UConn’s Michael Oblinger introduced as new UNCW Athletics Director
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Michael Oblinger of the University of Connecticut has been named athletics director at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
Oblinger is a deputy athletic director at UConn and has worked in the college athletics world for nearly 15 years. He says when it comes to the future of the athletic department at UNCW, sports and education go hand in hand.
I think our student-athletes have a wonderful reputation and wonderful brand and, so, I think that this is the right place,” said Oblinger. “If you want to monetize yourself, you can certainly do it here. But we have to hold up our end of the deal as well, as an institution, athletic department, we educate our kids the right way provide resources for them.”
UNCW Chancellor Aswani Volety says Oblinger got the job after a national search that included 68 candidates both from within the university and across the country. Volety says when it comes to increasing revenue at the school, he believes Oblinger is the right person for the job.
“He had concrete ideas as to how to build on the excellence of athletics that we currently have a how can we increase revenue in terms of concrete examples as to what we did,” Volety said. “For example, He came to [a] basketball game, and [was] giving ideas about what we are doing well, and what could we do better, and how that will translate to bring more people on the campus.”
“At UNCW, Oblinger will lead an NCAA Division I program with a rich history of athletics competition, 19 intercollegiate teams and more than 350 student-athletes, who posted a collective, cumulative 3.388 GPA for the fall 2022 semester. The Seahawks compete in the CAA, and during the 2021-22 season, the women’s softball, men’s tennis, and men’s swimming and diving teams won CAA championships,” said UNCW in a release.
Oblinger set a three-year fundraising record at UConn, raising more than $70 million from 2020-2022. Despite the move to a smaller program, he believes he can help to give UNCW the upper hand.
“So many natural resources, natural advantages compared to some of our peer institutions, and we need to leverage that. “There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be, you know, top third in everything that we do here within the CAA,” he said. “I certainly value that but, you know, we should compete at the highest level.”
Oblinger will be taking the role following Jimmy Bass’ retirement on April 1. Bass has served as the athletics director since the fall of 2010 and currently makes a salary of $258,970.
According to an official source at UNCW, Oblinger’s salary will start at $255,000 per year.
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