James Hackett in at U-M, Dave Brandon out as fireworks begin


James Hackett, the former CEO of Michigan-based Steelcase, Inc., was named interim athletic director today (Oct. 31) by University of Michigan president Mark Schlissel.

More from Michigan Wolverines

A 1977 graduate of the university, Hackett replaces the embattled Wolverine AD Dave Brandon, who resigned earlier today.

“Jim Hackett is a highly experienced and respected business leader, a man of integrity and a devoted member of our Michigan community,” Schlissel said in making the announcement. “I am confident Jim will immediately begin the process of moving the department forward, including working closely with me to develop a plan to identify and recruit Michigan’s next permanent athletic director.”

His appointment must receive approval from Michigan’s Board of Regents at November’s meeting. Hackett who plated center on the Michigan football team, said he won’t be seeking the permanent athletic director position.

Brandon, on the other hand, began to fall into disfavor with the university when he altered student ticket policy from reserved to unreserved, and raised ticket prices by nearly 50 percent.

Mishandled Morris situation

His latest gaffe put the Michigan program on the national news cycle. Brandon, head football coach Brady Hoke and the team’s medical staff were criticized for re-inserting quarterback Shane Morris into the Minnesota game after he appeared to be seriously injured.

Oct 11, 2014; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Michigan Stadium.  Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon has also been underfire from the collapse of the football program. He was responsible for hiring Hoke, who has also come under extreme ridicule this fall.

Michigan (3-5, 1-3 Big Ten) has been barely competitive, losing to in-state rival Michigan State for the fifth time in the last six years. Chief rival Ohio State has beaten Michigan nine of the last 10 times.

Brandon fought tradition

Michigan’s athletic director since 2010, Brandon has also taken heat for abandoning some of the Wolverines most cherished traditions. With the marching band apparently not enough, Brandon brought in electronically “piped-in” music in an effort to excite the crowd.

He’s also used “throwback” uniforms at night games. This past weekend against Penn State, Michigan wore blue pants for the first time in history, instead of the customary maize.

To voice your opinion, scroll down to the comment section.