Schulz May Act Quickly

EXCLUSIVE: Kansas State President-elect Kirk Schulz confirmed to KStateFans.com that if interviews go well, he "may" have a new director of athletics in place in the next seven to 10 days. That is, if he can find the man he believes can "energize" the Wildcat Nation. This is an update on the story KStateFans.com broke last Friday with two of the three finalists.

The clock appears to be racing to announcement day for the position of athletics director at Kansas State University. President-elect Kirk Schulz told KStateFans.com that "certainly by June 1, and perhaps sooner than that," a decision will be made.

"Sooner" could mean in the next week so the new Wildcat AD could attend the upcoming annual Big 12 Conference spring meetings in Colorado Springs.

"I would certainly love that," Schulz admitted. "It would be nice to have a representative at the meetings."

But before that can happen, Schulz-on-candidate interviews must be conducted, the negotiation of a contract finalized, and, making sure that the individual hired could work the meetings into his personal schedule.

"But ideally, that would be great if it could happen," Schulz said. He added, "We are not going to rush things."

KStateFans.com has learned that an initial set of interviews did take place in Kansas City over the weekend of April 24-26, and that Schulz has been given a list of three names for consideration.

It's been confirmed that Marc Boehm, executive associate athletic director at Nebraska to AD Tom Osborne, and, John Currie, executive associate athletic director at Tennessee, are two of the three names on that abbreviated list.

Boehm, a native of Topeka, is a 1983 graduate of Kansas State. Prior to Nebraska, he was on the athletic staff at the University of Pittsburgh (1997-2003), and prior to that the associate executive director of the Fiesta Bowl (1987-1991).

Boehm led the search in the hire of Doc Sadler as NU's basketball coach, and orchestrated the largest multi-media contract in college sports through IMG College Sports. Currie is in his 10th year with the Volunteers. He's given much of the credit for the hire of Bruce Pearl as basketball coach, and has been saluted for heading a fundraising/marketing campaign of $70 million.

In addition, he's headed a $175 million renovation campaign for Tennessee's 100,000-plus-seat football stadium, and a $37 million improvement on the Vol's basketball facility.

Talking in general and not about specific candidates, Schulz said, "We really want someone to energize our fan base. Number one, that is what I want to see. I want that person who can get out in western Kansas, and into Kansas City, to get our fan-base energized. That's the number one thing.

"All the people we've looked at have good fundraising backgrounds and at some point have made good hires," Schulz said. "We want to go beyond that and find that individual who can come in and get people in the stands for all of our sports, and get our fans fired up."

And, Schulz said that goes beyond being a polished public speaker.

"There are a lot of great public speakers, but after they're done, they may go stand in the corner," Schulz said. "They enjoy the speaking, but are uncomfortable visiting with everyone afterward."

Schulz understands that nothing can better the mood of the Wildcat Nation more than winning football games. But he adds, "We have to have football be successful, but we want a total department. With the success all of our teams are having, that says a lot about the quality of the head coaches that we have right now.

"Now we have to retain the quality coaches that we have because they're going to be on the radar screen of other schools," Schulz added. "We have to make sure that we keep them to have continued success."

Former K-Stater Don Bocchi confirmed that he was one of those interviewed in Kansas City, but has been told that he was not "one of three" finalists.

Another known to have interviewed was former Kansas State track star Jeff Schemmel, who is currently the director of athletics at San Diego State. Like Bocchi, Schemmel is not a finalist. Schulz applauded the search committee for a "superb job," adding, "The group did exactly what I wanted them to. I feel very good with where we are."


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