Ask New Orleans Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis '79 what people involved with the National Football League (NFL) think of University of Oregon football, and he'll answer: Respect.
"I'm completely happy with the direction my career has taken," said Loomis. Everybody in the NFL knows they're lucky, but sometimes you forget that you have a pretty good deal going. A lot of it is being in the right place at the right time." Like in an advisor's office. Among others, Loomis credits Accounting Professor Paul Frishkoff for nudging him toward applying for a master's degree in physical education and sports administration at Wichita State University; this was pre-Warsaw Sports Marketing Center, when only two such programs existed, none of which were housed in a business school.
"When Mickey came to my office," remembers Frishkoff, "he said he'd interviewed with all the major CPA firms and had come up empty. I asked him what he loved so much about large accounting firms, and there was a silence. Then he said, 'It's not about loving it, that's what you're supposed to do.'"
So Frishkoff asked him what he would really love to do. Loomis answered instantly, "Sports."
Loomis earned his master's, then returned home to an internship in the UO athletic department, which worked into a job coaching basketball at Willamette High and teaching. In 1983 Loomis got a call to interview for a position with the Seattle Seahawks. He nailed it and worked with the team until 2000, when he accepted a position with the New Orleans Saints as a senior administrator. "At the time I entered football the salary cap had just come into existence," said Loomis. "I was really able to put my accounting degree to work." In 2002 he was promoted to General Manager of the team.
"My time at the UO was really, really good," said Loomis. "Paul Frishkoff and a number of people in Eugene were very influential," he said. "Without them my life would have taken another path."
If the UO athletic director job opens up sometime, Loomis's path just might lead back to Oregon. For now he's happy in New Orleans, proud of his daughter Katherine and son Alex.