University of Louisiana at Lafayette Athletics Director Bryan Maggard visited Morgan City Friday as part of his tour of the Acadiana region. Maggard was hired as the university's athletic director in March after spending the past 22 years at the University of Missouri. Above, Maggard, left, visits with Bob Harrison of the St. Mary Parish Chamber of Commerce during the organization's Meet and Greet with the athletic director. (The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)
UL-Lafayette athletics director visits Morgan City
U n i v e r s i t y o f Louisiana at Lafayette Athletics Director Bryan Maggard, who has been on the job just more than three months, made a stop in Morgan City at the Hampton Inn & Suites Friday as part of one of his visits throughout the Acadiana Region.
Maggard, who addressed community members during the St. Mary Chamber of Commerce meet and greet and social, said these trips are important to him.
“We’re trying to engage with all the different communities within Acadiana,” he said. “Ultimately, my goal is this: I want the University of Louisiana and its athletics programs to be Acadiana’s u n i v e r s i t y a n d Acadiana’s athletic sport teams. There’s seven hundred plus thousand people in this region. We need to make sure we’re capturing that, and I want to make sure that we always have a very strong presence throughout Acadiana.”
Maggard comes to the University of Louisiana after spending the past 22 years working in the University of Missouri’s athletics department.
“It’s been nothing but fantastic,” he said of his time at the University of Louisiana thus far. “Now, (it’s) a lot of work. As I tell people, I’m drinking water through a firehose, but I’ve learned a lot but got lots more to get my handle around still.”
In addition to introducing himself, Maggard hoped his visits will build support for the University of Louisiana’s athletic teams.
“We know we’re not the most important thing on our campus, but we are often the most visible,” he said.
Maggard likened the university and its athletics teams to a house and its front porch, noting the athletics are the front porch, while the university is the house.
“We want to make sure the front porch is always in great order, and that it’s always enticing for people to want to enter the house,” he said.
As for the current state of the Louisiana Athletic Department, Maggard said he came into an excellent situation.
“There were a lot of people before me who’ve carried a lot of weight and water to build UL athletics to where it is today,” he said. “We have so much to be proud of. (We) have 11 fantastic head coaches, 400-plus students-athletes who are phenomenal young men and women.”
While he’s proud of what the university has achieved, he said he knows that can build upon it.
“When you look at our baseball and softball success, those are two year-in-and-year-out top 25, if not top 10 programs nationally," Maggard said. "That’s where we need to get all of our teams. We know that, and we have coaches who are hungry, so it’s my job as the athletic director to position our sport teams to compete for and win championships every year.”