Michigan Wolverines AD Warde Manuel Added to College Football Playoff Selection Committee

Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel has joined the College Football Playoff selection committee along with former coach Jim Grobe, Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk and former USA Today sportswriter Kelly Whiteside, it was announced Tuesday. .

NC State Athletic Director Boo Corrigan, who is entering his second season on the commission, will chair the 13-member group tasked with determining the top four teams in the country. He replaces Iowa athletic director Gary Barta, whose term has expired, along with committee members Paola Boivin, Charlie Cobb and Tyrone Willingham.

The CFP’s management committee, composed of the 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, has nominated Corrigan as committee chair. The four new members will start this spring with a term of three years.

“Chet, Jim, Warde and Kelly will be excellent additions to the committee as we enter our ninth season,” said CFP Director Bill Hancock. “Their expertise, knowledge and integrity, along with their love for college football, will enable them to be a perfect fit for the returning members.”

The selection committee currently consists of a mix of three former players, two former coaches, a former journalist and seven acting sports directors. Each Power 5 conference has an athletic director on the committee, and the American Athletic Conference and Mountain West Conference are both currently represented.

Three of the athletic directors also played college football, including Colorado’s Manuel, Gladchuk and Rick George, who was a four-year letter winner at cornerback for Illinois. Grobe and Hall of Fame coach Joe Taylor also have playing experience.

Manuel, who heads the Wolverines’ athletic division in his sixth year, joins the committee shortly after the program’s first appearance in the CFP. Manuel, who played for Michigan under Hall of Fame football coach Bo Schembechler, returned to Ann Arbor for his current role after nearly four years as athletic director at UConn. He also led the athletic department of the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo from 2005 to 2012.

Corrigan has been NC State’s athletic director since April 2019. He previously held the same position at West Point for eight years. Under his leadership, the military claimed 20 Patriot League regular season or tournament championships and sent 14 teams into the NCAA postseason. He was named 2017 Athletic Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.

“We are delighted that Boo will serve as chairman,” Hancock said in the press release. “He was a key member of the committee last year and in this new role he will serve as a great manager on the venue and a great spokesperson for the media and fans.”

Before joining the military, Corrigan spent three years in Duke’s athletic department. He also served five years at Notre Dame and three years at the US Naval Academy.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my first year on the committee,” Corrigan said in a statement. “It was a privilege to serve alongside the other members. I am honored to be asked to serve as committee chair and look forward to working with an outstanding group of individuals who are deeply committed to college football.”

The athletic directors of the Group of Five include Tom Burman of Wyoming and Gladchuk of the Navy, who has led the midshipmen for the past 20 years. Gladchuk joined the Naval Academy from Houston in 2001, where he held the same position for four years.

Before Houston, Gladchuk was the athletic director of his alma mater, Boston College for seven years. He also lettered in football at BC.

Grobe’s coaching career spanned 40 years, including 20 as a head coach at Ohio (1995-2000), Wake Forest (2001-2013), and Baylor (2016). In his 13 seasons with the Demon Deacons, he led the program to five of eight all-time bowling appearances. In 2006, Grobe was national coach of the year after Wake Forest won a school-record 11 games, beating Georgia Tech to capture the school’s second-ever ACC title.

Since its inception, the CFP has always had a former college football reporter at the table. Whiteside, who replaces Boivin in that role as well as the only woman in the group, spent 14 years with USA Today as the national college football writer.

Whiteside has also covered seven Olympics, nine World Cups (men and women), as well as the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and multiple college sports. She was also the first female president of the Football Writers Association of America. Before joining USA Today, she was a reporter at Newsday and a staff writer at Sports Illustrated. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times.


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