McNeese Athletic Foundation under new management

Published 11:40 am Wednesday, July 10, 2024

With his move into the president’s seat, Wade Rousse will give up his role as the leader of the McNeese Athletic Foundation.

Instead, Athletic Director Heath Schroyer will take over the reins as the face of MAF, who Rousse said he expects to name as vice president of athletics and external affairs as soon as possible.

“Heath will take on the responsibilities of fulfillment and budget executions,” Rousse said. “I will still be making some of the asking for money.

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“We have analyzed the entire structure of MAF and have redistributed some of the work. Heath will take over the operations. We have raised a lot of money together.”

Rousse and Schroyer say they were the driving forces behind MAF, helping turn around the athletic department over the last three years.

“I look forward to the new challenges,” said Schroyer, who was hired in March 2018 as head basketball coach and named AD in December 2020. “This is an exciting time at McNeese.”

While the position will take up more of his time, considering he recently began his role on the Division I Council and Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee, Schroyer said it will work out.

“I think it won’t be a problem,” he said. “My role really doesn’t change that much. Dr. Rousse and I have worked so well together that this just keeps going smoothly.

“I am excited about this.”

Schroyer has overseen the entire McNeese State Athletic program restructuring since he was named interim AD in July 2020.

With a budget $3 million in the red, McNeese Athletics was in a desperate state and looking for a new voice to take the department in a different direction.

“Things were very bad,” said former university President Dr. Daryl Burckel. “We had some major problems.”

Those included a football team on NCAA academic probation and on its fourth head coach in five seasons. Revenue and attendance were down and the future was uncertain.

And that was during the COVID shutdown and before the two hurricanes that would follow more than a month after Schroyer took over.

“We want to keep this thing going and growing,” Rousse said. “This should do that.”