By now, you've probably read or heard a few things about the
He comes to UC after spending the last five years at the University of Missouri and made such a favorable impression there, that seven members of Mizzou's athletic department, including AD Mike Alden, traveled to Cincinnati to attend Babcock's introductory news conference.
Babcock previously worked at
After answering a variety of questions about his vision for Bearcat athletics at his news conference on Monday, Whit was kind enough to spend a few minutes with me discussing his background.
Where did you grow up and what is it known for?
My hometown is
What did your folks do for a living?
My dad was the baseball coach there at James Madison and took JMU to the College World Series in 1983. They lost to
How long was your father the baseball coach at James Madison?
He was the baseball coach for nearly 17 years. He announced his retirement to go into athletic administration, and his last year of coaching was my freshman year of playing. I was quite an average player. I heard a guy say that the Latin definition of athletic director is that you couldn't play and you can't coach. I'm sure I fit that quite well.
Did you father coach anyone that we would recognize?
He had one year where seven of his nine position players were drafted - that was probably the best year. He had a player named Billy Sample who played for the Rangers and he had a guy named Dana Allison who pitched for the A's for a little while. A lot of his players made it to minors but only a few advanced to the show.
Since your father coached there, did you always dream of attending James Madison?
I was really intent on getting out of town and I really loved basketball. But I was probably a Division II or Division III basketball player, so I decided to stay there and go to school and play baseball. I did move out of the house and live in the dorms - I did not want to live at home any longer like most of us at the age of 18. In hindsight, that student-athlete experience was A-plus and taught me how to deal with so many things. It also prepared me to be around an athletic department where things financially weren't easy. If the only school I had been at was
What posters of athletes did you have on your bedroom wall as a kid?
Dr. J was one of them. I remember that foul line dunk poster was on my wall. I think I liked the afro and the fact that he played for the 76ers. But he was such a dynamic figure there and brought some style to the game in the 70's. I was a big Boston Red Sox fan so I liked Carl Yastrzemski and Jim Rice too.
Before looking into the job, what did you know about the
The few times that I was here with
You knew Butch Jones from when you both worked at
It was pretty darn quick. Just to say, "Tell me about it. Tell me everything about
Is Whit your full name or is that short for something?
My full name is Bradley Whitney Babcock, and I should have a lot more family money with a name like that. It sounds like aristocracy, but I am the son of a coach and a phys ed teacher and a homemaker mom. It's a family name and my dad is Brad so I go by Whit.
Describe the perfect day?
The perfect day? It has to have my family in it and my faith in it. But the perfect day on this campus would be to spend some time with our student-athletes - maybe one or two in particular that as freshman, came in a bit immature or came from a rough background and then to see them as seniors and how they've grown and become young men and women. If they can graduate and beat
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