AD search gets underway

Jul 272003
Authors: Joshua Pilkington

With approximately 80 applications in and ready for review, the nine-member search committee assigned to find CSU’s next director of athletics can get down to business.

The committee’s application deadline of July 18 has come and gone and it is now up to each member to review each applicant on an individual basis before choosing who they believe to be the most effective candidates and bringing those names before the entire committee, said Robert Keller, the committee chairman and CSU’s NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative and director of the University Honors Program.

Working on a similar search committee three years prior when Hathaway was chosen as the school’s AD, Keller said the committee reviewed about 80 applications and that this time around the number appears to be the same.

“Last time we searched we had around 80 (applications),” he said. “We may be on pace to get that amount this time as well.”

With each of the nine committee members having to evaluate 80 applicants thoroughly, the time and effort required from the committee can sometimes seem excessive, Keller added.

“It takes quite a bit of time and effort,” he said. “It takes some time to go through various applications and as chair I get more action in the sense that people send me questions they have about applications for clarification.”

According to Gary Ozzello, assistant athletic director for media relations and search committee member, the process began of Friday after the application deadline expired. Now, he says, it is a matter of each committee member reviewing and evaluating the applications until a list of potential candidates can be “pared down to a workable number.”

Though there is no set timetable Ozzello and Keller said that they hope to have some finalists selected by mid-August.

“We would like to have a list of finalists done in three weeks, about the middle of August,” Ozzello said.

Keller added that though speed in the matter is important it is not the committee’s No. 1 priority.

“The agreement on the committee is to work as fast as we can reasonably, but with care,” he said. “What is most important to the committee is that confidentiality be contained.”

That confidentiality can go a long way in assuring that the people the committee does elect to bring to campus do not feel pressure from outside sources, Keller added.

“From the perspective of advertising the position to the public, no names will be disclosed until the finalists agree to be interviewed on campus,” he said.

Upon reaching that point, the final candidates would then be brought to campus to talk to newly- appointed President Larry Penley, who holds the final hiring decision.

As far as what the committee is looking for in each applicant, Ozzello said they are focusing on people who “are available to oversee the growth of the university’s athletic program and show leadership, vision and creativity in their work.”

One challenge the newly appointed AD will face upon arrival is the addition of another division-I sport to the university’s program. And though that is an issue for the AD, it is not something that plays into the committee’s decision, Ozzello said.

“Once appointed the first priority will be selecting another sport,” Ozzello said. “But that won’t play directly into the hiring.”


When former CSU Director of Athletics announced June 10 that he would assume the same position at the University of Connecticut, CSU wasted little time in forming a search committee made up of nine individuals with close ties to the university. These are their names and professional positions:

* Chairman Dr. Robert Keller, NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative and director of the University Honors Program

* Jackie Hartman, Chair of the Faculty Council Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics

* Blanche Hughes, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs

* Marsha Smeltzer, Associate Athletic Director of Student Support Services

* Gary Ozzello, assistant athletic director for media relations

* Dale Layer, men’s basketball coach

* Rulon Stacey, president of the Greater Ram Club and chief executive officer and president of Poudre Valley Health Systems

* Dana Hiatt, CSU’s Director of Equal Opportunity

* Keli McGregor, president of the Colorado Rockies and former CSU All-American tight end.

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