The 3rd Man In

Q&A: Milwaukee Panthers AD Amanda Braun

With the summer coming to a close and the 2016-17 college athletics season about to begin, I sat down with Milwaukee Panther athletic director Amanda Braun to discuss the state of the baseball facility, the impressive season the women’s soccer program had last year under first year head coach Troy Fabiano and all the latest news surrounding the men’s basketball program.

Read our conversation here:

Dan Zielinski III: Your deal for a new baseball stadium was announced at the end of 2014, last September you said you were still confident in that plan, where do you stand as of today with Mike Zimmerman, the owner of MKE Sports & Entertainment LLC, in your effort to get a new baseball stadium?

Amanda Braun: It will be in Franklin now. Ballpark Commons is what they’ve named it. It’s more expansive than just a stadium. They have an indoor facility for baseball. They are then do some other residential and mixed-use development as well. That’s their plan.

They’ve been moving through that process down in Franklin and working with the neighborhood and municipal government. It seems to be going along pretty well. They’ve gone through a couple of different approvals phases and in the next month there will be another one that they are getting ready for. It seems like it’s really positive so far.

DZ: Are you still confident a deal will get done?

AB: For us, if and when they get that facility done, we feel confident that we are going to have a deal with Mike Zimmerman, unless something unexpected pops up. We are very confident the deal will happen. It’s a matter of whether or not he can get his part done with his developmental group, which does sound like it’s going well.

DZ: You said last September that your priority was with MKE Sports & Entertainment LLC, but now that it has taken so long, have you explored other options for a baseball facility?

AB: We have heard from one or two other places about their ideas. Not ideal for us, but we continue to remain open to listening to anyone who wants to bring forward ideas and concepts.

DZ: Synthetic turf was installed prior to last season at Henry Aaron Field, is there anymore renovations that will be made to Henry Aaron Field?

AB: At this time we don’t have any plans. Nothing significant.

DZ: Being in the midwest where the weather has a big impact on the season, do you think once you get this new baseball facility it can build the fanbase and take the program to the next level?

AB: That’s an important component for that program, particularly around recruiting and generating some interest from fans. I think it will be a great help to that program.

DZ: The women’s soccer team won winning the regular season conference title last season in Troy Fabiano’s first year as head coach. Were you surprised on how well the team did?

AB: I wasn’t overly surprised. We knew how talented he was as a coach from everything we researched and learned. There’s always a transition. We also knew how talented our team was. You never know what the league is going to be like in terms of competitiveness so that’s an x-factor. We are really proud of the way they fought through the season and how they didn’t lose any of their league games.

DZ: It also has to be reassuring for you seeing Coach Fabiano succeed with him being your first major coaching hire?

AB: Right now we feel really good. He was impressive. It’s interesting, UWM attracts really great high level people. I don’t have any doubt when we have openings that we will have people who are interested that are pretty high caliber.

DZ: You have a men’s basketball play-by-play radio broadcast position open, is there a timetable when you might fill that spot?

AB: I think the announcement could come relatively soon. We’ve narrowed that pool down and will be doing some interviews soon. We are hoping to make a decision in the fairly short term.

DZ: Are you looking to fill the position with someone from the Milwaukee area?

AB: Interestingly we got attention from a pretty broad spectrum of fokes from a lot of different places. That wasn’t something we really considered. It’s not a full-time position and that’s something that needs to be considered for anyone who’s interested in the position. We are excited about the pool we have.

DZ: The athletic department announced that the Panther Arena will have a new court next year, why was now the right time to get a new court?

AB: That court hadn’t been done in sometime. We thought it was time for a fresh look. Nothing outlandish but something that is a fresh look with our logos and our colors and neat for the fans to be apart of.

DZ: What is the status of the men’s basketball practice facility?

AB: It is still on the board. It is moving in the process. It is a state process since it’s considered a state project. It is in the process. I’m remaining optimistic that ultimately we will be able to see that happen. But there are things you can’t do a whole lot about and so we are being patient as we wait for the process to play out.

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  1. Pingback: Milwaukee’s AD Discusses Baseball Facility – College Baseball Daily

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