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AD search hits full swing

MU athletics
Jun. 09, 2009 @ 12:17 AM

HUNTINGTON -- A search committee has been hired. Local contemporaries, both within and beyond the athletic industry, are involved.

Soon they will join, kicking off full gear Marshall University's search for a new athletic director. Current AD Bob Marcum caps his seven-year tenure on June 30.

Eastman & Beaudine, a Dallas-based executive recruitment firm, recently was chosen to assist in the nationwide search. Huntington Quarterback Club president Mark George joins several Tri-State officials closer to home who will consult.

"The search for a new athletic director is under way," said Bill Bissett, Marshall's chief of staff and vice president of communications. "Our next step is to bring together the Marshall committee with our search firm, which will occur later this week."

Asked if Marshall's new athletic director will be hired more on day-to-day, hands-on abilities or fund-raising acumen, Bissett essentially responded "yes" and "yes."

"The role of the athletic director has changed significantly in recent years, requiring experience in business management, marketing, finance, facilities, public relations, media, corporate sponsorship and fundraising," Bissett said. "Knowledge and sensitivity relative to gender, equity and NCAA regulatory process are also vital."

Bissett stressed that the search indeed will span the nation. At the same time, he noted the contributions of Marcum, a Huntington native and Marshall graudate who initially took over on an interim basis.

"Mr. Marcum is well respected in the world of collegiate athletics," Bissett said. "In his tenure here at Marshall University, he has made a significant impact at his alma mater. He worked to secure Marshall's inclusion in Conference USA, has overseen a wide-range of considerable upgrades in our athletics facilities, worked to secure additional funding for athletics at Marshall and in particular women's athletics.

"(He) secured important football series with West Virginia University and such schools as Kansas State, Virginia Tech and Cincinnati that have led to additional national exposure and record attendance marks, and has improved our overall academic support structure for our student-athletes and those efforts have led to a tremendous period of academic success among our student-athletes."

As for naming candidates or defining a timeline, the process remains early. Speculation has been en vogue for weeks -- at least -- but officials likely won't announce contenders during an all-important hiring search.

"We will announce the successful candidate once the process is complete," Bissett said. "At this time, we ask that Marshall fans be patient and allow the search firm and our committee to find us the very best person to lead Marshall University's athletic department."

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