Senior Associate Athletic Director Scott Farmer swam at Georgia Southern, served as Associate Athletic Director at Troy, before coming to Louisiana. He talks about his path here, and what he sees in the future for Ragin' Cajuns Athletics.

Scott Farmer, Ragin' Cajuns Athletics, University of LouisianaTell us about yourself.

I was born in Hollywood Florida, but grew up in Daytona Beach. I was graduated from Father Lopez High School, and after that I went to Georgia Southern. I received a BS in Health & Physical Education there, and my MS in Sports Administration.

How did you end up in athletics?

I was a swimmer all the way through college. I guess you could say I was successful; I held the school record in butterfly, individual medley, and distance freestyle-- I think my own swimmers broke my record, and derived great joy from doing so. So after graduation, I became the head women's swimming coach, and about a year and a half later, I became the Assistant Athletic Director. I stayed at Georgia Southern for 12 years after graduation. Then in 1999, I went to Troy as the Associate Director of Athletics.

What prompted you to leave your alma mater?

It was a great opportunity, an opportunity to influence Troy's move from 1AA up to 1A. That was very exciting for me. At the time, the main Troy campus had only about 4,000 students, and the decision had been made by the Board of Trustees to move up. That's the challenge I love, right there. It was exciting to orchestrate that move.

So what brought you to UL?

That's a tough one, because it's a two year story. It goes back to when the University was looking for an Athletic Director. I was a finalist, but then there was the hiring freeze after the hurricane. After that, the University was preoccupied with the NCAA. But [UL Athletic Director] David Walker and I had gotten to know each other through conference interactions. From him and from my own digging, I got to study not only UL, but the entire region. I became more and more intrigued about the potential that exists here. Then one day, David called and asked, "What will it take?"

After looking hard at UL and Acadiana, I am convinced that most people have no idea what the ceiling is here.

University of Louisiana, Ragin' Cajuns, Cajun Field, Football StadiumDo you think there's a ceiling here?

[Chuckle] No, I don't. I think the sky's the limit. I see a great community that embraces UL, and the Ragin' Cajuns. I see a community made of strong businesses, and business leaders who are very anxious to support their local institution. Going through the parking lot at UL games, people come up and say, "I got a check here and I don't know who to give it to." Trust me, you don't get that everywhere in the country.

It's just a great community with great people, and great students... 17,000 is really a good-sized university, and it's probably going to grow. This is a place coaches can recruit to. We have some facilities that have to be taken care of, but as soon we get that done, then we'll be able to greatly enhance our recruiting. Because the first job of a coach is to recruit, and everything follows from that.

On a personal level, we thought Lafayette was just a great place to raise a family. I have an 8th grader and a 5th grader, and the educational and cultural opportunities afforded to them here are just fantastic.

University of Louisiana, Ragin' Cajuns, CajundomeDid anything about Lafayette and UL surprise you?

The gracious reception that the Farmers have received in Lafayette has really surprised me. People have opened their homes, their tailgating parties, their camps, and their hearts to us. And I have said repeatedly, we're not planning to leave Lafayette anytime soon, maybe never.

What's your vision here? What are your goals?

My goals are to position this athletic department to accept membership in the best conference that comes calling. I'm not knocking the Sunbelt by any means, it's a good conference. But there are changes coming in the future, conferences are going to shift, and we don't want UL to be left out because 5 years earlier we hadn't positioned ourselves properly. So I want to position the Athletic Department-- meaning the budget, the facilities, the teams, the attendance-- so that we can be ready for whatever opportunities appear, and whatever conferences come looking.

University of Louisiana, Ragin' Cajuns, Indoor Practice Facility, Leon MonclaDo you have any idea what UL's future conference might look like?

No. But I think ADs around the country are starting to realize the importance of regional competition. It's almost like we're going back 50 years, when all conferences were regional. I think you're going to see that attitude, that philosophy, come back. I think you'll see us playing schools like Houston, Rice, USM, Tulane, and Tech, because regional opponents excite people, and bring people to the games. Even LSU saw some of their biggest crowds when they hosted UL. Whatever conference we end up in, I think you'll see us trying to schedule more regional games.

What does UL need to get into another conference?

There are two things that are critical: fundraising, and facilities. Facilities help us recruit, and recruiting helps us move up to the next level. But to get the facilities, we need the fundraising.

We hope that this Spring we'll announce some big news concerning fundraising and capital projects; not just one announcement, there are several large very projects in the works.

University of Louisiana, Ragin' Cajuns Softball, Lamson Park, Softball FieldTell us about the internal changes that have taken place since you've arrived here.

First of all, we've already reorganized the Athletic Department, and tried to align jobs and tasks with the strength of individuals in the Department. At the same time, we're trying to cover some of our pressing needs. And our internal assessment, quite honestly, showed where our true weaknesses are. We are hopeful that with fundraising, we'll be in a position to approach the Administration for more staff.

Internally, we're also looking at all of the UL marketing inventory that has been outsourced, and we're trying to evaluate where we are and how we can do things better. We want to publish our own schedule cards, posters and produce a lot of our other materials.

We need to control our product.

Read the article on Scott here.