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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 3

Gold and Black is a multi-platform media company that covers Purdue athletics like no one else.

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 3 24 that are of need. We have asked every coach at the end- of-the-year meetings to tell us if they have what they need. There were very few that felt like they didn't have what they needed there. We wanted to sharpen up the process and appearance, and we wanted to be more sales-oriented in the presentation of things." Gold and Black: Sixteen months into your ten- ure, where are you in staffing and restructuring? Bobinski: "We have been fortunate enough this past summer to add some personnel resources into the sports medicine area, strength and conditioning, aca- demic support, nutrition and areas that touch the expe- rience of our athletes across the board. I feel good about that. "We have added Jason Butikofer as deputy athletic director, and he has been a tremendous help to me, and I think he has added a lot of energy, initiative, strategic thinking. ... He has been an athletic director and has had some interesting jobs along the way. He has a great feel for the business. "We most recently added an Associate AD for enforce- ment strategy and strategic initiatives in Tom Moreland from Iowa. We want to fill out our sales strategy. We had a great attendance boost in football — the largest in the country — but we are not done. It wasn't full every night. We want to sell those tickets even if they are the last 10,000 seats. That'll be what Tom focuses on. "We have also added some very talented young people in our video and creative service areas. We had some good folks in those areas already, but we were complete- ly over-loading them with work. It wasn't possible to give certain things the coverage they would have liked. They are all so good and creative. Some of the things we are putting out, the quality is better and the volume is improved, and I think it is resonating with our fanbase, recruits, coaching staffs and current athletes. We are able to tell our story a whole lot better than we used to. There is probably a little more staffing to come, but a lot has been done." Gold and Black: Now that most of the football staffing has been taken care of, what other sports will that priority turn to? Bobinski: "With football, you can never take your eye off the ball. That is a never-ending circumstance. Our goal is to help as many programs as possible compete for championships by giving them the resources and tools and expectations that are realistic. At the end of every season we reflect on what happened, what was positive and what wasn't positive and develop active plans. My conversation with returning coaches is to treat the job like it is new. I want them to come forward and say that if they were to take this job today, we would need to do these certain things that we're currently not doing. Or, if we are doing everything, how do we do it better and raise the bar of performance? What is it that is holding us back? Is it recruiting, training and development or strategy? Whatever it may be, I want to put those things on the table and address what we can address. I will nev- er be satisfied with (the thought), 'What we did last year was great and I'm fine with it again this year.' I'm just not wired that way. There is always a way to get better." Gold and Black: How do you structure your ath- letic department to be agile enough for the con- stant change in the college athletics landscape? Bobinski: "It is really hard to know what is coming next because there are so many outside influences that affect our world. We don't live in a world where we have a say in a lot that happens these days. There are some cases working their way through the court system that are potentially very impactful (to college athletics). The media landscape is always changing and people's out- look of that changes every day. My goal is to stay as con- nected to all of that as I can and I want to stay informed and up to date. I try to maintain flexibility. That way, we do not put things in place that lock us into a certain position. That way, if the world turns a little bit we can adjust. It is not an easy thing to do, to anticipate and be ready to turn on a dime. You have to be that way, though. You can't be locked into 'our way' and how we do things because at some point that may no longer be relevant." Gold and Black: So what will college sports look like in five years? Bobinski: "The basic fundamentals of college athlet- ics have persisted for a long, long time. That is providing a means for a young person to obtain an education and a way to develop through athletic experiences that you wouldn't be able to otherwise. So many athletes become successful in other endeavors. That is the underpinning to all of this, and I hope we don't let all the other noise get in the way. "I hope we are not just driven by dollars and cents.

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