Mike O’Brien, the vice president and director of athletics at Toledo, has been appointed to the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, replacing Ohio Athletics Director Jim Schaus. Schaus, who just finished his third year on the committee, is resigning to spend more time on campus. O’Brien will serve the remaining two years on Schaus’ original five-year appointment, which began in 2015.
O’Brien, who was an assistant basketball coach for three seasons in the mid-1980s, has a master’s degree in education from Wisconsin-River Falls and another in sports administration from Western Illinois. A 1975 graduate of Missouri Valley College, the Iowa City, Iowa, native held athletics administration positions at Ball State, Pittsburgh, Lamar University and Kansas State before being named to his current role in 2002.
“I am deeply honored to be appointed to represent the University of Toledo and the Mid-American Conference as a member of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee,” O’Brien said. “I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to join the tremendous group of people who serve on this very important committee. I especially want to thank the NCAA’s senior vice president of basketball, Dan Gavitt, for this opportunity. I began my career in athletics as a basketball coach, so it is very exciting and gratifying for me to be a part of the committee that selects the field for one of the greatest sporting events in the world, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.”
O’Brien has extensive experience with various NCAA committees, having served on the Division I Competition Oversight Committee and the Division I Football Issues Committee. He currently is a member of the Division I Council and the Division I Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee and has served as the Mid-American Conference’s representative to the College Football Playoff Committee.
“We’re pleased to welcome Mike O’Brien to the Men’s Basketball Committee,” Gavitt said. “Mike is highly respected by his peers as an athletics director with a long tenure at Toledo and a deep history of NCAA committee service. Having started his career as a college assistant basketball coach, Mike has great passion and feel for the game.
“I also want to acknowledge and thank Jim Schaus for his dedication and service on the Men’s Basketball Committee for the past three years. Jim’s thoughtful approach to every decision with which the committee was faced was inspiring to all those who served with him. We’ll certainly miss him. We understand that the men and women on this committee have incredibly important roles on their campuses and at their conference offices. Obviously, those must take priority, and we are respectful of that.”
O’Brien will serve on the committee with chair Bernard Muir of Stanford, vice chair Kevin White of Duke, Janet Cone of UNC Asheville, Mitch Barnhart of Kentucky, Craig Thompson of the Mountain West Conference, Jim Phillips of Northwestern, Tom Burnett of the Southland Conference, Bernadette McGlade of the Atlantic 10 Conference and Chris Reynolds of Bradley.