Beleaguered Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon resigned Friday, school president Mark Schlissel announced at a news conference.
"Dave feels that it would be in the best interest of our student-athletes, the athletic department and the university community if he moved on to other challenges and allowed the important work of the department and the university to continue without daily distractions," Schlissel said. "I agree with this decision.
" ... There is no doubt that Dave loves the University of Michigan and wants to see us move forward and succeed. I thank him for his long service and life-long commitment to Michigan."
Schlissel became Michigan's president in September.
Jim Hackett, a former UM football player who was a teammate of Brandon's with the Wolverines under coach Bo Schembechler, was named the interim AD, effective immediately. He long has been a corporate executive, including 19 years as the CEO of a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based manufacturer of office furniture.
Brandon, 62, had been the AD since 2010. He is a Michigan alum and was the chairman of the board of Domino's Pizza when he was hired by Michigan.
He hired Brady Hoke as football coach, and Hoke definitely is on the hot seat. The timing of Brandon's resignation could throw the expected Michigan coaching search into turmoil, as it would be difficult to hire a new coach without that coach knowing who his boss would be.
Brandon has come under fire from both students and alumni throughout his tenure, and the alumni association website earlier this week ran a story critical of Brandon.
Brandon's salary was $850,000 in 2013. In July 2012, his contract was extended through June 2018. He'll be paid $3 million over the next four years by Michigan, according to the settlement agreement released by the school.
Brandon oversaw one of the richest athletic departments in the nation. USA Today has reported that Michigan's total athletic department revenues in 2013 were $141 million. That was the fourth-highest amount nationally, behind only Texas, Wisconsin and Alabama.
One interesting storyline to follow is whether Michigan goes "outside the family" with its next hire. Hiring a "Michigan man" hasn't necessarily paid off of late, with Brandon and Hoke as examples. Wolverines basketball coach John Beilein, on the other hand, has had great success, and had no previous ties to the school.