At the beginning of the semester, the freshman residents of South Residence Hall on Marshall University's campus were awfully confused, "who is that old guy wandering around here all the time?" they must have asked themselves.
A few weeks into the beginning of the semester Mike Hamrick (far right) was even stopped by one of the RAs who wanted to know what he was doing there.
Hamrick explained that he lived in the dorm and then pointed at the all-girls wing, saying his room was down there.
That must have seemed awfully creepy to the RA.
Hired in July as the school's new Athletic Director, when he moved from Las Vegas, Hamrick informed school President Stephen Kopp that he would need some temporary housing. "He got back to me and said 'I’ve got a really great apartment for you' and I said great," Hamrick said.
"He said it is in a residence hall and I said 'Great, I can’t wait!'"
So now the 52-year-old 1980 Marshall grad is back where it all started, reliving his college experience; he hangs out eating pizza, watches sports with the other guys in the lounge and does his laundry on Sunday afternoons like any other freshman. No word if he has had any awkward walks-of-shame as yet.
"At first, the students looked at me kind of funny like 'who is this old guy?'" Hamrick said. "I don’t think I’ve ever heard of an athletic director living in a freshman residence hall." He's having fun with the situation, getting to know the students, he even went to school with one of the RA's mom! The other day while doing laundry a student came up to Hamrick,
"He said, 'Excuse me sir, I’m not trying to be rude, but what are you doing,'" Hamrick said. When Hamrick replied that he was doing laundry, the student then informed him it was a freshman residence hall. "I told him I live here and he said, 'You’re a freshman?'" Hamrick said. Hamrick said he jokingly told the student he was a 52-year-old freshman who had been out in the world and decided to return to college. "After about ten minutes, I finally told him that I am the new athletic director," he said. ..."I feel like Rodney Dangerfield [in Back to School]," he joked. "To be honest, it’s made me feel young. I graduated in 1980 and living in the dorm makes me feel like I never left."
At the end of the semester Hamrick's wife will join him in Huntington and he will move off campus to his new home. In the meantime he's emailing back and forth with his daughter, a freshman at the University of Nevada-Reno comparing freshman dorm experiences.
My recommendation is that if Hamrick wants the kids to really like him, he better man up and start buying the freshman some beer. After all, who is going to bust the Athletic Director for throwing a party? Also, he better pull his weight during the dorm water-gun assassins tournament or there will be hell to pay!