Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Saturday, May 26, 2018

Search committee formed for new athletic director

AU has announced the formation of a search committee to look for a new athletic director following the departure of Keith Gill. President Neil Kerwin announced the members of the committee in his campus-wide email Dec. 4.

Vice President of Campus Life Gail Hanson will chair the search committee. Associate Director of Athletics and Senior Woman Administrator Athena Argyropoulos, field hockey head coach Steve Jennings, and current women’s lacrosse player Emily Maher will represent the athletic department.

Other groups with representation on the nine-member search committee include the AU Alumni Association, along with several University academic figures and administrators.

“You want to look to have people with experience in athletics, but you also want to see what different insights people have to bring to the table,” AU Chief of Staff David Taylor said in a phone interview. “You want to have a mix of people.”

Taylor said that major search operations will begin when school resumes in January. He said he hopes that an athletic director will be announced by the end of the spring semester.

Taylor will operate the day-to-day operations of the athletic program while the search is underway. He served in a similar role in 2006-07 before AU hired Gill.

The committee will partner with the search firm Parker Executive Search to find potential candidates. AU used the same firm when hiring Gill in 2007.

Kerwin and the President’s office will have the final say in the selection, ultimately choosing among a short list of candidates selected by the committee.

The next athletic director needs to be someone who continues to build upon the athletic and academic success seen under Gill, according to Taylor.

“Now that we have the athletic program on a whole new level, you want to see where you can go next,” Taylor said.

Under Gill, AU captured 11 Patriot League team championships. In 2011-12, 121 student-athletes were named to the Dean’s List.

A key for the new athletic director will be flexibility and being able to look at how AU can continue to compete and keep up with the national collegiate landscape, according to Taylor.

He added that the new athletic director will be asked to continue current success, but also examine new ways to expand the program.

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