Rick Osentoski, USA TODAY

Michigan officially announces search process for new AD

The Jim Hackett era at Michigan will soon be officially over after U-M announces plans for search for a permanent athletic director.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The Jim Hackett era, albeit short, will soon be coming to its conclusion.

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel announced on Wednesday that the university will be conducting a nationwide search for its new athletic director. Hackett, who has served in an interim role, will not be considered for the permanent position.

“Jim Hackett has been an exceptional interim AD,” Schlissel said in a statement. “I could not have asked for more from a leader. He stepped up at a moment of need and has served the institution with great distinction. Personally, he has been a pleasure to work with and I will always owe him a debt of gratitude. Jim does not wish to be considered for the permanent AD role. I have asked him to serve on the search advisory committee because he knows well what is required for the position to be successful. Great university citizen that he is, Jim has agreed to stay on until a permanent successor is in place.”

The university hired Turnkey Search that will begin operations immediately.

In his interim role, Hackett was responsible for the hiring of head football coach Jim Harbaugh, negotiating contract extensions with men's and women's basketball coaches John Beilein and Kim Barnes Arico and also negotiated a lucrative apparel deal with Nike, one of the richest in the nation.

All in a days work for someone who elected to oversee stability in the athletic department on a short-term basis.

"It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the University of Michigan and President Schlissel. This past year has been incredibly rewarding both personally and professionally, we have accomplished many great things,” Hackett said in a statement. “I loved serving my university and appreciate the support I have received from everyone connected with Michigan. I am now pleased to assist President Schlissel in identifying U-M’s next permanent athletic director and ensuring a smooth transition.” 

U-M's search committee includes Liz Barry, special counsel to the Schlissel, Anne Curzan, professor, Hackett, Corinne Harris, co-captain of women's track, Kevin Hegerty, CFO, Stefan G. Humphries, former U-M football player and softball coach Carol Hutchins.

No timetable has been given for the hiring of the new AD.


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