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Buffalo AD Candidate Brackets, Harvest the Fruit Bracket

So the first bracket was local talent, people working in and around Western New York. They were all also tied in somehow with UB (two as Alums, one as a former AAD). This bracket is more UB blood, but it’s people who went away from Buffalo to gain their experience.

Gabe Cagwin, senior associate athletic director at Arizona State.

If the name is familiar than you’ve been a UB fan for a long time. He played hoops under Reggie Witherspoon at Buffalo. He graduated in 2002, Magna Cum Laude.

He then went on to get his masters (2004) and PHd (2006) from Buffalo before starting his journey into the administrative side of College Athletics.

He did some work at Tulsa and St. John Fisher before landing a gig at Penn State. He was the Associate Director of Development at Penn State University from 2006-2008. He managed the development and operation of fundraising programs

Then he went on to UCLA as an Assistant Athletic Director for Development. He had a nice list of accomplishments for the Bruins. Before he left to ASU he was recognized as one of the top development officers at UCLA.

Cagwin has been at ASU since 2012, he was initially hired as the Associate Athletic Director for Development. Helped set some fundraising records and got promoted.

The resume is fantastic. He has spent time at Penn State, UCLA, and Arizaona State. He was in UB’s athletic department before the Big Three (Manuel, Gill, Witherspoon) turned things around, and he has a ton of experience with FBS programs.

I’d imagine he HAS to be on the search committees radar.

Michael Cross, assistant AD for new business development at Penn State.

Cross is one of the more experienced people on the list. He has been working in college athletic departments since the early 90’s. It would be a big change from the last three AD’s who were all relatively young coming in.

He graduated from UB in 91, and then spent a couple of years working in the UB athletics department as the assistant to the Dean of Students from and as an assistant men’s basketball coach in 1991-92.

Then onto Michigan where he spent 5 years as the Assistant Director of Compliance, NCAA Certification Assistant.

After Michigan he worked at Princeton University for a decade and then onto Bradley. At Bradley Cross was the Executive Associate Director of Athletics, and for a five month stint he as the Acting Director of Athletics.

During his short stint running Bradley the had its best-ever finish in the Missouri Valley Conference all-sports standings in 2013-14. Meanwhile Cross implemented a series of marketing and branding initiatives and boosted the department’s revenue.

The only concern I have here is that at Penn State the list of accomplishments he has is relatively modest. He’s running hockey and club Rugby. He is also charged with reaching out to new businesses but I cannot find how well he has been doing in that capacity.

Doug Gnodtke, executive associate AD and chief of staff at Michigan.

While he was not ever a student at UB he did kick off his prefessional carrer with the Bulls.

Gnodtke received a BA in sports management and communication and his Master of Business Administration from Michigan’s Ross School of Business in 2006. He then joined Warde Manuel at Buffalo.

The two, together, took the Bulls through their transition from a poorly managed D1 transition school, to a department which became competitive in many sports.

Eventually at Buffalo he became the associate athletic director for internal operations and the administrator for the football program. He also oversaw the athletic training and sports performance departments.

He moved to UConn with Manuel where he was the associate athletic director/chief financial officer. He also oversaw the internal operations of UConn’s football and hockey teams.

When Manuel moved to Michigan, Gnodtke followed.

All three have a Buffalo tie-in, so they know the area, and all three have spent more of their careers in bigger conferences, so they may have relationships. Who’s your favorite.