UNC AD Baddour will step down
Posted July 28, 2011
Updated July 29, 2011
Chapel Hill, N.C. — Dick Baddour, who has served as the athletic director for the University of North Carolina for the past 14 years, announced Thursday that he has asked that a search for his replacement begin.
“I’ve given my heart and soul for 45 years to the University of North Carolina,” Baddour said. “It is my responsibility to do what is in the best interest of the program and this is my decision.”
Baddour began his UNC career in 1967 as assistant dean of men and became assistant dean of undergraduate admissions in 1971. He has also served as assistant dean at the UNC School of Law, as the school's director of admissions and scholarship programs, head of personnel and supervisor of career planning and placement.
Baddour was named director of athletics on June 25, 1997, replacing John Swofford. Eight years ago, Baddour was instrumental in bringing in men's basketball coach Roy Williams.
"Dick Baddour is one of the finest gentlemen I have ever known. I can’t think of anyone that loves the University of North Carolina more than Dick," Williams said. "Dick was extremely important in my return to UNC eight years ago. I probably would not have come back at that time had he not handled the hiring process the way he did. I will miss working with him a great deal."
Chancellor Holden Thorp said Baddour will serve out the remainder of his contract, through June 2012, and will also attend the NCAA hearing in October with the Committee on Infractions regarding violations within the football program.
“We need Dick with us when we go to Indianapolis,” Thorp said. “There is nobody in the world that I would rather have next to me when we go before the NCAA committee in October than Dick Baddour.”
Baddour’s announcement was one of a handful of decisions that will affect the future of UNC athletics.
On Wednesday, Thorp announced that head football coach Butch Davis had been dismissed just eight days prior to the start of the season.
“This was a very difficult decision compounded by cost and timing,” Thorp said. “Integrity of our football program and reputation of this university have a value beyond any dollar figure.”
Davis’ contract calls for a substantial buyout based on his base salary, years remaining on his current contract as well as retention and supplemental bonuses if he is “terminated without cause.” Thorp said Thursday that Davis will be given a buyout worth as much as $2.7 million.
A replacement for Davis was not immediately announced. Baddour and Thorp will interview three candidates - associate head coach Sam Pittman, defensive coordinator Everett Withers and offensive coordinator John Shoop – Thursday afternoon and make an announcement “in a couple of days.”
“The best way for our football program to move forward is to make a change,” Thorp said. “I considered making changes in the fall and throughout the whole process. I finally got to a point to make them now.”