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Archive for Sunday, April 29, 2001

Frederick touched by response

Outgoing Kansas AD ‘relieved, relaxed’

April 29, 2001

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Bob Frederick says he's been "humbled" by an outpouring of well-wishes following Thursday's announcement that he's decided to take a teaching job in KU's School of Education.

"I feel very relieved and relaxed. I've been moved by all the support," Frederick, Kansas University's 14th-year athletics director, said Saturday night after attending a pair of weddings in Lawrence.

Calls and e-mails have come from NCAA officials, basketball committee members, school administrators and even some coaches.

Former KU basketball coach Larry Brown of the Philadelphia 76ers phoned Thursday afternoon, just hours after Frederick's "I'm Leaving" press conference at Hadl Auditorium on the KU campus.

"Oh, he just said he wanted to thank me for some things I'd done for him. I don't know I'm kind of embarrassed talking about a personal conversation," Frederick said.

Frederick also is uncomfortable talking about something else the fact he had many opportunities to leave KU during his 14-year tenure.

Frederick, 61, not only was offered the athletics director job at Wisconsin a decade ago, but dropped out of the running for the University of Michigan AD job in the mid 1990s.

"No, I would never do that," Frederick said, asked if he'd list all the job inquiries he's received to combat some of the venomous things his detractors have said about him.

"I withdrew from North Carolina (AD search) before it got to the (serious) discussion stages. I was never offered the job there. I was not offered the Michigan job. When I decided to withdraw they (Wolverine officials) said, 'Please do not do that. You just need to wait another week.'

"There were a lot of jobs that contacted me, but I immediately expressed no interest. I have been very happy at the University of Kansas."

Frederick officially will remain on the job until June 30, but likely won't be in the office all that time.

"I probably am going to take some time off. I have so much vacation accrued because I haven't taken much time off, to Margey's chagrin," he said of his wife, Margey Frederick.

Frederick said he will not be hiring or firing any coaches during the remainder of his tenure.

"At this point I think we will leave it for the next person," Frederick said. "I don't think making any changes would be fair to the new person."

As far as the new person, don't expect Frederick to recommend anybody to succeed him.

In-house candidates likely will include associate ADs John Hadl and Richard Konzem.

Other names that could wind up on chancellor Robert Hemenway's wish list: Bill Hancock, director of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship; Mike Bohn, former KU quarterback who is now AD at Idaho; Jim Schaus, athletics director at Wichita State; Gary Hunter, former Idaho and Wichita State AD and now a consultant in Idaho; Mitch Barnhard, Oregon State AD; and Tom Jurich, Louisville AD.

"It's what I said at the press conference. I don't want to talk about who they are going to hire. I just hope they hire the best person possible and person who has a great relationship with student athletes and coaches," Frederick said.

KU's next AD will face stiff financial challenges, Frederick indicated.

"We've got it (balanced budget) figured out hopefully for the next five years. After that it sure would make it easier to revenue share (in the conference)," he said.

Frederick and his wife will let somebody else worry about KU's future. For now, they are preparing for the next stage in their lives while enjoying the recent outpouring of support.

"It's incredible the amount of people across the country who have called the floral deliveries we've received. Bob is so well-liked," Margey Frederick said. "At the weddings we've attended, at Showtime (Lawrence High's musical production) people have come up to us even people who do not know Bob.

"This is one of the reasons we chose to spend the rest of our lives in Lawrence," Margey added. "It's such a supportive caring community, where our friends are."

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