Spear Named Athletics Director

<b>Rob Spear</b> has been chosen as Director of Athletics for the University of Idaho, interim president Gary Michael announced Monday.

Photo by Medic
Interim President Gary Michael announces the permanent hiring of Rob Spear as The University of Idaho's Athletics Director.

"We need the continuity and stability of a long-term athletic director, especially as we continue to sort out our athletic conference affiliation issues," Michael said. "Rob has the background and skills to lead Vandal athletics through the tough terrain ahead as well as to manage the day-to-day operations. I have been impressed with the leadership he has brought to the interim position and I expect that performance to continue."

Spear has been given a three-year contract, which, Michael said, underscores the institution's commitment to stability in the position.

"Often times the inherent visibility of athletics makes it the first point of contact to a university," Michael said. "We want to make sure we successfully utilize this front door. To do that, we need to make a commitment to its stability and viability.

"I personally endorse the mission of Vandal athletics - from the commitment of the Vandal Scholarship Fund to the completion of the Vandal Athletic Center. I have pledged - and will continue to pledge - my financial support and personal advocacy to ensuring our student-athletes are given every opportunity to succeed in the classroom and in their arenas of competition."

Photo by Medic
Rob discusses his general plans for the future of Vandal athletics.

Spear, who has served as athletic director in an interim capacity since Oct. 10 acknowledged there are challenges ahead but said he welcomes the opportunity and the long-term commitment.

"I've learned this the past three months: Yes, we have challenges," Spear said. "And no, they are not insurmountable.

"Vandal athletics has a rich and proud tradition in every arena of competition and a history of success in the classroom. My mission is to continue those traditions while at the same time looking toward and building for what promises to be a bright future."

Always a fan of Vandal athletics, Spear said his introduction to the inner workings of the department has been rewarding.

"On a personal note," Spear said, "I've had a great time. It seems like every day is a new challenge but it's fun. I look forward to coming to work every day."

Spear has been at UI since 1989 and for the six months prior to his athletics appointment was UI's interim assistant financial vice president. He started his UI career as an internal auditor and he later worked in grants contracts. More recently, Spear has been an Assistant Vice President for University Outreach in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. He received his doctoral degree in education from UI in 1993 after earning his MBA from Montana in 1983 and his bachelor's degree in business administration from Great Falls in 1980.

Spear and his wife, Sandy, have one daughter, Morgan.

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