Nationwide search underway for DA

Southern is on the lookout for a new director of athletics.

On April 2, the University posted an ad on its Web site stating that the athletic director position will be open as of July 1. The review of applications will begin on April 27 and will end when the position is filled.

So, what’s that mean to a university that has just lost two of its athletic teams in the last semester because of a financial crisis?

“First of all we need someone who’s going to be a good fund raiser,” said University President Bruce Speck. “For the last 10 years the state has moved away from funding higher education and that means we have to be more pro-active in terms of external funding.”

Speck said Southern isn’t the only school going through times like these and he’s not alone in thinking that way.

“A lot of schools are facing a financial pinch because of our economic climate,” said Dr. Terri Agee, chair of the MSSU athletics director search committee. “But the new director of athletics will have to be a good manager and stretching money is what managers do best.”

Aside from the ability to stretch a dollar the new director will have some other things to think about to.

“There’s a lot we’ve got to do to be competitive,” Speck said. “And we’re going to have someone who has the drive to make sure we have the coaches that are going to be winners, and be good recruiters.”

“We want someone focused on the success of students not just on the field but in a classroom.” Agee said.

But according to some the program doesn’t have far to go.

“I think in a year or two the athletic program will emerge a stronger program,” said Sallie Beard, director of athletics.

Speck was also optimistic in the future of the program.

“I think we have a great program here.” Speck said. “Anybody interested in the program would see it has many strengths. That doesn’t mean it’s a perfect program and someone isn’t going to have to come in and work hard. But I’m very hopeful. And we’re looking for someone who is willing to come in and make sure this program becomes one of the premiere programs around.”