NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Troy Dannen's first pitch strike this past Friday is a perfect metaphor for his tenure at Tulane so far. Two months as the Athletic Director, many inside and outside the program think Dannen is as impeccable as his fastball, but there's a long way to go.
"I've told them what my vision is, and I've listened to a lot of people tell me what the hindrance has been to operating something like that," said Dannen. "Telling me the locals feel ostracized, and how do we get them back engaged with the program. It's kind of been a lot of listening, and a lot of talking. I have joked, I haven't had to make a lot of decisions. Obviously I've had to hire a couple of coaches."
One of those hires, was Head Football Coach Willie Fritz. With only a month and half to assemble a recruiting class, Fritz locked in a solid 22-player group. Fritz use of social media to get recruits, his wide-open offense, and his work at Georgia Southern, have the Wave faithful thinking bowl games are on the way.
"I think the fact that he's a proven winner. For a group of fans who are craving success, and haven't seen much of it for the better part of two decades. To have somebody that's done nothing but win for the better part of two decades has really lit some fires, and reignited some passion," said Dannen.
The next tough decision for Dannen could be the future of the men's basketball program. Tulane's hasn't made the NCAA tourney in 21 years. With a 10-17 record this season, they'll miss out again. Ed Conroy's record is 90-98 overall with the Wave.
"There isn't any question it's not meeting anyone's expectations. If it's meeting someone's expectations, then that person needs expectations that are significantly higher, because mine are. For me, if we're not in the top half of the league, then it bears a careful evaluation of why not, and what it's going to take to get there. That's where I'm at with basketball right now," said Dannen.