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Krannert Executive Forum - Michael Bobinski

Michael Bobinski

Michael Bobinski

Vice President - Director of Intercollegiate Athletics
Purdue University

You can feel the energy surrounding Purdue Athletics.

Buoyed by athletics director Mike Bobinski, the Boilermakers are becoming a broad-based force athletically while sustaining their academic excellence - spurring renewed interest among alumni, donors, fans and media.

Purdue was one of only three schools in the nation to play in a football bowl game, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and the NCAA women’s volleyball tournament in 2017-18 and 2018-19 (also Kentucky and Michigan).

Over the last three-and-a-half years under Bobinski's leadership, 18 teams finished in the top 25 at their respective NCAA Championships, highlighted by men’s basketball (Elite Eight in 2019), women’s outdoor track & Field (eighth in 2018) and women’s golf (ninth in 2019). Men's basketball has won two Big Ten Conference championships (2017 and 2019), pushing its conference-leading total to 24 all-time. Women's outdoor track & field won the 2017 Big Ten title. Forty-Two Boilermakers have earned first-team All-America honors while 681 student-athletes have earned Academic All-Big Ten honors. In 2017-18, Purdue accumulated a school-record 585.5 points in the Directors' Cup to rank 41st out of 351 schools, the 89th-percentile. The placing was the best by the Boilermakers in nine years.

Bobinski has also had tremendous success in increasing attendance and revenue for the Purdue program. Starting with the 2017 football season, Bobinski has orchestrated one of the largest attendance increases in the nation. Over the last three years, attendance at Purdue football games has increased by 20,000 fans/game resulting in the largest average attendance in over a decade. Football ticket revenue has also increased by over 90% in that span. Men’s basketball sold out the entire 2019-20 season, marking the first time in 21 years that an entire season has sold out. Revenue for men’s basketball is at an all-time high, mirroring the record-setting revenue performances for volleyball, softball and baseball.

Academically, following the spring 2020 semester, the cumulative grade-point average for all current Purdue student-athletes was a record-high 3.22. The Boilermakers have maintained better than a 3.0 cumulative GPA for 23 consecutive semesters, and they continue to regularly perform equal to or better than the student body. The current four-year average Graduation Success Rate is 86 percent. Student-athletes that graduated in May 2019 had a 93% placement rate.

Bobinski, who was named the ninth full-time athletics director in Purdue history Aug. 9, 2016 - the first with no previous ties to the school - is primed to take the Boilermakers to greater heights.

“In evaluating where we sit today, I believe we have built a solid foundation,” Bobinski says. “We have the elements in place to achieve success and a clear focus on day to day improvement in all that we do. There’s a growing belief in what’s possible for Purdue athletics and it’s exciting to see that take hold within our department. We have raised our own sights – and expectations – and our next step is to demonstrate tangible progress towards these higher expectations.

Bobinski is just the fourth full-time athletics director at Purdue since 1942, following Guy “Red” Mackey (1942-71), George King (1971-92) and Morgan Burke (1993-2016).

Before coming to Purdue, Bobinski enjoyed successful stints as athletics director at Georgia Tech (2013-16), Xavier (1998-2004, 2006-13) and Akron (1994-98). Between stints as AD at Xavier, he served as associate vice president for development, overseeing all of the university's fundraising efforts, including major gifts, grant services, and annual and planned giving.

Highlights of Bobinski's three years at Georgia Tech included the football team winning the 2014 Orange Bowl and being ranked No. 8 in the final national poll, an NCAA Sweet 16 berth for women's tennis in 2016, conference championships and top-10 NCAA finishes by men's golf in 2014 and 2015, and back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances for baseball in 2013 and 2014.

During Bobinski's 12-year tenure at Xavier, nine programs combined for 40 team or individual spots in NCAA championship competition. The men's basketball program averaged 25 wins, advancing to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight in 2004 and 2008. The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics named Bobinski the 2011-12 Under Armour Division I Northeast Athletics Director of the Year.

From 1989 to 1994, Bobinski was associate director of athletics at the U.S. Naval Academy. He served as associate and assistant business manager at Notre Dame from 1984 to 1989.

Bobinski served as chair of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee for the 2012-13 season, and he completed a term on the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee in 2019.

As a licensed certified public accountant, Bobinski went into accounting with Deloitte, Haskins and Sells and Arthur Young & Company from 1979 to 1982. He subsequently worked for the Walt Disney Company in Orlando, Florida, from 1982 to 1984 before moving into college athletics.

A native of Yaphank on Long Island, New York, Bobinski earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Notre Dame in 1979, graduating magna cum laude, while playing four years for the Fighting Irish baseball team.

Bobinski has two children, Melissa, a 2009 Xavier graduate, and Brian, a 2012 Ohio State graduate, and two grandchildren, Maggie and Bo.