Georgia Tech athletic director thinks his former associate will be a great fit at UMass

Last modified: Thursday, April 16, 2015

Mike Bobinski was still getting his feet underneath him at Georgia Tech, but he knew right away he liked Ryan Bamford.

The former Xavier athletic director inherited Bamford when he took the same role at the Atlantic Coast Conference school and he quickly grew to rely on him.

Bobinski was sorry to lose him, but at the same time proud when Bamford was officially named athletic director at UMass, Monday. Bamford will be introduced at a press conference at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Football Performance Center.

“I think he’s a really good fit. I’m certain he’s going to make a quick and smooth transition up there,” said Bobinski, who has been at Georgia Tech since 2013. “Since the day I got here, Ryan has been an invaluable partner of mine in trying to get things done here. I’ve been so impressed with his perspective, his knowledge and his contacts in the business. He’s just really plugged in. He’s touched every facet of this program. He’s as well prepared as anyone could be to make this transition to an AD job.”

Bobinski said in their two years working together, Bamford has established himself as a problem solver.

“He’s a real solution oriented guy. Not everyone is capable or comfortable dealing in difficult or challenging situations, particularly from a decision-making perspective. Ryan is absolutely confident in his own knowledge and ability to make good decisions. I quickly found I could trust him to make really good decisions on behalf of our organization and to head off problems before they occurred. I gave him a lot of responsibility and independence and he ran with it,” Bobinski said during a Monday night phone interview. “He didn’t come in and check with me every five minutes. I gave him certain things to do and he handled them very effectively and very professionally. When you come into a new job, you’re looking for people you can rely on in challenging moments. Ryan stepped forward from the get-go and showed that he was willing and very capable.”

Bamford, 36, replaces John McCutcheon, who led the UMass department from 2004 until February when he left to become the athletic director at California-Santa Barbara. A national search was launched for his replacement in late January. Bamford was chosen over fellow finalists Jim Fiore, the former athletic director at Stony Brook, and Buffalo associate athletic director Allen Greene.

Bamford, a New Hampshire native, is the son of Steve Bamford, the former Plymouth State athletic director and current administrator with the ECAC. Ryan Bamford is the all-time leading 3-point shooter at Ithaca, where he graduated in 2000. He has a master’s degree from Springfield College and worked at Yale for eight years before being hired in 2011 at Georgia Tech, where he climbed the ladder to become the senior associate AD.

UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy and Bamford issued statements in UMass’ release announcing the hiring.

“Ryan brings the right mix of devotion to the student-athlete, a winning tradition in a broad range of sports, and intimate knowledge of FBS football — just what we were looking for,” Subbaswamy said. “He brings great energy to our department of athletics and is someone who we think can help elevate us to the next level. Those we spoke with about Ryan were all of the same mind in that they think he is one of the top young administrators in the country.”

Bamford thanked the search committee.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to join the UMass family as its director of athletics. I would like to thank Chancellor Subbaswamy, Vice Chancellor John Kennedy and the search committee for providing me the opportunity to serve the Commonwealth’s flagship university,” Bamford said. “As a New England native, I have witnessed the University’s ascent to its position as one the leading public research institutions in the nation. In addition, UMass offers a world-class athletics experience. I am excited to work with a strong group of student-athletes, coaches and staff to build UMass into a nationally recognized program.”

Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich, who hired Bamford when he was leading Georgia Tech, and Yale AD Thomas Beckett, who hired him at Yale, gave statements of support in UMass’ release.

“Ryan Bamford is one of the bright young men in our industry,” Radakovich said. “As an outstanding student-athlete and now an accomplished administrator, Ryan has the ability to relate to and motivate everyone that he meets. He will be a tireless worker and will make a positive difference for UMass athletics each day.”

Beckett offered a similar assessment.

“Congratulations to the University of Massachusetts on its selection of Ryan Bamford as the new Director of Athletics. Ryan is a “rising star” in college athletic administration,” Beckett said. “He was introduced to college athletics by his dad Steve Bamford, a legendary college athletic administrator. Ryan demonstrated exceptional leadership and professionalism throughout his time at Yale. Everyone knew he would become a leader on the national scene soon.”

Robert Goodhue, who has held many roles in UMass’ upper administration, has served as the interim athletic director since McCutcheon departed. Goodhue will remain in the post until Bamford’s starting day, which could be announced at Tuesday’s press conference.

Matt Vautour can be reached at Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, your leading source for news in the Pioneer Valley.

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

23 Service Center Road
Northampton, MA 01060


Copyright © 2021 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy