A rather tedious story appeared recently in The Blade. Friends of UT athletic director Mike O’Brien attacked University President Greg Postel, and Board Chairman Al Baker for allegedly orchestrating the retirement of Mr. O’Brien. These gentlemen were joined by former University of Toledo Board Member, Joseph Zerby IV.
The really tedious aspect of this story, quite simply, is this. While Mike O’Brien is a respected athletic director, there has been a case brewing for a few years suggesting the athletic programs of recent years have not held-up the UT banner anywhere nearly as high as the championship years of Frank Lauterbur and Bob Nichols of the sixties and seventies.
Mr. Zerby went way off track when he characterized Al Baker, UT Board of Trustees Chair, as leading a “Jihad” . That is the most unfair characterization of Al Baker I’ve ever heard. The Baker Family, all of whom graduated from UT and have spectacular success stories in their personal & professional lives, are some of the most quality persons as I’ve ever known. Al Baker was a starting tight end for three undefeated UT Football teams led by Chuck Ealey, Mr. Baker never has placed winning ahead of integrity and respect. Al Baker would never accuse anyone of leading “Jihad”.
I believe Mike O’Brien had a good run at UT. Mike’s term, with good moments and fair moments is winding down. His retirement was announced with the University allowing him to complete an assignment for NCAA Basketball.
Dr. Postel, who has done an excellent job of leading our University forward, should not have been injected into this matter, period.
“Thank you” Mike for your steadfast efforts on behalf of our University. “Thank you” Al Baker for all you have given to our community and our University. And Dr. Postel , “Thank you” for agreeing to lead our University into a bright future . Many Toledoans and Rocket fans, have great confidence in the leadership team the University has in place.
South Toledo 419-389-4940 Former 3 term Mayor & University of Toledo assistant football coach