University of Wyoming Athletic Director Tom Burman

Tom Burman, an alumnus of University of Wyoming, has been the institution’s Athletic Director for more than 15 years and you can hear the passion he has for Wyoming throughout this entire interview. Burman talks about the advantage and challenges for revenue generation being the main sports entertainment in a state full of tough terrain to travel, and the smallest state by population in America. Burman left Wyoming earlier in his career to serve as AD at Portland State from 2000 to 2006 before returning to lead Cowboys athletics. I was curious whether leaving to be an AD somewhere else made returning to Wyoming an easier transition being AD with actual AD experience. In response, Burman shares his thoughts on some concerning trends in AD hires and the indecision surrounding what jobs to take and what titles to collect along the way. The conversation then turns to how Wyoming has possibly the coolest logo in all of college sports and Burman discusses mascot history, brand power, and using Cowboys/Cowgirls instead of some schools adding “Lady.” Wyoming is one of the rare FBS institutions to get Power 5 non-conference football games at HOME, so we discussed his ability to get those contracts and what he thinks the future of football scheduling will look like for FBS schools. Burman talks about his concerns surrounding the transfer portal but acknowledges that he does understand why it exists. The conversation ends with Burman offering several pieces of advice for current and future athletic administrators on the career changes they will be faced in a changing college athletics industry.

0:17 Institutional/State of Wyoming Profile
5:28 Advantages & Challenges for Revenue Generation at UW
8:25 Coming Back to Wyoming as AD
10:30 An Industry Trend Burman Does Not Like in Power 5 AD Hires
13:30 Discussing Future Trends in Job Titles & AD Hires
18:10 History of the Coolest Logo in College Athletics
24:10 Horse and Pony Live Mascots (Pistol Pete & Cowboy Joe)
25:08 Using “Wyoming” and “Cowboys” & “Cowgirls”
30:08 Ability to Get Strong Home FB Games w/ Power 5 Schools
32:33 Future of Non-Conference FB Scheduling w/ Power 5
35:00 Industry Challenges Ahead for FBS & FCS (Compensation & Transfers)
41:00 What Keeps You Excited to Stay in the AD Chair
44:25 Parting Advice for Current/Future Administrators from Tom Burman

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