More than two months have passed since Allen Greene announced he was stepping down as Auburn’s athletics director. It has been 57 days since the university had a full-time AD and 44 since Rich McGlynn was named the program’s interim AD.
While Auburn president Dr. Chris Roberts continues with his meticulous national search for school’s 16th all-time athletics director, McGlynn took a moment Thursday evening to reflect on his time in the interim role during an appearance on the “Tiger Talk” radio show.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen long-term, but I know this, people when they look at me are going to say, ‘That man had fun being the athletic director,’ and that’s exactly what I’m doing every day,” McGlynn said. “I’m having a blast.”
McGlynn, who prior to earning the interim tag served as the program’s executive associate athletics director of compliance, has been a fixture at Auburn athletics events the last month and a half. It has been a busy schedule, but of course the job has entailed more than just being seen publicly supporting the Tigers’ athletics programs.
It has also been about keeping the athletics department afloat during a time of uncertainty. One of his goals, he said, has been “trying to make sure we bring back that Auburn family feel” within the athletics complex.
“Obviously, change is hard for everybody, so one of the things I wanted to make sure was I was just righting the ship,” McGlynn said. “I was just making sure that people know it’s going to be OK. No matter what’s going to happen in the future, the Auburn family’s going to stick together. We’re family, we’re going to take care of each other, and we’re going to ensure that no matter who leads the athletics department, we’re going to be in good hands, because as the Auburn family together, we can do anything.”
McGlynn has been a strong internal candidate for the full-time role, as a popular figure within the department and with notable support from Auburn men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl, certainly the most popular figure on campus and the biggest personality within Auburn athletic. McGlynn and Pearl have developed a strong relationship over the years, as McGlynn as been the sport administrator for men’s basketball, and in his compliance role he helped the program navigate the NCAA investigation that stemmed from the 2017 FBI investigation that rocked college basketball.
Of course, McGlynn hasn’t been the only candidate, as Roberts has conducted a “competitive national search” for Auburn’s next athletics director. The university president, who took over that title in May, has played the search close to the vest, with little information trickling out since Greene’s resignation. On the day McGlynn was tabbed as interim athletics director, Roberts said additional details about the search would be made available in the coming weeks, but no public remarks have come from the president’s office in the five weeks since.
While McGlynn is uncertain about how things will play out for him as the search winds down, he’s enjoying what time he has had overseeing the athletics department. He also provided an update Thursday on the program’s new football-specific facility, which was recently announced as the Woltosz Football Performance Center.
According to McGlynn, the university is putting the finishing touches on the facility, which began construction in March 2021 and was budgeted to cost $92 million.
“We’re getting really close,” McGlynn said. “We’re probably a couple weeks out. We’re still trying to get some furniture in; COVID slowed some things down, and just that supply chain, trying to get everything in. So, we’re getting close.
McGlynn expects an unveiling ceremony within the next two weeks, around Nov. 10 or 11, with a plan for the football program to move into the facility sometime in December.
“We’re really excited,” McGlynn said. “We think it’s a gamechanger—the building itself, the facility, all the access the student-athletes are going to have, the locker room’s phenomenal, and so we’re really excited about it.”
Tom Green is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde.