published Monday, June 16th, 2014

Matt Pobieglo new Notre Dame athletic director

Matt Pobieglo has been hired as athletic director at Notre Dame.

He succeeds Howie Sompayrac, who has accepted a position in Knoxville as director of school advancement at St. Joseph's School, which offered his wife Cathy a teaching job as well.

"I'm excited about the state of the program and the way Howie left it," said Pobieglo, most recently at McCallie, where he handled equipment and facilities and worked as associate athletic director.

"McCallie was a great place. Obviously being an all-boys school rather than coed was a different environment than what I dealt with at Vanderbilt and Toledo," he said. "They allowed me a lot of leeway to put in some systems and ideas, and I got a good understanding of the private school world."

Pobieglo (pronounced Po-bee-A-go) was hired by Notre Dame president George Valadie.

"Matt is incredibly well organized," Valadie said. "He has a wealth of experience in the field and is the kind of person that will fit well in the Notre Dame community. One of the things he won't be doing -- there are thousands of athletic directors who do it -- but Matt won't be coaching, which in my opinion frees him to oversee the entire program with being 'double-booked.'"

After attending Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School, Pobieglo went to Georgia Southern and worked on the football management staff and then worked as an intern with the Miami Dolphins. He went from Miami to Vanderbilt, where he was involved in game management and game-day planning, before going to Toledo. He has a master's degree in sports management from Drexel.

"There's a chance he'll be in the classroom, but I'm trying to get the position where he won't have classroom responsibilities. I think he'll do a great job," Valadie said. "The facilities are in good shape, but there are always looking-ahead conversations about turf and other things that are out there in the future."

Pobieglo described himself as an outside-the-box thinker.

"I want to go in and build on what's there and interact with students," he said. "Notre Dame offers the opportunity to be flexible and do some good things. Athletics are an integral part of the program, but I want to be able to tie athletics to academics and community service. We want to create a great environment for the students, the parents, our alumni and the Notre Dame community as a whole."

Valadie also announced that the Pobieglo would have two assistant athletic directors: Dave Weikel, who has served as an assistant soccer coach for a number of years, and former Irish baseball coach George Oleksik, who served unofficially as Sompayrac's assistant.

Contact Ward Gossett at wgossett@timesfreepress.com or 423-886-4765. Follow him at Twitter.com/wardgossett.

about Ward Gossett...

Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...

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