Law School Alum Fred Glass '84 Named IU Athletic Director
Fred Glass, ’84, has several goals for the Indiana University athletic department—and winning national championships isn’t the first.
Glass, who was named director of intercollegiate athletics by IU President Michael A. McRobbie on Oct. 28, says his top two priorities are to ensure that IU complies with NCAA rules and regulations and that IU’s athletes achieve success academically.
“I want to be excellent on the field, the court, the pool. I want to win championships and have winning records,” Glass said. “But I think we have to do the first two things first. We’re going to be known as a university that follows the rules, and our athletes are going to excel academically.”
Using a sports metaphor, Glass said the job offer from IU “came out of left field,” and that he was happy practicing law as a partner at the Indianapolis law firm Baker & Daniels.
But his secured transactions professor from law school—former IUPUI Chancellor Gerald Bepko—recommended Glass for the job.
“It a nice example of how those relationships you have in law school stay with you for a lifetime,” Glass said.
Glass recalled turning to Bepko for advice several times during his career, including once when he was preparing to graduate from law school and had two enviable positions on the horizon: an offer from a big Indianapolis law firm and a clerkship with U.S. Federal District Court Judge S. Hugh Dillin.
He chose the clerkship.
“He [Bepko] advised me that when trying to make a decision, choose the one that will give you the most opportunities for the future,” Glass said. “It’s advice I’ve followed throughout my career and I’ve been able to do a lot of different, interesting things.”
A native of Indianapolis, Glass also earned a bachelor’s degree from IU in 1981. He served as chief of staff to former Indiana Gov. Evan Bayh from 1989 to 1993 and was transition team chief for former Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson when he took office in 2000.
Peterson appointed Glass to the Capital Improvement Board, which owns and operates Lucas Oil Stadium, the Indiana Convention Center, Conseco Fieldhouse and Victory Field. During his eight-year tenure as CIB president, Glass represented the mayor in successful negotiations to keep the Colts in Indianapolis and headed up the planning effort for construction of Lucas Oil Stadium and the expansion of the convention center.
Glass served on the organizing committees for the NCAA Final Four Tournament in 2000 and again in 2006 and negotiated a deal to make the city part of a permanent rotation to host NCAA Final Fours. He also was on the executive committee of the 2002 World Basketball Championship and co-chaired the 2006 local organizing committee for the Big Ten Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments.
Most recently, he was president of the City of Indianapolis' 2011 Super Bowl Bid Committee, which although not successful for that year, laid the groundwork for a successful bid for 2012.
In making the announcement, McRobbie praised Glass’s leadership and understanding of the challenges—and importance—of IU athletics.
“He has a well-earned reputation as someone who can get the big things done. He is exactly the person we need to take on the challenges our Athletics Department will encounter in the next decade,” McRobbie said.