In November of 2015, right about the time ULM was firing longtime head football coach Todd Berry, the program’s athletic director, Brian Wickstrom, was reported to be a finalist for the same post at Tulane. He didn’t get the gig. In August of the same year, Wickstrom applied for the AD post at Akron and it’s $32M budget – triple the dollars spend on the Warhawks. Wickstrom eventually withdrew his name.
Now comes fresh news out of Monroe, courtesy of Adam Hunsucker and The News Star, that Wickstrom has declined an extension with the Warhawks and is actively seeking a gig with a bigger school:
“I’ve been very open and honest with (ULM President Dr. Nick Bruno) about my desire to make a long term move at a bigger school,” Wickstrom said.
Excuse me while a slip into a coma, recover, and then slip into a coma again (this time for longer). Are you kidding me, Warhawks? While Wickstrom is declining to extend his contract with ULM, he said “he would continue to work as athletic director as an at-will employee.” Gee, thanks, Brian! At least Nick Bruno told him to go to hell. Wait, he didn’t?
“When Brian arrived at ULM, we discussed what his goals and aspirations were,” Bruno said. “At that time, he informed me that his plan was to remain here for three or four years, but his goal was to move to a larger program.”
Good gravy, man! It bears noting that Bruno has not accepted Wickstrom’s generous offer to slum in Monroe while he updates his LinkedIn. If Bruno has an ounce of pride, he’ll punt Wickstrom off campus immediately and mail him his desk stuff.
Listen, I understand the game, y’all. The Warhawks’ AD gig isn’t exactly a destination job. But Wickstrom has spent the last two years at Monroe publicly begging peer conference programs to rescue him from college football’s stingiest budget. That’s not a good look for ULM and it probably doesn’t fill 2nd year head football coach Matt Viator with a ton of pride and confidence. If ULM can’t convince its leadership to execute a job hunt with quiet dignity, maybe it really is time for the Warhawks to seriously consider a drop in weight.