INDIANAPOLIS — A familiar face will join the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, as Mike Bobinski, vice president and director of athletics at Purdue, will assume the vacancy left by Jim Phillips, the outgoing vice president for athletics and recreation at Northwestern. Phillips is taking over as Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner next month, creating a void in the Big Ten Conference’s representation on the committee. That presented the opportunity for the immediate appointment of Bobinski, who served on the committee for the 2009-13 tournaments while working at Xavier.
Phillips was serving as the vice chair of the committee this season and was set to take over the role as chair for the 2021-22 season. That responsibility now falls to Tom Burnett, the Southland Conference commissioner, who has been a member of the committee since 2017.
Bobinski, who chaired the committee for the 2012-13 season, has been at Purdue since 2016. The Boilermakers have been one of the top 16 overall seeds in each of the past three tournaments, reaching the Sweet 16 twice and the Elite Eight once. During his tenure as athletics director at Xavier, the Musketeers made 10 of 13 NCAA tournaments and a pair of trips to the Elite Eight.
Between his stints at Purdue and Xavier, Bobinski was director of athletics at Georgia Tech. He previously worked in the athletics departments at Navy and Notre Dame, from which he graduated magna cum laude in 1979 after playing baseball for four years for the Fighting Irish.
“I am honored by the opportunity to replace Jim Phillips as the Big Ten’s representative and appreciate the committee and NCAA men’s basketball staff support of my appointment,” Bobinski said. “The NCAA men’s basketball championship is one of the truly great events in all of sport, and I look forward to helping provide a memorable competitive experience for all the student-athletes who take part.”
Burnett has served in his current role since 2002. The Houston native and Louisiana Tech graduate has a long history with the tournament, having served as the public and media relations chair for the New Orleans Local Organizing Committee at the 2003 Final Four.
“We congratulate Jim on his new role with the ACC, as he is a terrific choice to lead that league,” said Dan Gavitt, the NCAA’s senior vice president of basketball. “While we certainly regret that he won’t be able to finish his term on the committee, we couldn’t be more excited to have Mike back on the committee. His experience, particularly coming in midseason and during such a unique year, makes him a perfect replacement for Jim.
“We’re also thrilled about Tom being elected by his peers to step in as the vice chair to help lead this team of dedicated professionals.”
In addition to Bobinski and Burnett, other committee members include current Chair Mitch Barnhart, the director of athletics at Kentucky; Bubba Cunningham, the director of athletics at North Carolina; Charles McClelland, the commissioner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference; Bernadette McGlade, the commissioner of the Atlantic 10 Conference; Mike O’Brien, the director of athletics at Toledo; Jamie Pollard, the director of athletics at Iowa State; Chris Reynolds, the director of athletics at Bradley; and Craig Thompson, the commissioner of the Mountain West Conference.