WVU Athletic Director search update


Today, it was announced that WVU President James Clements has put together a 7-person committee in the “nationwide” search for an athletic director.

The committee is made up of all aspects from WVU–athletics, academics, staff, alumni, finance, and fund-raising. Today was the first day this staff went to work. According to President Clements, applications have been pouring in since the job was posted in late March. The committee will review every application’s credentials until the job is filled. Even though there are 7 people on the committee right now, Clements plans on adding more people onto the committee including student-athletes and additional staff, faculty, and coaching personnel.

The committee is made up of:

"Samuel Ameri, chair Chairperson, WVU Dept. of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering Professor, College of Engineering and Mineral ResourcesAmeri has more than 30 years of distinguished service in both industry and academia. He has in-depth experience in fossil energy areas, particularly natural gas and oil extraction. As a researcher, he has developed a high-quality research program in the area of oil and gas recovery and compiled an outstanding record of publications across a wide spectrum of oil and gas issues. Ameri has been active in the Society of Petroleum Engineers, including co-general chair of SPE’s Eastern Regional Conference and Exhibition 2000, serving on SPE’s Education and Accreditation Committee, Continuing Education Committee and the Eastern Regional Technical Conference Program Committee. He also served as chair of the Department Heads of Petroleum Engineering Schools USA, SPE’s Cedric K. Ferguson Medal Committee and Northern West Virginia Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. He is a long-time member of WVU’s Athletic Council and the parent of a former student-athlete.Nancy McCormick DiPaolo (’76 BS) Chair-Elect, WVU Alumni Association Board of Directors (becomes Chair in May 2010); financial officer of JNDI Corp., Spring, Texas.A native of Logan, McCormick and her husband, Jed (’75 BS), served as co-presidents of the WVU Alumni Association’s Lone Star Chapter. In that position, she helped to build alumni membership; coordinate activities, including the annual Shrimp Boil; encourage community service projects; and recruit prospective high school students. She has been actively involved in developing networking and career opportunities for WVU graduates moving to the Houston area. She also chairs the Texas chapter of the WVU Parents Club. In addition to her involvement with WVU, DiPaolo is active in several community and non-profit organizations. She previously served as vice president of activities for the National Charity League; was a member of the executive board of the Sugar Plum Cotillion; and volunteers with Northwest Assistance Ministries. She also taught Sunday School for John Wesley United Methodist Church. In 2009, Nancy and Jed were honored as “Most Loyal Alumni Mountaineers” during Mountaineer Week. She also received the WVU Alumni Association’s James R. McCartney Award in 2004 in recognition of her unwavering commitment to WVU. While a student at WVU, DiPaolo was a member of the WVU cheerleading squad and served as president of Chi Omega Sorority. She was also a member of Mortar Board.Lonnie Galloway Assistant Football Coach, Wide ReceiversA native of Eden, N.C., Galloway earned his bachelor’s degree from Western Carolina University in 1994. During his playing career at Western Carolina, he was a four-year letter winner and the school’s all-time leader in total offense. Galloway still ranks in the top 10 in seven more offensive categories for the Catamounts. He played one season for the Charlotte Rage (1995) of the Arena Football League. Galloway began his coaching career at Elon in 1996, going to East Carolina in 2003. He joined the staff at Appalachian State in 2005, where the school won three-straight NCAA I-AA national championships. Galloway came to WVU in 2008 as the wide receiver’s coach.Patrick Hairston WVU Assistant Athletic Director for ComplianceHairston manages the daily operations of the Athletic Compliance Office. Prior to employment with WVU, Hairston was employed at the National Collegiate Athletic Association as the assistant director for championships, responsible for managing championships and their sports committees. Before joining the NCAA, Hairston worked at Delaware State University as the associate athletic director for internal operations where his responsibilities were to manage the daily compliance responsibilities, supervise sport teams and work with the University’s administration on athletic and institutional issues. Hairston previously worked at the Western Athletic Conference where he was assistant commissioner for compliance and governance. His responsibilities were to work with the WAC’s membership’s athletic administrations, faculty athletics representatives and student-athletes on matters of NCAA compliance. Early in his career he was compliance coordinator at Texas A&M University/Corpus Christi, where he assisted the university in establishing its athletics program and to become a NCAA member institution.Nikki Izzo-Brown Head Women’s Soccer CoachIn 14 seasons as the only coach in the history of Mountaineer women’s soccer, Izzo-Brown has built a one-time infant program into one of the nation’s elite, with 10 straight NCAA tournament appearances, the country’s ninth-best streak. Entering the 2010 season, she ranks 20th among NCAA Division I coaches all-time with a .691 winning percentage. As a player, Izzo-Brown attained All-America status at Rochester, where she was a four-year starter from 1989-92 and earned all-East, all-region and all-league honors. Following her senior campaign, she won the prestigious Meryle Spurrier Award, which recognizes Rochester’s top female athlete based on leadership, academics and athletics. Izzo-Brown graduated from Rochester in the spring of 1993 with a degree in psychology. That fall, she was named assistant coach at West Virginia Wesleyan, then elevated to head coach in 1994 and took Wesleyan to a 13-5 mark and a spot in the NAIA national tournament. While coaching at the Buckhannon school, Izzo-Brown earned her master’s of business administration degree in 1994. Izzo-Brown was named the first head coach of West Virginia’s women’s soccer team in August 1995. In addition to her duties at WVU, Izzo-Brown is certified as an advanced national level coach by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, has her United States Soccer Federation “B” license and is a region I senior staff Olympic Development member. She has also served on several regional and national ranking committees for the NSCAA.R. Wayne King President & CEO, WVU FoundationKing has served as president and CEO of the WVU Foundation since July 2007. He came to the Foundation from Des Moines, Iowa, where he served as president of the Mercy Foundation, an organization which provided philanthropic support for Mercy Medical Center, a 917-bed regional medical center and five subsidiary organizations. Prior to that he served as senior vice president for development with the Oklahoma State University Foundation, which conducted a $206 million Bringing Dreams to Life Campaign and raised $261 million. A Certified Fund Raising Executive since 1986, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Asbury College and masters degrees from Indiana University and the University of Oklahoma.Shirley Robinson (’06) Administrative Assistant to the WVU Associate Provost for Undergraduate Academic AffairsRobinson is a native of Morgantown and a 2006 graduate of WVU. She has been employed at WVU for 20½ years. An avid singer, Robinson is the 2009 Faculty/Staff “Idol” Winner, WVU’s version of the popular American Idol television show. She also has been head judge for the Mountaineer Idol student singing competition at WVU for the past several years. A former student-athlete, Robinson’s accomplishments are described on WVU’s “History of the Integration of Sports” website, where it notes she was the first African American to play women’s tennis at the University. Besides tennis and singing, Robinson also enjoys church activities, making assorted chocolates and gourmet apples and volunteering for Morgantown Hospice."

