It took nearly 11 months, during which Senior Vice President for Strategic Development Daniel Porterfield valiantly doubled up as interim athletic director, but Georgetown has finally found its man in Lee Reed.
After getting burned by former Athletic Director Bernard Muir, who left for Delaware at first chance, Georgetown wanted to make sure to find a guy who didn’t see Georgetown as a stepping stone. Muir, who came from Notre Dame, seemed desperate to be seeking a chance to oversee a department with both big time football and big time basketball programs.
Reed, whose Cleveland State program did not include a football team, claims he doesn’t seem to see Georgetown as the next step to a bigger post and wants to dedicate himself to its success.
“I want to be here,” Reed said. “You look at my background – I don’t move an awful lot. That’s why I’m able to come here and make decisions that I’m comfortable with in the long term. I’m here for the long haul.”
That’s what Georgetown needs if it wants to move forward athletically. Lining up against Big East schools with better facilities, bigger budgets and increased financial support for athletes, Georgetown cannot afford to have an athletic director who is glancing out the door, lusting over other jobs. If the Hoyas are to be successful across the board in the Big East – and it’s a heavy task – they need everyone to be 100 percent committed to the task at hand.
Reed may be here for the long haul and Georgetown may even be his dream job, but he’s quickly going to understand that facilities and finances on the Hilltop remain a nightmare.
During his stint at Eastern Michigan he helped oversee the facilities and the department created a long-term facilities plan. There, he had the luxury of a recently opened on-campus arena, a football stadium with a track – who would’ve known you can include a track on campus when you have a track team – and a baseball field.
At Cleveland State, an urban campus, he still oversaw a program that had a baseball field, tennis courts and a basketball arena on campus. The Vikings also have one of the better swimning facilities outside of the Big 10 and SEC and Woodling Gymnasium, which features offices, a wrestling room, a two-story gymnastics area, locker rooms and two weight rooms.
These are not luxuries he will have at Georgetown.
He inherits a half-finished football/lacrosse stadium, a halfway-decent – if not overused – soccer field and McDonough Arena, the crowded home to the volleyball and women’s basketball teams and practice facility for both teams plus men’s basketball. The swimming and diving team practices in the adequate facilities in Yates – you know, the same one that broke down in the days leading up to the Big East championships, forcing the Hoyas to practice off campus before the biggest meet of the year.
Not to mention that the baseball field, where the team practices and plays three to six days a week, is located off of I-270 in Bethesda and the field hockey team has been displaced by potholes on Kehoe and goes to George Washington every day for practice.
In terms of facilities, Georgetown might as well be providing Reed with a butter knife in a gun fight.
Facilities have been the biggest issue with Georgetown athletics and they will continue to be for the foreseeable future. The most pressing need is the long sought-after on campus basketball facility. While Syracuse, Villanova, Notre Dame and West Virginia have all upgraded their facilities one way or another, Georgetown is in the same boat as lowly Rutgers, wishing and hoping for a practice facility.
“Obviously a facility that will enhance practice opportunities for our student-athletes is something that is of importance,” Reed said. “I need to get here and understand all that has gone on until this point to see where the plan is.”
Mr. Reed, the plan is stuck in neutral, maybe even in reverse. That is where the plan is.
One of the more interesting aspects of the Reed hiring is his experience – or lack thereof – with football. The problems Georgetown football faces are well known. Subpar facilities, an absurd – sometimes suicidal – schedule and one win in the last two seasons are what Reed comes into.
Reed, however, has spent the last eight years at a school that does not have a football program, and Georgetown football is at a crossroads after next season.
“It’s clear to me that like hand-in-glove, my background fits where this university is headed from an athletics perspective,” Reed said.
His background, which includes successful programs both athletically and academically, does not include much football outside of his time as assistant athletic director at Eastern Michigan.
“I’m aware of where football is,” Reed said. “I’m excited to sit down with the coaching staff to kind of see where they are. I know it’s important to this community so we’ll work with our coaching staff and the staff in place now to see what’s going on with the program.”
He may understand football’s importance, but he will need to figure out quickly where he plans to go with the program to give it a chance to compete against stiff Patriot League competition.
There has been plenty on-field success for Georgetown athletics, from soccer and basketball to track and lacrosse. There has also been a lot of success in the classroom and in the community. Unfortunately as other schools load up on facilities and resources, Georgetown has lagged behind.
Reed says he is committed to athletic success without sacrificing academic excellence – and Georgetown has always been about that. So that seems like a good match.
He also says he’s committed to Georgetown itself and is going to be here a while. That’s even better news, because it will indeed take him a while to fix the problems his department now faces.
Ryan Travers is a senior in the College and a former Sports Editor at The Hoya. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/illprocedure. He can be reached at [email protected] Illegal Procedure appears in every Friday issue of Hoya Sports.