Many fans predicted that Akron was a stepping stone in Mack Rhoades' career plan.
Few believed his stay as athletic director would last only 3.5 years.
According to the ABJ and Plain Dealer, Rhoades has accepted the athletic director job at the University of Houston.
Rhoades brought to fruition the stadium plan, which was only a rough sketch when he arrived in January 2006. His coaching selections have been wise; Rhoades' plan was to hire successful individuals who already had head coaching experience.
His successor will take over in the most crucial year of the football team's existence. A strong year will give the team an attendance boost that it may never relinquish. A sub-par year will probably require a coaching change. Upcoming projects include improvements to the soccer stadium and a new basketball arena.
After the jump is a statement from Rhoades released by the UA athletic department:
"It has been my absolute pleasure to serve as athletics director at The University of Akron the past three-plus years. I, my wife Amy and daughters, have thoroughly enjoyed the Akron community and the relationships we have developed.
"Dr. Proenza and the support from the University's Board of Trustees have made both The University of Akron and the Department of Athletics one of the top programs in the Mid-American Conference. Also, I would like to thank Akron's athletics staff, coaches and student-athletes. I am well aware I would not be in the position I am if it were not for those individuals. I feel Akron Athletics is in a better position now than three years ago and can not wait to see the program continue to grow in the future.
"I was not actively nor passively looking to leave Akron. In fact, when first approached by the search firm hired to assist the University of Houston in this process, I expressed to them I was not interested. However, further persuasion and learning more about the University made me take a second look at the opportunity. The University of Houston, like Akron, has an unbelievable leader. Dr. Renu Khator is dedicated to making both the Houston and the Cougar Athletics one of the nation's best.
"This was a very tough decision and has weighed heavily upon me and my family over the past week. However, we ultimately felt this was the right decision for us. Being from the Southwest allows us to be closer to home and, more importantly, closer to family members of both Amy and me.
"You can not put in the hours and effort required for this job, as well as develop personal relationships with the student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans, and not remain invested in The University of Akron's success. I care deeply about Akron and will remain one of the Zips biggest fans. I wish Akron nothing but the best in the future.''