OUT OF BOUNDS: Selig brings new regime to Hill

Kyle Hightower

Can you feel his presence?

It is faint, but visible – like the watermark on a $20 bill. But like new money, he has been known to burn holes in a few pockets.

He is quiet at times, but very audible at others.

He is small in stature, but not bulky enough to be doing Slim-Fast shots. And yet he still is pretty good at throwing his weight around when he has needed to.

He is just the little guy with the monster plan.

He has blended in while everything in his foreground continues to pace along the way people do when Bobby Fisher calls ‘next’ in a game of chess.

Still, Western athletic director Wood Selig has somehow managed to fade into the background while doing a job that you’d think would require him to do the opposite.

That’s because we are probably thinking about it with our eyes, in our own way.

Wood Selig has done it, and will continue to do it, his own way.

We overlook athletic talent all the time, but to pull off the kind of feats Selig recently has might be on a Lebron James level.

No single coach will ever be as powerful as the guy that hired them. That said, consider this.

In the coming days when Western names its next basketball coach, Selig will have had a hand in the hiring in each of the three major coaching positions on the Hill.

I’m not suggesting that each of these three coaches are 100 percent Wood’s choices. But I’m 99.9999% sure that he wouldn’t have been so publicly high on Mary Taylor Cowles or David Elson had he not felt they each at least shared a few of his ideas about where the respective programs are heading.

The men’s basketball job will be no different.

And now that it is arguably the charter program of the university and definitely the most financially profitable, who Western goes with will be pivotal.

Selig has been as mum as always in tipping his hat about what candidates he likes. His track record predicted that.

But it should also be an indication of the kind of person that will wind up with Western’s prized vacancy.

As you get excited and rumors swirl about who will be your next basketball coach, I implore you to remember that no matter what status you think hoops now holds on the Hill in the post-Dennis dance, that the humble, silent Selig may just be playing the role of a godfather.

And you know what kind of pull those guys have.

Kyle Hightower is a sports columnist and sports editor for the Herald. He can be reached at 745-6291 or by e-mail at [email protected]