AD a key player in Zags’ suc­cess story

Roth’s ma­jor vic­to­ries in­clude keep­ing Few, im­prov­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - By Ni­cholas K. Geran­ios Gon­zaga

You might say Gon­zaga Ath­letic Di­rec­tor Mike Roth has tun­nel vi­sion.

Roth, co-ar­chi­tect of the team that is mak­ing its first Fi­nal Four ap­pear­ance this week­end, is too ner­vous to watch the Bull­dogs play from a seat. Years ago, he started stand­ing in the tunnels lead­ing into bas­ket­ball are­nas, where he could pace and mut­ter as the Bull­dogs played.

“I get ner­vous en­ergy around games,” Roth said this week. “It gives me the abil­ity to work off that ner­vous en­ergy.”

You can ex­pect to find Roth stand­ing in a tun­nel when Gon­zaga plays South Carolina on Satur­day in Glendale, Ari­zona, with the win­ner ad­vanc­ing to the ti­tle game.

“Why mess with some­thing that’s work­ing?” Roth said.

NI­CHOLAS K. GERAN­IOS / AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Mike Roth, an ex-Gon­zaga JV player, re­turned as a low-level ad­min­is­tra­tor and was named ath­letic di­rec­tor in 1998.

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