UW President Mark Emmert is leaving the University of Washington to become the new President of the NCAA. Emmert succeeds the late Myles Brand. Emmert who was born in the Puget Sound area raised as much as $2.68 billion dollars for the University during a single fund raising campaign which ended on 2008.
Emmert leaves a rich legacy even though he was only at the helm for six years. He was a great friend to the athletic department during his tenure. Washington won national championships in softball, volleyball, and crew during his tenure. He was also responsible for rebuilding a football program that was plauged by scandal before he arrived.
Some will fault him for the hiring of Todd Turner which was basically decided before he took over and Turner's subsequent hire of Tyrone Willingham. Those were four very dark years followed by the hiring of Steve Sarkisian who has the football program headed in the right direction after barely a year and one half on the job.
The big question most of us will ask over the next few weeks is if AD Scott Woodward will stay on the job at Montlake. Emmert and Woodward have been joined at the hip for quite a few years and if Scott wants to make a move there will be a place for him with Emmert at the NCAA.
Emmert made a reported $950,000 per year as President of the UW. He will make close to $2 million per year as President of the NCAA. The move makes a sense because of the money involved. Most of us would take a prestigous job that doubles our salary. Another component to consider is the fractured status of local goverment in the State of Washington. The difficulties in dealing with the legislature had to have factored in his decision to head to greener pastures.
We wish Mark Emmert well in the future. He left a positive mark on the University of Washington while he was here and he will be missed.