The University Record, September 10, 1997

Goss to be recommended as new athletic director

Tom A. Goss (above) will be recommended as new athletic director at the Regents meeting on Sept. 18. During a Sept. 8 press conference, attended by some members of his family (below), he said that integrity and tradition will be important during his tenure. Photo by Bob Kalmbach


By Kerry Colligan

Tradition, integrity and expectations. These are the things Tom A. Goss plans to draw on and emphasize during his tenure as director of intercollegiate athletics, pending approval by the Regents at their Sept. 18 meeting. If approved, his appointment will be retroactively effective on Sept. 8.

"We have to bring tradition back to the coaches, the student athletes and everyone involved," Goss said at a press conference Sept. 8. "One of the things, clearly, we will do in the future is build on the integrity and excellence of the Michigan family. Excellence is winning on the field and in the classroom as well."

President Lee C. Bollinger identified four issues requiring Goss' attention: helping student athletes obtain the education the U-M offers; addressing a growing concern in collegiate athletics of potentially damaging commercialization; ensuring equity between genders and between revenue and non-revenue sports; and understanding the role of the U-M in the larger system of collegiate athletics.

"Obviously, it will be one of my top priorities," Goss said of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) investigation of the men's basketball program. He acknowledged that the athletics program has been under rather intense scrutiny lately, stating that "there are some problems," but Goss told reporters that he is grounded in accountabilities. "I believe in letting people know what I expect," Goss said. "This program will be held accountable."

A 1968 U-M graduate and former varsity football player, Goss' connections to the U-M are long-standing. He spoke fondly of his football days (particularly of his 21 tackles against the Spartans in 1968), but stressed that his administration will not favor more heavily marketed sports.

It is important, Goss said, for football, basketball and other revenue-generating sports to continue to contribute revenue that can be used to strengthen the viability and competitiveness of the other sports. "We have a responsibility to identify sports in which the broader base of the University can compete," he said.

As athletic director, Goss will oversee 23 varsity coaches and teams, the University's athletic fields and facilities, and a $38 million department budget. He is the first African American athletic director at the U-M, succeeding M. Joseph Roberson, who recently announced plans to retire.

Goss most recently was managing partner of The Goss Group, Inc. He previously was president and chief operating officer of PIA Merchandising Co., the nation's largest supplier of regular scheduled merchandised services.

Prior to joining PIA in 1993, Goss was executive vice president and general manager of ShasCo Inc. for National Beverage Corp., which distributes Faygo and Shasta beverages. He worked for National Beverage from 1986-1993.

He earlier was vice president of sales and marketing for Faygo Beverages and held several management positions with RJ Reynolds/DelMonte Corp. and Procter and Gamble Co.

Goss and his wife, Carol, have three children.