Headhunters, alumni, boosters will help UAA find athletic director

bbragg@adn.comJuly 12, 2013 

  • Public forum: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 24, UAA/APU Consortium Library, Room 307.

— A six-person search committee including a former hockey player and a longtime basketball booster, plus a national headhunting group, will help UAA pick a new athletic director.

Eastman & Beaudine, a Texas search firm that specializes in sports, will aid the university's search for a replacement for Steve Cobb, the university said Friday in a press release. Cobb was fired in late May after 13 years as athletic director.

The public's input will be considered too. An open forum will be held July 24 for people who want to share their thoughts on what qualities they think the next athletic director should have, the university said.

A new athletic director is expected to be named by early fall.

"This is a critical hire for the university and our timeline is aggressive," Bill Spindle, UAA vice chancellor for Administrative Services, said in the release. "We are committed to finding the right leader for a program that has brought much pride and honor to UAA. I'm confident that working with an extremely well-respected search firm will result in the hiring of a dynamic leader who will continue to move our program positively forward."

UAA said the search will be confidential "in order to attract the best and most-qualified candidates." No finalists will be made public, it said -- only the final choice.

In addition to Eastman & Beaudine, UAA named a committee that is a blend of university employees and non-employees to assist in the search.

Spindle and Tim McDiffett, the interim athletic director who is a longtime associate athletic director, will co-chair the committee. Other members include Jeff Edwards, a member of the hockey team from 1994 to 1998; Bobbi Olson, a longtime booster and former chairwoman of the Great Alaska Shootout; Deborah Narang, a UAA math professor and the school's faculty athletic representative; and Bill MacKay, retired senior vice president for Alaska Airlines, a long-time UAA corporate sponsor.

The makeup of the committee resembles the makeup of the second committee formed for UAA's recent search for a hockey coach. That committee was revamped due to public criticism of the original committee, which consisted solely of university employees, none of them associated with hockey.

Eastman & Beaudine is headquartered in Plano, Texas. A 2009 Sports Illustrated article called it "the nation's top sports executive recruiting firm." On its website, Eastman & Beaudine says it has placed more than 40 athletic directors at major universities.

The job opening is posted at UAKjobs.com. Applications will be accepted until July 24.



Reach Beth Bragg at bbragg@adn.com or 257-4335.



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