Newly-minted Newman University athletic director Vic Trilli was kind enough to sit down with Sunflower Slate for a Q&A last week, and while he’s adjusting to his move from Garden City — where he was the Garden City Community College AD since 2005 — to Wichita just fine, there’s still a few loose ends that needed to be tied up in Western Kansas before he can set up roots here. I had the opportunity to cover a Trilli-led athletic department for the better part of two seasons when I was with the Garden City Telegram, so there’s a little history there between us, which of course makes him a Sunflower Slate favorite. He’s also got big-time experience; he was the men’s basketball coach at North Texas and an assistant at the University of Texas before getting into an administration role.
Here’s some excerpts from our interview:
SS: Coach, thanks for taking the time for Sunflower Slate. How’s things at Newman? Have you found a house yet?
VT: No house yet. I’m still working on getting rid of the one I have in Garden City! I’ll tell you what, though, there’s a lot of nice places here in town, west side, east side, I’m looking, that’s for sure.
SS: So you’re moving to the suburbs?
VT: Come on now (laughing) I just said there’s a lot of nice places here in town. I’m looking. That’s all I’m saying is that I’m looking.
SS: So what’s been the hardest part of the transition?
VT: Well two things jump out right now; schedules and budgets. Coming in, I have no control over the schedules and had to take them as is.
SS: So you’d change the schedules?
VT: Right now it’s just something I have to come in and accept and embrace, because we can’t do anything about it at this point. Yes, there’s things I’d adjust, but we’ll get through this year and then think about the future.
SS: And the budget? Is it a fundraising sort of thing?
VT: Budgets were another thing. They were finalized long before I took the job. What I’m going to do is go out and set up some booster club drives and find the right kind of people to go out and help us make this transition to Division II. That’s another thing that’s been kind of bothering me. We’ve gone to NCAA Division II, the only private school in the state to make that move, and we haven’t had any sort of celebration. We need to celebrate that fact. And let people know we can play for championships now.
SS: So a party is in the works?
VT: Definitely a celebration. We need to let people know. This is a big deal.
SS: True. What about the men’s basketball team? What do you think of Coach (Mark) Potter from what you’ve seen so far.
VT: I know he’s got a good chance to have a good men’s basketball team this year. Coach Potter has the coaching background, and the passion he brings to the game … I’m excited about what we can do. I’m also excited about our women’s team .. (Coach) Tracy Anderson has that thing headed in the right direction.
SS: Coach, thanks for your time. Last question. Have you found a favorite place to eat at yet? There’s a little more variety here than in Garden City.
VT: Oh, man! Lots of places, lots of places. How about you let me take you to one? Sooner than later.
SS: Of course coach.