Monday, July 29, 2013

Executive Associate AD Anthony Archbald

If you look at the picture on the website, you can see pretty much everything you need to know about Anthony Archbald.

First, he's wearing a sport coat and button-down shirt, with no tie. It's a pretty common look.

Second, he's standing directly behind Ford Family Director of Athletics Gary Walters, which is where Archbald now stands in the athletic department, after being named last week the Executive Associate Athletic Director.

Archbald takes over for Erin McDermott, who is leaving Princeton become the AD at the University of Chicago.

McDermott took over for Mike Cross, who is now the AD at Bradley.

Cross took over for, if TigerBlog's memory is correct, Jim Fiore, who is now the AD at Stony Brook. Going further back, Fiore, TB believes, took over when George VanderZwaag left to become the AD at Rochester.

Cross and McDermott both made the move that Archbald is now making, going from the director compliance to take over as the one who oversees admissions, facilities, scheduling, event operations, intercollegiate programming and strength and conditioning. He will also be the department's liaison to the athletic medicine staff.

TB has never bothered to add up how many people report directly to the person in this position, but it's a lot.

Oh, and what else can you tell about Archbald by that picture?

That's he's excited.

Can't you see by his smile? Well, in his case, that's a wide, wide grin, with his face lit up.

TB didn't expect to see Archbald mug for the camera. It's not his style.

His is to be understated, laid back, unflappable. That's how TB would describe him.

That, and humble and loyal and supportive.

Oh, and hard-working. And effective. And with very high standards for him and those around him.

Those are pretty good qualities for someone who now has so many responsibilities. And people who report to him.

A strong case could be made that the single most important factor in determining athletic success at Princeton is the recruiting/admissions piece. To that end, it's essential that the department liaison between the coaches and the admissions office be someone as effective as possible at balancing the needs of both sides.

This was a great strength of McDermott and Cross. And TB has no doubt that Archbald is perfect for that role.

As for the rest, it's a big move from compliance, which is mostly oversight and rules interpreting, to intercollegiate programming, which is a major hands-on with everything that happens for Princeton Athletics.

It's an exciting challenge for someone. TB knows both Cross and McDermott were thrilled for the opportunity. And Archbald is as well.

TB has worked closely with Archbald since he first came here, and TB knew right away that this was someone destined for big things. In fact, TB can't imagine it will be all that long before Archbald joins his predecessors as an AD.

Why not? He has a background in law. And in intercollegiate athletics, starting at the ground floor, which in his case included setting up the pylons at Brown field hockey games way back when.

Now he's a rising star in the business, especially since his move last week.

For Princeton fans, coming to games here is about being entertained and about winning, or at least being in position to win.

The idea of who does what behind the scenes to make all that happen probably doesn't enter most people's minds when they're watching.

In truth, though, the department is filled with dedicated people, all of whom work together to allow Princeton athletics to look good, to put its athletes in the best chance to be competitive, to give its coaches what they need so that they can focus on the nuts and bolts of getting their teams ready to play.

It's not easy to pull that off.

Rest easy, though.

Anthony Archbald won't let anyone down.

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