Robert Shelton leaves Arizona for Fiesta Bowl, so what's next?

By now you've heard that Robert Shelton, the University of Arizona president, has decided to leave this institution of fine learning for the greener (uh, more challenging maybe) pastures of the Fiesta Bowl, where he'll serve as executive director. Five years isn't long in the history of Arizona presidents, but Shelton left a lasting impression on the athletic department.

Of course, the fact that he's headed to the Fiesta Bowl, whose biggest of many events are of course the Fiesta Bowl BCS game and the Insight Bowl, means he's well-regarded in the sports world. In Tucson, he led the charge in hiring athletic director Greg Byrne while standing behind Byrne and basketball head coach Sean Miller as the program and coach tried to piece together a hefty contract in a rugged Arizona Board of Regents (not to mention the hire of Miller itself). That's a pretty good track record.

 "I have spent my entire career in higher education, and I care passionately about the UA," Shelton told the Daily Star. "But there always comes a point in life where you feel that it is time to try something new."

It's not like he's leaving for money. The Star writes that Shelton will receive a base salary of $455,000 in a four-year contract with the Fiesta Bowl. He was paid $470,000 as president at Arizona.

Because he was so sports savvy -- Shelton was a member of the BCS presidential oversight committee -- the loss could be a hit to a sports department looking to make vast improvements to its facilities. Will the new president be as willing to help out Byrne, who remains a large advocate for Shelton?

"He's passionate about it," Byrne told the Star. "He would have comments about the officiating, at football or basketball games, volleyball games. … We were at a volleyball game once and he was off and on about the officials. Not to where he was standing up, but he had concerns about it.

 

"He had a strong background in soccer, and he understands the strategy and the rules that go into sports."

With Shelton leaving, what's in the future? Said Byrne to the Star:

"With whatever you're in, you want your boss to have an interest in it, and in the athletic department, we were fortunate to have that be the case."

In today's Daily Star, Becky Pallack writes that a search committee will be created in choosing the next president of the university, and that comes with about a year waiting period where an interim president will call the shots. It comes at a scary and critical time for the athletic department. All the Wildcats can ask for is an equally understanding president who understands that sports aren't just a game. They're an attention magnet and a money-maker.

In This Article

Teams
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Arizona Desert Swarm

You must be a member of Arizona Desert Swarm to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Arizona Desert Swarm. You should read them.

Join Arizona Desert Swarm

You must be a member of Arizona Desert Swarm to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Arizona Desert Swarm. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker