Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Big man on little campus takes giant step

There is a new day dawning at Dominican University of California in San Rafael. It is the Year of the Penguin.

Today, 43-year-old Terry Tumey was introduced as the new athletic director at Dominican in front of a standing room only crowd in the lobby of the Conlan Center. Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, a Dominican trustee, introduced Tumey, a former three-time All Pac-10 noseguard from UCLA who is now in charge of quarterbacking Dominican’s future in the athletic arena.

Tumey, a defensive coach at UCLA and with the Denver Broncos, is going on the offensive. He must.

Here’s the deal: Tumey is the point guard, so to speak, to take Dominican to the next level. The school -- a small, sleepy, private institution renown for its academics nestled in the hills overlooking San Rafael – is going public as it transitions this fall from NAIA to NCAA Division II competition in the Pac West Conference. It has recruited a giant man with a bright smile and big-time athletic pedigree (UCLA, Broncos, San Francisco 49ers) to lead the charge.

Why? Dominican needs a go-getter and Tumey has longed dream of becoming an athletic director. It’s a perfect match. Tumey’s duties as director of football administration with the 49ers had diminished since the man who hired him, Terry Donahue, left the organization. This was the ideal time for Tumey to jump and he has inherited a monumental challenge in this economy to bring fame and fortune to the Penguins.

Tumey is smart and charming. He is bold and daring. He is the right man for the job. He has stepped up to the plate and now it is time for people – coaches, athletes, alumni, donors – to follow suit. Dominican already has its “Field of Dreams” project. Tumey is its voice and vision.


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