Rick Bay, who quit as athletic director at Ohio State following the firing of football coach Earle Bruce, was named Monday as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the New York Yankees.
The 45-year-old Bay, whose background is in wrestling and football, said he initially will be responsible for the administrative operation of the team. Bay eventually hopes to get into personnel decisions with Steinbrenner, General Manager Lou Piniella and Manager Billy Martin.
"I want to learn as quickly as I can and be as effective as quickly as possible," Bay said.
Bay will fit in the team's hierarchy below Steinbrenner but above Piniella, who was replaced as manager after last season, and Martin, back for his fifth tour as Yankee manager.
Bay resigned as athletic director at Ohio State last Nov. 16 to protest the firing of Bruce, who was dismissed as football coach by university president Edward Jennings following a 6-4-1 season, his worst in a decade at the school. Bay complained that the record was used by people looking for an excuse to get rid of Bruce, who had an 81-26-1 record with the Buckeyes.
It's not the first time Steinbrenner has reached into the football ranks for some front-office help. Former National Football League and college head coach Lou Saban also worked for the Yankees in an executive position.