy athletics director Brian Hardin (right) poses with volleyball coach Ryan Theis, women's soccer coach Markus Roeders and women's basketball coach Carolyn Kieger. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Deputy athletics director Brian Hardin (right) poses with volleyball coach Ryan Theis, women's soccer coach Markus Roeders and women's basketball coach Carolyn Kieger. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Photo by Maggie Bean

Photo by Maggie Bean

Deputy athletics director Brian Hardin (right) poses with volleyball coach Ryan Theis, women's soccer coach Markus Roeders and women's basketball coach Carolyn Kieger. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

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When deputy athletic director Brian Hardin arrived on campus in the summer of 2015, his house wasn’t quite ready to move into yet. He spent the summer in the Campus Town apartments, which are normally reserved for students.

“I was the only one without red solo cups in my window,” Hardin said.

Hardin probably won’t have to move into an on-campus apartment when he starts his next job as athletic director at Drake University next month. He spent his childhood in Des Moines, Iowa and much of his family still resides there.

As the final month of Hardin’s two­­–and–a–half year tenure at Marquette approaches, he spoke with the Wire’s Andrew Goldstein about how he got interested in athletics administration, his colorful career before Marquette, and the ways in which interaction with fans has changed over his time in the business.

Here are some topics that were discussed, some quotes from Hardin and the timestamp of that section:

Quotes have been lightly edited for sake of clarity.

 

WHY NOTRE DAME ALMOST FIRED HARDIN IN HIS FIRST MONTH THERE: (10:45)

“It (felt) like I’m drinking water out of a fire hose and I can’t get it all. It was drowning me … I was about this close to getting fired my first three months on the job. I just wasn’t getting it done. I was trying to do too much and spreading myself too thin.”

 

WORKING AT NOTRE DAME DURING THE MANT’I TEO INCIDENT: (15:43)

“I remember vividly getting the phone call. I was in Des Moines for Christmas and driving back to South Bend, (Indiana) because we have practices before we leave to go to Miami for the National Title game with Alabama. And (head coach) Brian Kelly calls me on my phone and he goes, ‘hey, are you sitting down?’

And I said, ‘I’m actually in my car right now and driving back to campus.’

He says, ‘well, I’m going to tell you something and promise you won’t drive off the road.’”

 

HOW INTERACTIONS WITH FANS HAVE CHANGED OVER THE YEARS: (20:13)

“When I got here, sales were done by marketing interns at the end of summer and start of fall. It was a transactional relationship between our department and our fans. That’s not how I believe it needs to be structured … They should not only be hearing from us when it’s time to pay a bill. That’s fine for the cable company or phone company, but that’s not the type of relationship that we should be having with our fans.”

 

THE TRANSFORMATION OF MARQUETTE BASKETBALL’S IN-GAME EXPERIENCE: (26:08)

“Let’s drive on the experience. What can we do to make our college basketball experience better than any other college basketball experience? What are we doing during timeouts? We’d gotten complaints that the timeouts had become stale and repetitive. Let’s scrap all that.”

 

SUCCESS IN NON-REVENUE SPORTS AND HOW HARDIN MARKETS THEM: (28:15)

“When it comes to students, it’s about getting the athletes out on to campus. Men’s lacrosse is amazing at it. They get out and people know them and the student support has been amazing.”

 

WHAT THE INTERVIEW PROCESS FOR THE DRAKE JOB WAS LIKE: (36:38)

“I was on vacation with my family in northern Michigan on a lake and someone reached out to me to ask if I’d have an interest in the position. I’d kind of done some research on it ahead of time knowing that at some point, there was going to be a change. Just being in my hometown, (Drake) was a spot that could make sense.”

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