OK, so we got an engineer, a football coach, a soccer coach, and a secretary that sings and cooks on this committee… while that’s all well and good, I have to ask: Where is the men’s basketball team’s involvement? Last time I checked, they were in the Final Four and definitely need to have some say on who the new Athletic Director is. I say we get Coach Huggins or Coach Hahn on the committee. Better yet, we should get John Flowers on this committee. He could declare the person suited for AD by simply saying that they’re “so icey.” He could tell the candidates that WVU wants to reject, “You’re just not icey enough. Sorry.” See, institutions don’t want to keep it simple; they’d rather go through these long processes.

Besides, everyone knows who the new Athletic Director is going to be: Whit Babcock. You heard it here, folks. Yes, I know what you’re thinking: “You’re predictions have been awful lately, Jim!” I know, but, I’m bound and determined to hit the bullseye sooner rather than later. For those of you not in the know, Babcock got ran out of Morgantown after the whole Product Rodriguez scandal broke out. Under Babcock, fundraising for WVU athletics through my favorite charity: The Mountaineer Athletic Club, went through the roof! He raked in over 200% more than what was previously being brought in.

Of course, if Babcock isn’t even considered for AD, this new “search committee” needs to pitch everyone else’s applications and let me run the Athletic Department. Yes, you read that correctly: ME! I would do such an awesome job, if I can do it like Ed Pastilong: not being held accountable for anything, being allowed to show up late (or some days, not at all) and with reckless abandon. Besides; I eat, drink, sleep, and practically breathe Mountaineer Athletics every day… I would bring in a bunch of my friends as a “team of advisors” and they’d do all the work for me. But, I’d be the one who gets the credit at the end of the day. Sure, I may not have a Master’s Degree in Sports Management or Athletic Education, but I still think I could get the job done. Someone pass this entry on to the committee and tell them to contact me at the address listed on the “about” page.

Anyway, I’m still waiting for the rosters for Friday’s Gold-Blue Spring Football Game to come out so I can post a guide to the game, which is only 2 days away!