Teague leaves VCU for U of Minnesota

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Shaka Smart was able to say "no" to his numerous suitors in order to stay at VCU.  His boss could not.

Monday, former VCU athletic director Norwood Teague was introduced as the new athletic director at the University of Minnesota. Teague will make a base salary of $400,000, on the low end for Big Ten athletic directors. He'll start July 1 if confirmed by university regents.

Teague said at the press conference today that the ability to lead a Big 10 football team, as well as work in the large metro area of Minneapolis, as main reasons for why he was attracted to Minnesota.  He also said he spent Easter weekend on campus incognito, in order to find out more about the program.
At the press conference, Minnesota President Eric Kaler called Teague a "visionary leader."

"Saying its difficult to leave VCU is an understatement for me personally. The past six years have been a special experience for me," Norwood Teague said in a release. "I cannot thank the VCU Community adequately. There are so many people that I owe my gratitude. Its and amazing place that will continue to ascend. I will deeply miss the VCU Family but know our paths will cross often."

"VCU athletics have excelled during Norwood's tenure, raising our stature as a national public research university," said VCU President Michael Rao in the same release.  "The VCU community and fans across the country revel in winning on and off the playing fields.  As a university, we are particularly proud of the academic success of our student-athletes."

Shaka Smart, hired by Teague three years ago, also had a comment about Teague.  "Norwood Teague had a profound effect on my life and career. He took an interest in me as a young assistant coach, gave me a phenomenal opportunity at VCU, and wholeheartedly supported us every step of the way over the past three years," Smart said. "He demonstrated an uncommon loyalty and genuine care for me as a coach and as a person. Norwood is a terrific communicator who has a fantastic way with people. He will find great success at Minnesota."

Teague, 46, has more than 20 years of experience working in intercollegiate athletics. During his tenure at VCU, he has overseen continued success in the classroom and on the playing field, as well as stunning growth in gifts to VCU's annual and capital funds. VCU has also achieved unprecedented athletic success under Teague's guidance. The Rams' men's basketball team reached its first ever Final Four in 2011; women's basketball earned the first NCAA Tournament bid in program history; the baseball, golf and tennis programs all made multiple postseason appearances; and the track program had several student athletes qualify for NCAA regional appearances. Teague holds a master's degree in sports administration from Ohio University and a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of North Carolina.

A statement regarding the search for a new athletic director at VCU is expected to be made on Tuesday.

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