Auburn is looking for a new director of athletics, and UConn’s David Benedict is likely to be on the school’s radar.
Benedict came to UConn in 2016 from Auburn, where he had been chief operating officer for two years. According to an ESPN report Auburn will be centering on candidates with past ties to the school and Benedict is one of several top administrators around the country who fit that description.
Allen Greene stepped aside as Auburn’s AD on Friday, creating the opening on the eve of the college football season. ESPN’s Pete Thamel named Benedict, Virginia Tech AD Whit Babcock and Florida International AD Scott Carr, all three with Auburn connections, as potential candidates.
Brent Jones at Troy, Jared Benko of Georgia Southern, John Hartwell at Utah State and Bryan Maggard of Louisiana are others named on the list of candidates. UConn was at Utah State for its football opener on Saturday.
The Birmingham News also listed seven potential candidates, including Benedict and Hartwell, along with in-house possibilities.
Greene, hired in 2018, had only five months left on his contract, but with no extension offer on the table, he decided to move on. Auburn as has had turmoil in athletics in recent years, especially with its football program, The Tigers reached the national championship game in 2013, but have not been back since. Coach Gus Malzahn was fired in 2020 and his replacement, Bryan Harsin was 6-7 in his first season. It’s logical to assume Auburn would seek a new AD who was associated with its program during more successful times. Auburn’s current COO, Marcy Girton, is interim AD as the search commences.
At UConn, Benedict has overseen the building of several new facilities, and led UConn’s move from the AAC to the Big East in all sports besides football, which is playing as an FBS independent. The football program has not had a winning season since Benedict arrived, but he made waves with the hiring of Jim Mora as coach. Benedict was considered a candidate for Auburn in 2017, but remained at UConn as his contract was restructured,
Dom Amore can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org