Thursday, June 28, 2001

Selection of new AD imminent

Four interview for post; Hemenway could announce choice as early as today


Kansas University could have a new athletics director as early as today.

The four finalists for the soon-to-be vacated AD job athletics directors Allen Bohl of Fresno State, Mike Hamrick of East Carolina, Doug Woolard of Saint Louis and Kentucky senior associate director of athletics Kathleen DeBoer met with KU's 16-member search committee on Wednesday on the KU campus.

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Then Wednesday night, the full search committee met again for 11/2 hours with Kansas Chancellor Robert Hemenway, who didn't leave Parrott Athletic Complex until just after midnight.

Sources told the Journal-World that Hemenway, who ultimately will make the decision, could announce his pick as early as this afternoon.

The sources also said Bohl and DeBoer emerged as the front-runners for the job based on their interviews with the search committee.

"I'm not going to say anything," Hemenway said early this morning. "You're just doing your job, I know, but I'm doing my job, too."

Sources said Bohl, Fresno State's AD since 1996, scored points with the search committee for his track record with football.

In the past two years, FSU has won a Western Athletic Conference football title (in 1999) and appeared in two bowl games, its first postseason appearances since 1993.

FSU's men's basketball team under rebellious coach Jerry Tarkanian, who returned to his alma mater the year before Bohl arrived last year came a victory short of appearing in the Sweet 16.

FSU's softball team won the 1998 NCAA title, and during the 1999-2000 school year all but three Fresno State teams competed in the postseason.

Also under Bohl, FSU had 13 academic All-Americans, the most of any five-year period in school history, and he has been credited in part for a 30-percent increase in athletics marketing income over the past four years.

Bohl came to Fresno State after nine years as AD at the University of Toledo, where he oversaw record-breaking fund drives and season-ticket campaigns. He hired Gary Pinkel, Missouri's new football coach, at Toledo.

Bohl also rose as high as assistant AD at Ohio State before heading to Toledo.

Prior to his meeting with Hemenway, Bohl was asked if he thought his interview was going well.

"I hope so, yeah," he said, before being rushed off.

Sources said DeBoer also impressed the search committee.

She has served 17 years at Kentucky. DeBoer oversees the day-to-day operations of the athletics association and all fund-raising efforts for new facilities and endowments. Since 1993, she has had a hand in raising $10 million in private gifts to build an academic support building, a softball/soccer complex, an outdoor tennis stadium and a football coaches office building.

DeBoer had served as assistant AD for nonrevenue sports before her promotion last year, and she spent nine years as Kentucky's volleyball coach, amassing a 212-96 record with three SEC titles and two SEC tournament titles.

A graduate of Michigan State, DeBoer left her meeting with the search committee without commenting. She has ties to Hemenway, who came to Kansas from Kentucky.

In addition to interviewing with the 16-person search committee for about 90 minutes each, the candidates also met with, among others, KU basketball coach Roy Williams and KU football coach Terry Allen.

"We had a long day, a productive day," committee chair Reggie Robinson said. "I'm pleased, especially with the search committee proceedings with how good they went. We're just looking forward to proceeding and taking the next step."

Robinson wouldn't commit as to whether the self-imposed deadline of July 1 Frederick's first day out of office would be met.

"I'll just say what I've always said," Robinson explained. "We had the ambitious goal of having somebody by July 1. I said at the beginning of the process that we would strive to meet that goal, and I would continue to push to meet that goal until it became impossible. That's where we are."

Hamrick, 44, was the only of the four candidates to openly meet with the media Wednesday. He arrived in town on Tuesday night with his wife, Soletta.

"It's just a very special place," said Hamrick, who was the assistant to the director of athletics at KU from 1982-84. "But I'm extremely happy where I'm at. That's important to know. I just needed to come out and obviously take a look and let them take a look.

"A great time," said Hamrick, who has been ECU's director of athletics since 1995. "I've enjoyed my visit. The place has changed. It's grown. It's nice. There's some good people. I've enjoyed my visit so far, been very impressed with everything."

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