16-member committee, outside firm to search for new Gophers athletics director

- A 16-member search committee, along with the independent firm Turnkey Search, will conduct the search for the next Gophers athletics director, University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler said at a press conference Wednesday. Kaler hopes to have the new director in place by late spring or early summer.

The University of Minnesota has been looking for a new athletics director since the August 2015 resignation of Norwood Teague amid sexual harassment allegations. Beth Goetz has been serving as the interim athletics director – a period that has included the hiring of former assistant Tracy Claeys as the Gophers head football coach.

“[The athletics director] is responsible for what occurs in Gopher athletics,” Kaler said Wednesday. “They are responsible for setting the right tone at the top in terms of how people treat each other in all dimensions, the right tone at the top for the balance between athletic success and academic success and the tone at the top for how we are perceived in Minnesota and around the country.”

Katrice Albert, the university’s vice president for equity and diversity, and Perry Leo, professor of aerospace engineering and faculty athletics representative, will co-chair the search committee. The other members of the search committee include faculty members, current and former student-athletes, business people, community members and the head coach of the Gopher volleyball team.

The U of M is also paying New Jersey-based Turnkey Search, a subsidiary of Turnkey Sports and Entertainment, $150,000 plus expenses to help find the new athletics director and protect their confidentiality. 

“This is an extremely important hire for the future of Gopher Athletics and its 25 programs and 720 student-athletes,” Kaler said last month. “This athletics director will provide strong leadership to our coaches, staff and student-athletes; forge relationships with thousands of donors, fans and the public; successfully complete the campaign for the Athletes Village; and drive Gopher Athletics’ academic and competitive success, both now and into the future. I’d like to thank Vice President Brown, members of the Board and everyone who provided insight into our hiring plan for Minnesota’s next athletics director."

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