Athletic director search entering second round

Institutional Sports

 Western’s search for new director of athletics was narrowed by almost half in the second round of their search.      Western spent much of last year looking for a new athletic director but was not happy with the results. Although, it was not a success Dan Nicoson, Westernís vice president for the university advancement and screening committee chair, does not feel the first search was a failure.    “We have had decent amount of applications, among them some people whose credentials made them creditable candidates,” Nicoson said.  ìWe narrowed that down to three finalists and decided we did not find a good match for Western, some feel that the timing may not have been the best.”   The university has decided that 27 of the 58 candidatesí meet the minimum requirements.  The committee met on Jan. 18 to renew their search process.  Within the second search the committee will be looking for a number of different criteria including: collegiate athletics administrative experience, management style and philosophy, NCAA compliance, character, community involvement, demonstrable fundraising success and a record of developing competitive athletic programs with strong academic achievements for student-athletes.    Nicoson mentioned that the 14 member committee is working through the second step right now and hoping it gets done quickly.  “I would certainly hope that not later than the end of February that we could narrow it down to the finalists,” Nicoson said.     Nicoson mentioned with President Scanlon stepping in and acting as current athletic director their hopes to finding and appointing the position is open, but is aimed between beginning of March and the fiscal year.  But it is in the hands of President Scanlon.    Coach Smith, Westernís menís basketball coach, does not feel the lack of an athletic director has had a major role on the universities athletic departments.  “I donít think it has had that much affect,î Coach Smith said. ìThere is not a lot of personal contact, especially during the season, at least not from the basketball stand point.”   Although, Coach Smith and Nicoson would like to see some new renovations with the softball, baseball facilities and the basketball arena, but the total of the Westernís Maximum Experience has spent more than it has risen.    “The Maximum Experience produces approximately 400 thousand a year, we cannot make improvement to the stadiums for that amount of money,” Nicoson said.  “We have to take some time until the funds cover it, or we would have to find some way to debt finance it, which will require some research and the administration to weight that with their other debts.”   The preference of the committee would be to have the athletic director hired and active before a new president.  Nicoson feels that the new president will depend heavily on the athletic director to help bring him up to speed and have some things ready for Western.       Mark Linder was the athletic director for Western for the last five years.  He has chosen to resign from this job to take another at the University of North Alabama.  Linder was hesitant about moving, but North Alabama is closer to home and family for him. The move made sense for him and his family.

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