Bill Scholl makes ‘unbelievably easy’ decision to become Marquette AD


Bill Scholl was introduced Tuesday as Marquette’s athletic director. (Credit:

Bill Scholl had no intent of leaving his job at Ball State University as director of athletics. But when Marquette came knocking on the door to gauge his interest in the same position in Milwaukee, he simply couldn’t say no.

“Making the decision to come to Marquette was unbelievably easy,” Scholl said in a press conference on campus Tuesday. “But leaving Ball State was incredibly difficult. We had two wonderful years at Ball State and I was not looking to leave at all, but you can’t control when opportunities come along. This is too good an opportunity, too great a school and too exciting a mix of sports to not make this move.”

Marquette announced Tuesday that the university had hired Scholl to become the vice president and athletic director. Scholl will replace interim athletic director Bill Cords, who previously held the position after Larry Williams was fired in mid-December.

President Michael R. Lovell introduced Scholl and gave glowing reviews.

“When you look at Bill’s record in intercollegiate athletics, it really speaks for itself,” Lovell said. “He oversaw 18 NCAA Division I athletic programs at Ball State that had excellent results. More importantly, Ball State student-athletes succeeded in the classroom.”

Scholl has the experience and the pedigree to take over Marquette’s athletic program. After 23 years of rising through the ranks at Notre Dame, Scholl was hired by Ball State in 2012 as the school’s athletic director. Under Scholl’s watch, Ball State had eight programs reach postseason play and 13 teams finish in the top two of the Mid American Conference in their respective sports.

In Scholl’s two seasons at Ball State, the men’s basketball team went a combined 20-40 with a 10-24 record in the MAC. The women’s basketball team went 35-33 over those two seasons, with a 21-13 mark in conference play.

There are two over-arching themes Scholl said he wants to instill during his tenure at Marquette.

The first is to convey his excitement and gratitude for being at Marquette. The second is to better student-athletes on the field and in the classroom to the best of his abilities.

“As a partner with the university, it is our job to provide the student-athletes with a world-class athletics experience, fully develop them as people, academically, athletically and physically and spiritually, and ensure they are prepared for the next part of their lives, whatever that may be.”

Scholl said he was returning to his roots by going back to a Catholic university, but unlike his previous years in the Big East at Notre Dame, Scholl will be working in a conference where basketball is king. He said one of his focuses is bringing the Big East back to its original prominence as a hoops haven.

“I’m not sure the standings will be viewed the same,” Scholl said when asked about the state of the conference. “The original Big East was basketball-only, and I think the potential to have a new Big East that is up to the standards of the original Big East can absolutely happen.”

When asked about his style of communication with coaches, Scholl said he is open and collegial and hopes to collaborate with members of his department.

“I don’t have all the answers,” Scholl said. “I think we have incredibly smart people on a college campus and within an athletics department. For me not to tap into that knowledge and intellect would just be a mistake.”

One of the people who Scholl will surely tap into is first-year men’s basketball coach Steve Wojciechowski, who said he is thrilled to be working with Scholl.

“I think Bill represents all we want to be about,” Wojciechowski said. “I think he’s got a track record of excellence throughout his inter-collegiate career and I think he’s an advocate for the coaches and student-athletes.”

The 2013-14 season was one filled with departures and uncertainty. Scholl’s hiring represents the final piece of the transitional puzzle for Marquette athletics. Scholl, Wojciechowski and newly-hired women’s coach Carolyn Kieger have brought something Marquette’s athletic department has lacked for a year: stability.

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