Interim Baylor University President Dr. David Garland introduced Mack Rhoades as the new athletic director on July 18, during the first day of the Big 12 media day at the Omni Hotel in Dallas.
“There are just certain things that we won’t tolerate, and moving forward, you know, everybody will be on that same page,” Rhoades said. “And when I say everybody, that’s the university, that’s the athletics department, that’s our coaches, our student-athletes. Everyone.”
Amid sexual allegation charges against the university and the resignation of former Athletic Director Ian McCaw, a hole was left in the program’s future. However, Rhoades said he is not afraid to discuss the issues surrounding Baylor and is determined to become a positive influence for the university.
“Sexual violence is a topic throughout our country, and it certainly happens on other campuses, and this is an opportunity for Baylor University, and certainly the athletics department, to be a leader in how we deal and handle sexual violence,” Rhoades said. “I’ve got three unbelievably beautiful daughters that I love, and if you ask what’s your motivation, there’s my motivation.”
Rhoades came to Baylor with experience under his belt. He served as athletic director at the University of Houston for six years, University of Akron for four and, most recently at the University of Missouri for 15 months before deciding to make the move to Baylor.
“Much has been written about my motivations for coming to Waco. Let me be clear: This is an opportunity,” Rhoades said. “An opportunity to help lead one of the world’s leading Christian universities in our familiar Texas, a state where we came to love many, many years ago. A state where my grandfather, my hero, was born and raised.”
According to Garland, Rhoades is the person needed to help get the university back on track.
“I’m confident that he’s going to build the kind of partnerships that we need to make the improvements that Baylor is committed to make,” Garland said. “Mack is a man of faith, and he believes in and is excited about the mission of Baylor University that is 170 years old.”