Villarreal: Rawlins made a big impact on UNT athletics

I mentioned a couple of days ago just what an important impact I thought Lane Rawlins has made during his time as UNT’s president. He was around when UNT opened Apogee Stadium and when a host of new coaches were hired, including Dan McCarney.

I put in a call to Rick Villarreal to get his take.

Villarreal was a little under the weather and didn’t get back to me until we had finished up the paper for the next day.

His comments were telling, which is why I wanted to post them on the blog today.

Villarreal has worked for a more than a few presidents when one counts his time at various schools, including UNT.

“The one thing that [Rawlins] brought was that he understands how athletics fits into a successful university,” Villarreal said. “When you have a leader who understands, then you can go to him and he will realize that you are not going to be able to hire a Dan McCarney for $225,000. That helps.”

UNT significantly boosted the amount of money it is paying to coaches over the last few years. McCarney is making $545,000 when you count in guaranteed incentives with the chance to make a whole lot more with other performance bonuses.

One can usually spot Rawlins at games as well.

“He always promoted the programs and asked for tickets to give away to people,” Villarreal said. “He would send out messages to large groups and would always mention athletics.”

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