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UConn Names Warde Manuel Athletic Director

The Connecticut Huskies have named a new athletic director in Warde Manuel (via UConn Huskies.com).

Manuel spent the past six years as the athletic director at Buffalo and is a graduate of Michigan (1990), where he played both football and track and field.

UConn president Susan Herbst said about the hiring:

"We are incredibly proud and thrilled that Warde will be joining the Husky family," said Herbst. "UConn is one of the great American universities and our athletics program is the envy of many. It's because of this that we were able to attract an amazing pool of candidates from across the nation - and an ideal, stand-out candidate of Warde's exceptionally-high caliber. He will play the integral, and even transformational, role in the future of UConn athletics. It's a great day for this university."

Manuel noted his excitement in being hired

"I am so honored and excited to come to the University of Connecticut," said Manuel. "UConn is synonymous with greatness, excellence and achievement. It is without a doubt one of the legendary schools that is at the pinnacle of intercollegiate athletics. The opportunity to be the athletics director at UConn and lead this extraordinary division is the role of a lifetime. You have remarkable coaches, great leadership, outstanding student-athletes and a wonderful base of fans, alumni and supporters. Our focus will be on academic success, compliance, ensuring great relationships with our fans, friends and supporters and, without a doubt, victory on the field and the court. My family and I are so happy to call UConn home."

At Buffalo, Manuel oversaw a turnaround in the APR (Academic Progress Rate) of the baseball, football, men's basketball and wrestling teams. All four programs were below the 925 mark when Manuel took over but had all raised their scores over 925 on the four-year scale by 2009-2010.

According to the UConn release, Manuel signed a five-year contract, with an option for a two-year extension.

He will be paid a base salary of $450,000 a year. He is eligible for a $100,000 performance incentive annually if certain academic and athletic goals are achieved and is eligible for $100,000 in deferred compensation to be awarded at the conclusion of his five-year contract.