MANHATTAN- Kansas State University is searching for a new athletics director, and there's a chance the position could be filled with a former Wildcat.
Kansas Staters is always the place to fill a significant position at Kansas State.
In the search to replace Tim Weiser as director of athletics for the Wildcats, the first glance will be to those with K-State ties.
That short list includes Sheahon Zenger, athletics director at Illinois State University, and Jeff Schemmel, athletics director at San Diego State University.
Zenger, a 1988 KSU graduate, said Thursday, I'm excited for Tim, but right now, my mind is on focusing on the tasks at Illinois State. This is Kansas State of 1993. We have so many positive things going it would take something earth-shattering for me to leave.
Asked if K-State could shake his earth, Zenger laughed as he said, ?I care deeply for Kansas State, but this has been a dream job for me. I came here with a vision, and have been able to accomplish so much in just three years.
That has included record-setting attendance figures in football and women?s basketball, plus the acceptance of a $1.5 million architectural study to improve its football facility.
Zenger was hired as assistant recruiting coordinator for football by former Wildcat coach Bill Snyder in 1990, who later promoted him to director of football operations.
Zenger, who received his doctorate from the University of Kansas, returned to K-State to work in the KSU Foundation and help with fund raising in the college of business administration, and then with the athletic department as assistant athletic director in fund raising for major gifts.
He has been at Illinois State for the last three years.
Whether it is himself, or someone else, Zenger said, Replacing Tim is all about institutional fit. However that's defined within the university, it's about fit.
Zenger currently heads up a $15 million Illinois State department where his goal is simple: My ambition is to create an environment where young people can grow.
Schemmel was unavailable to return calls Thursday due to a department fund raising event.
A track standout at K-State from 1972-76, Schemmel has been at San Diego State for the last three years. Prior to that, he was associate commissioner for Governance and Legal Affairs with Conference USA.
Kirby Hocutt, a 1995 graduate of Kansas State, is also a Division I athletic director having taken over the Miami Hurricane athletic department last month after serving as AD at Ohio University. Hocutt, 36, is believed to be the youngest athletic director at a NCAA Division I school.
Yet another current collegiate administration with K-State ties is Craig Thompson, who is in his 10th year as commissioner of the Mountain West Conference. Thompson worked in the Wildcats sports information office in the early-1980s.
Through a conference representative, Thompson stated that he was not interested in the Kansas State position.