The AD Search Goes On

Kansas State's search for a new athletics director is approaching a new phase as applications were encouraged to be in by April 15. The hope is that a new leader will be in place by June, at the latest.

One of yours who knows the lay of the Kansas State land, or, someone with a totally new vision?

That's what members of the Kansas State search committee will be trying to decide when it comes time to name a new director of athletics for the Wildcats.

Amy Button Renz, K-State Alumni Association President and CEO, and leader of the AD search committee, declined to give an estimate on the number of applications received, but she did say, "We're very pleased with the interest we have received for the position. We're going to have an outstanding applicant pool that is coming from throughout the entire country."

Unusual with this hiring is the number of former Kansas Staters as possible candidates, who are now in the athletic administration business as athletic directors, or associates: Sheahon Zenger at Illinois State; Jeff Schemmel at San Diego State; Bruce Van De Velde at Louisiana Tech; Chris Peterson at Arkansas-Little Rock; Mike O'Brien at Toledo; Kirby Hocutt at Miami (Florida); Craig Helwig at Texas; Marc Boehm at Nebraska; and Craig Thompson is commissioner of the Mountain West Athletic Conference.

Of those contacted, responses have carried the same careful theme: Have not applied, have not been contacted; happy with where I am.

Zenger talked openly about his happiness with life at Illinois State, and the degree of backing from his administration and his coaching staff.

Boehn, who like Zenger is a KSU graduate, said last week, "I have a tremendous amount of respect for Kansas State. I know it's a program with great head coaches and a passionate fan base, but I'm very happy at Nebraska. I've been here six years, and while you are always looking for individual advancement and growth in your chosen profession, I love it here. I'm very content and satisfied."

O'Brien, a past assistant AD for the Wildcats, said much the same: "I'm very happy with what we have going at the University of Toledo. We have a lot on our plate right now with refurbishing our basketball arena and we're about ready to start a new indoor facility for football.

"Kansas State is a great place with a tremendous fan base, but I'm really happy here at Toledo," O'Brien emphasized.

Button Renz said there would be no preferential treatment for candidates with a K-State past.

As for priorities in looking for a replacement for Bob Krause, she said, "We want someone who has been a proven athletic administrator, who has demonstrated fund raising abilities, and a communicator."

The director will be charged with running a department with a total budget of nearly $40 million, which covers the NCAA minimum of 16 sports.

Applications are encouraged to be in by April 15, but Button Renz said, "Our search will continue until we have an athletic director in place."

The position has been advertised in NCAA News, the Black Coaches Association and the Division I Athletic Director's Association publication.

Button Renz says a yet to be determined number of applicants would be interviewed before President Kirk Schulz makes the final decision.

That decision is expected by June.

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